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Book Review: Pipeline: Engaging the Church in Missionary Mobilization

  • Bryon Mondok
  • February 13, 2020
  • Articles
Book Review: Pipeline: Engaging The Church In Missionary Mobilization

Book Review: Pipeline: Engaging the Church in Missionary Mobilization

Book Review: Pipeline: Engaging the Church in Missionary Mobilization

Book title: Pipeline: Engaging the Church in Missionary Mobilization
Authors: Wilson, David and Lorene
Number of pages: 368

Resourcing the Great Commission

“What if pastors, elders, teachers, and lay leaders all began to understand that the Lord’s Great Commission is their mandate?” This is one of the first questions David and Lorene Wilson pose to readers in their book Pipeline: Engaging the Church in Missionary Mobilization.

What do the Wilsons mean by “Pipeline”? In the introduction of their book, they explain the construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System and build on it as an illustration of providing a steady stream of called, trained and resourced missionaries to take the gospel to the nations.

“We are building a ‘pipeline’ to mobilize this precious resource by means of a reliable system with a constant flow and a steady supply.”

Wilson explains further, “There are billions of people on this planet who have no access to the good news of Christ, and there are thousands of evangelical churches that have little or no vision for reaching out to the nations.”

God’s Call

Here, on the Shepherd’s Staff website, some of the most searched terms are “call” or “calling” or “God’s call”. The chapter the Wilson’s write on the subject and the wisdom contained therein is worth the price of this book. More than worth it. This will be something you share and point people to often if you are in a position where you’ll be talking to people who are thinking about missions or going to the mission field. Whether you’re in volunteer missions ministry or you’re on staff at a church or with a mission agency, these are the best conversations to be in because they touch the heart of God.

The Wilson’s point out that filling the pipeline starts with prayer by quoting Matthew 9:37-38 “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” I love the reason they give: “Because Jesus wants us to interfere,” they write backing up that statement with Matthew 28:19. “Because Jesus wants us to interfere,” they write. Interfering starts with prayer.

Types of Call Experiences

The Wilsons provide a solid theological foundation supported by biblical examples of how God calls people into service.

Most theologians divide God’s call on people into two categories: ONE: Special revelation and TWO: General Revelation.

The Wilsons broaden call categories, brilliantly, into these helpful seven:
1. Invitational
2. Scriptural
3. Supernatural
4. Experiential
5. Affirmational
6. Personal
7. Circumstantial.

To illustrate these, they look at the stories of David, Esther, and Paul. And, helpfully, they draw on the wisdom gained through their own personal experience.

The Wilsons give an excellent explanation of the call of Esther in their short explanation of a book of the Bible where God is never mentioned in the narrative. “We close the book of Esther thinking that if Esther had not accepted this responsibility the story would have been the same, though the book would have been named after Deborah, or Elizabeth, or Hannah — someone other than Esther.”

This chapter’s endnotes will make a great addition to any missionary’s library: Rob Hay, Worth Keeping: Global Perspectives on Best Practice in Missionary Retention, Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology, Dallas Willard, Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God (a personal favorite, – anything you read by Dallas Willard will enrich your life), and Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth.

Ecumenical Access

The Wilsons’ ecumenical approach makes themselves available to all denominations and tribes of orthodox faith in Jesus. You’ll love their humility. They take a position of confident, intelligent faith while modeling teachability. One way this is demonstrated in this book is that the Wilsons invite and draw on the wisdom and experience of a broad range of missions thought leaders. Follow this link and scroll down to Book Outline and you’ll discover the list of missions rock stars who contributed to this book which was referred to by Catalyst Services as the one the best missions books of 2018.

Quotes you can make your own

This book is full of great, memorable quotes you will be able to repurpose in your own counseling, talks, and teachings about missions. That’s why you’ll find this book a tremendous resource. But make sure you plug the book when you work their quotes into your conversations and Sunday school classes. Here are a few examples:

“Endurance through suffering is what makes a great story epic.”

“It has been said that ‘God does not call the equipped, but he equips the called.'”

“Jesus’ mobilization strategy is prayer. There is nothing elaborate or complicated about this strategy. Our job is to pray, and God’s job is to send.”

“And part of our lostness is that we don’t even appreciate how lost we are. ‘Here’ is the precipice of history upon which we stand today. It is both a crisis and an opportunity, all at the same moment.”

If you teach missions at your church, Pipeline can serve as a primer on the Missions Movement. Make sure you pick up a copy for your own library, or, better yet, pray for an opportunity to share this book in a Sunday school or home fellowship environment and buy a box of books to give out in class. Pray Jesus interrupts the way things are being done at your church resulting in a pipeline being built from your church community to the international mission field.

Related resources

» Interview with David and Lorene Wilson Part One
» Interview with David and Lorene Wilson Part Two
» Book: Mind the Gaps
» Book: Transforming Missionaries: A Short-term Mission Guide
» Avant Ministries
» Camino Global

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