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About Stephen Mark Davis
Stephen M. Davis and his wife Kathy have been engaged in church planting in the US, France, and Romania since 1982. Steve holds degrees from Bob Jones University (BA), Reformed Theological Seminary (MATS), Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (DMin in Missiology), and Columbia International University (PhD in Intercultural Studies). He also holds two degrees in the French language. He is an elder at Grace Church Philly (gracechurchphilly.org), a multilingual church in Philadelphia, and trains pastors in Cameroon in the cities of Yaoundé and Douala. He works bi-vocationally as a certified criminal justice and behavioral health therapist.
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"Stephen Davis delivers a wonderfully brief primer that is pointed and practical. Writing from both seasoned experience and solid research, Davis urges appropriate caution in avoiding the dangers and disappointments that come from inadequate missionary preparation. This book should be read by missionaries preparing for service as well as those who assist in their preparation."
--Mark C. Vowels, Director, Center for Global Opportunities
"Stephen Davis is no stranger to the challenges and difficulties of cross-cultural gospel ministry. He writes as an experienced missionary and church-man who aims to equip churches, mission agencies, and missionaries to better serve cross-culturally. My heart resonates with Davis's that the goal of missions is not mainly to do good works but preach the gospel and establish new communities that demonstrate the transforming power of God's presence. With such a high goal, missionaries need to be properly trained, and Davis is a worthy guide on the matter and the manner of such training."
--Dieudonne Tamfu, Pastor, Eglise Baptiste Bethleem, Yaounde, Assistant Professor of Bible & Theology, Coordinator of Cameroon Extension Site, Bethlehem College & Seminary
"Missionary life is a high calling filled with significant challenges. Stephen Davis discusses important topics to be considered when evaluating someone's preparation for cross-cultural ministry. Using insights gained from thirty years of church planting and missionary service, Davis challenges appointees to purposefully prepare for ministry. This book is a must read for future missionaries, the pastors who support them, and the mission personnel who assist them."
--Jeff Straub, Professor of Historical Theology and Missions, Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Plymouth, MN
"My friend Dr. Davis gives excellent advice for those who are preparing to go on the mission field and for those who are already serving. In his book, he stresses the importance of being gifted, qualified, and prepared before being sent out to plant churches. He gives practical ideas based on biblical principles for church leaders that are selecting candidates to be future missionaries."
--Aaron Griggs, Church planter in Mexico
Stephen M. Davis is a bi-vocational elder at Grace Church (gracechurchphilly.org), a multilingual church in Philadelphia he planted with his brother John in 2010. Steve and his wife Kathy have been engaged in church planting in the United States, France, and Romania since 1982. He earned a DMin in Missiology from TEDS under Dr. David Hesselgrave and a PhD in Intercultural Studies from Columbia International University.
Urban church planting is not for everyone. It is not more important than church planting elsewhere. But if you believe God has called you to urban ministry, read this book before you go. It is written by a city guy, freed from the romanticism often associated with planting churches in the city. If after reading this you still believe God is calling you to the city, then by all means go. If not, know that God can use you elsewhere.