Magazine article International Bulletin of Mission Research

Strangers Next Door: Immigration, Migration, and Mission

Magazine article International Bulletin of Mission Research

Strangers Next Door: Immigration, Migration, and Mission

Article excerpt

Strangers Next Door: Immigration, Migration, and Mission.

By J. D. Payne. Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP Books, 2012. Pp. 206. Paperback $15.

While Strangers Next Door draws from existing literature in the field, the author, J. D. Payne, claims that "it offers the first extensive treatment of the connection of missions and migration to the West" (24). Toward that end, its first goal is to educate the Western church on the scope of global migrations that are taking place as the peoples of the world move to the West in search of a better way of life. Second, Payne seeks to challenge the Western church to reach the least-reached people living in their neighborhoods and to partner with them to return to their peoples as missionaries (18-19).

Written in a popular and accessible style, Payne passionately argues that human mobility and migration are inextricably linked with God's divine purposes. He demonstrates this point in chapters on migration and kingdom expansion in the Old and New Testaments, as well as a historical overview of migration to the West (both North America and Europe) from 1500 to 2010. Payne also highlights the massive numbers of international students and refugees currently on the move, including numerous testimonials demonstrating their evangelistic influence when returning home with the Gospel. Finally, the book offers practical guidelines, strategies, and techniques for reaching the "strangers next door."

Because the book's core assumptions are shaped by the Unreached People Group (UPG) and burgeoning "Diaspora Missiology" perspectives, its data and methodology need to be understood in that light. For example, the book (see Appendix 1) claims that Armenians (163), Ghanaians (169), Greeks (163), Italians (163), and Zimbabweans (169) are UPGs--but all of these groups self-profess to be Christian by larger percentages than any of the Western countries to which they emigrate (as surveys by the Pew Research Center show). …

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