I am excited and thankful to share that Strangers Next Door: Immigration, Migration, and Mission is now available!
We live in the age of migration. 214 million people are presently living outside of their countries of birth. That is 3% of the world’s population. If this number represented a single country, then it would be the fifth largest nation in the world.
The Western world remains a popular destination for these men, women, and children. They arrive in search of a better life. They come for education. They flee persecution. They come for employment. They run from famine, war, and fear. They seek security and peace. They depart the familiar.
They arrive with a multitude of cultural expressions. They arrive with many needs. They arrive with much education. They arrive with little education.
They arrive with Jesus. They arrive without Jesus. And especially in light of this latter matter, how should the Church respond?
Strangers Next Door was written to raise awareness of what is happening in the West when it comes to the migration of the world’s unreached people groups, and to offer a biblical response.
I do hope you will get a copy of this work and lead your church in this wonderful opportunity we have to advance the gospel among the nations.
I am very thankful for what several brothers have already said about this book. Here are their words:
“A wide-eyed look at one of most strategic missiological opportunities for the church today. I was encouraged by Payne’s presentation of the possibilities and convicted by our failure to thus far capitalize on them. What if the leaders for the completion of the Great Commission were right now ‘visitors’ in our cities?” (J. D. Greear, author of Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary and Breaking the Islam Code )
“The world has not only shrunk; it has become energetic and mobile. It might be a tad clichéd to say it, but the world is now on our doorstep, which requires us to take the gospel seriously and devise a mission strategy to reach, train, partner and resource our global neighbors as they return to their homes with the gospel. J. D. Payne has presented us with the gospel imperative to take responsibility for those from all over the world who are among us. Some books impress you with their fresh insight, while others hit you with a clear and compelling statement of the obvious. This book does the latter, and it does it very well indeed.” (Steve Timmis, Director for Acts 29 Western Europe )
“It is shocking how negligent the Western church has been in reaching the peoples of the world that God has brought to us–especially compared to how active we have been in leaving our countries to go to them! Strangers Next Door clearly depicts the opportunity before us, and most excitingly, shares great stories of those already having a global impact by reaching the ‘stranger next door.'” (Chris Clayman, church-planting catalyst, North American Mission Board; team leader, Global Gates; and author, ethNYcity: The Nations, Tongues, and Faiths of Metropolitan New York )
“Many in our society–and even within our churches–see immigration as a threat or an invasion, but J. D. Payne challenges us to see immigration as Scripture does: as a missional opportunity. Many immigrants bring a vibrant faith with them to their new country, breathing new life into local churches, but others do not yet know the hope of a transformational relationship with Jesus. If we have the eyes to see it, immigration presents an opportunity to ‘make disciples of all nations’ without even leaving our zip codes, and Strangers Next Door serves as an informative and practical guide.” (Matthew Soerens, U.S. church training specialist at World Relief and coauthor of Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion & Truth in the Immigration Debate )
“Strangers Next Door is a candid admission that a strategic frontier of world missions in the 21st century has returned to the home front. This book will charm readers with heart-rending anecdotes, relevant surveys and the author’s insightful analysis of the realities in the changing landscape of missions within the borders of the Western world. This is perhaps J. D. Payne’s most fascinating, coherent and convincing work on diaspora missiology to date!” (Tereso C. Casiño, professor of missiology and intercultural studies, School of Divinity, Gardner-Webb University, and executive chair, North America Diaspora Educators Forum (Global Diaspora Network) )
“By reading this book of J. D. Payne’s, you will be informed of the opportunities created by global migration and inspired by the real-life stories and case studies of how seemingly ordinary folks can participate in the Great Commission by implementing his proposed action plan–reaching out to new neighbors in the West from abroad with the gospel, then partnering with them in kingdom efforts. This is a practical guide for Christians who embrace the vision of global mission and engage in local action.” (Enoch Wan, president, Evangelical Missiological Society, and director, Institute of Diaspora Studies, Western Seminary )
“J. D. Payne has provided an excellent resource for the church in the West to be involved with ‘missions at its doorstep.’ Scholarly yet written in a very approachable style, full of interesting and illustrative stories, this book is a wonderful addition to the small but growing literature on ‘diaspora missiology.’ It merits wide reading by academics, church leaders and lay members of congregations alike.” (Steven Ybarrola, professor of cultural anthropology, Asbury Theological Seminary )
“Strangers Next Door is informative, insightful, inspirational and instructional to mission researchers and practitioners; clergy and parishioners; and missiology professors and students. J. D. Payne presents us with a great contribution to the fast-emerging diaspora missiology discourse. It summons the global church to action!” (Sadiri Joy Tira, senior associate for diasporas, The Lausanne Movement, and vice president for diaspora missions, Advancing Indigenous Missions )
“The author summons an urgent invitation to Christians and the church in the West to live missionally now! Both the statistical information of the migration of global strangers and the biblical inspiration of the sovereign God’s orchestration for kingdom expansion are convincing and compelling for us to seize the amazing harvest opportunities in our neighborhoods.” (T. V. Thomas, chair, Ethnic America Network (EAN) )
“With an eye toward Scripture, J. D. Payne has helpfully narrated the history and present reality of ‘peoples on the move.’ Yet he takes the conversation one necessary step further and offers practical advice for Western Christians to welcome the nations and effectively reach the ends of the earth in their Jerusalem.” (Edward Smither, professor of intercultural studies, Columbia International University )
“J. D. Payne is at it again with another perceptive and prophetic call to the Great Commission community! With the perfect blend of Scripture, stories and strategies, this book turns us toward our global diaspora future. Read it with careful attention to what the sovereign God is doing in our time–and with a commitment to be in step with his work in the world.” (Grant McClung, president, Missions Resource Group)