inREVIEW — When Missions Shapes the Mission, by David Horner

by Lee Buford on July 20, 2011

It’s seemingly not all that often that a book leaves you feeling convicted and inspired at the same time, aware of obvious failures in a certain area but encouraged and excited about the prospects of making a difference. “When Missions Shapes the Mission“, written by Pastor David Horner, is one such book.

Horner is the founding and senior pastor of Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, and he has written a gem on the subject of missions and the rightful place it should occupy in our hearts and churches. His passion for God’s glory and the Great Commission are evident throughout the book, and many of us in the modern American Church would be wise to heed the advice, warnings, and wisdom shared therein.

Admittedly most our churches are not doing what needs to be done in the area of missions, despite the fact that many are quick to profess a commitment to fulfilling God’s calling in this area. Using his own denomination (Southern Baptist), Horner opens the book by taking an honest look at the “real world” state of missions efforts within the Church today. Quite honestly I was shocked (perhaps not strong enough a term) at the deficiencies he exposed in such areas as membership, stewardship, and overall sending of missionaries for the purpose of fulfilling God’s command to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). The statistics bear out the obvious opportunities, and where I think where this work excels is in Horner’s admission that we must do better, we can do better and, if we as followers of Christ are committed to seeing His name glorified to the ends of the Earth, we will do better.

Specifically, the format of the book is well-done, the writing is easy to follow and understand, and Horner provides a comprehensive look at the subject, from the history of missions to the current-day status it holds in most churches. Acknowledging the shortcomings and failures of the Church, while also providing guidance and a path to correct our current course, Horner provides no shortage of motivational and biblical evidence in support of the prioritization of our missional efforts. From the hurdles we face in elevating missions to the proper place in our churches, to examples and best practices, this book has the potential to change the way we view our responsibility and obligation to obediently honor God with our actions.

As Horner consistently conveys the importance of our maintaining the right view of God, His glory, His holiness, and His commands, he reinforces the fact that as missions is His passion; it must become ours!”

Regardless of where you currently find yourself (or your church), relative to your views and participation in the Great Commission, I trust that you will learn much from what this book has to offer. More importantly, I’m confident that what you learn will prove beneficial to your future efforts to engage the world with the good news of the Gospel.

In closing, I would suggest to you that Pastor J.D. Greear’s endorsement of the book is incredibly accurate and I would agree with him, as he writes,

I don’t know how to describe the book other than to say that David Horner has nailed the ’95 theses’ of the Great Commission to the door of the evangelical church…His zeal is matched only by the carefulness of his research and soundness of his advice.”

I encourage you to read it, live it, and share it with others. I trust you will find the book profitable and well worth your time and investment.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a free copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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