Engaging Neighbors and Nations

By: Tim Silberman
Format: Soft cover

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Engaging Neighbors and Nations: Factors Shaping Local Church Involvement in Mission

Evangelical churches are widely known for their commitment to mission locally and to the ends of the earth. However, in the last century, there have been profound theological and sociological changes that have impacted mission practice. Church and mission leaders have encouraged Christians to respond to the need for mission locally, especially as church decline accelerates in much of the Western world. Yet others are concerned that global mission involvement is being neglected in many local churches.

This study explores the factors influencing local church participation in mission both locally and around the world. Through an in-depth analysis of the practices and perspectives among evangelical churches in Australia, the author identifies a range of theological, missiological, and organizational influences on mission practice. Though beliefs about the church, the world, and mission are important, understanding organizational principles, social capital, and the power of relational networks provides invaluable insights into church-mission practice. This book is for those who long to see local churches committed to engaging both their neighbours and the nations in mission, growing our understanding of how to encourage helpful church practices for the sake of Christ.


“Tim Silberman has conducted very credible research demonstrating the importance of maintaining and nurturing relationships between overseas cross-cultural missionaries and members of local supporting churches. These relationships are essential for the continued support of overseas missionaries and for motivating local outreach and evangelism done by church members. Without these relationships, cross-cultural missions will eventually die out, and local missions may face the same fate."  – David R. Dunaetz, chair of leadership, organisation psychology, and public administration, Azusa Pacific University

"Tim Silberman's book reveals his heart as a teacher. communicator, and practitioner of Christian mission. There are many books in the field that rest on the example of just one story or instance-Engaging Neighbors and Nations is not one of those. If a reader is keen to move beyond mere anecdote and example, this book carefully presents evidence from a wide range of evangelical congregations to create a compelling and convincing case." – Darrell Jackson, Interim Principal, Whitley College

"Every local church knows it should be passionate about overseas missions. But what's the best way to do this? Tim Silberman's Engaging Neighbors and Nations expertly answers this through a deep analysis of what over two hundred local churches are doing (or not!)—and what we can learn from them. All churches and leaders will benefit enormously if they read this book" – Sam Chan, head trainer and mentor, EvQ School of Evangelism

"When I first made my commitment to missions in 1973, missions meant ‘over there people from other religions that could only be reached by crossing an ocean’. Our world has changed: every pastor needs to know how to motivate and mobilize the church to reach these ‘over there people’ who are now across the street. Tim Silberman does a masterful job of explaining how we got here, how to equip ourselves, and how to lead our local fellowships to rise to the challenge ahead." – Paul Borthwick, author of 'Western Christians in Global Mission: What's the Role of the North American Church'