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Strangers Next Door: Immigration, Migration and Mission Paperback – October 27, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"For a fairly slim volume, this book has a wide scope, a hallmark of InterVarsity Press. In its target of a university-aged audience, it tends toward both the academic and practical. Its versatility includes grounding in scripture, technical definition of terms without being encyclopedic, spiritual depth, historical breadth, relevant present-day stories, sound statistics, and the book's applicability." (Allen Yeh, Religious Studies Review, Volume 39, No. 3, September 2013)

"Payne's book is an important and much-needed clarion call for evangelicals first to see the opportunity for missions that the Lord has sovereignly brought to our doorstep and second to engage these unreached people groups among us with a thoughtful, long-term strategy." (John Wind, Southern Baptist Journal of Theology, 17.1, 2013)

"Strangers Next Door is a much-needed book that provides detailed analysis of migratory patterns around the world and challenges churches to embrace migration as part of God's redemptive purposes. It is a useful tool in equipping churches to be more effective in missions right in their own community." (Jenny Yang, Evangelical Missions Quarterly, July 2013)

"With this work J. D. Payne effectively reminds us that 'the world' can sometimes be right on our doorsteps. . . . I highly recommend this book to church leaders and individuals who are keen to think through the implications of being Christ's witnesses in our multi-cultural society." (Vox Reformata, 2013)

"Written in a popular and accessible style, Payne passionately argues that human mobility and migration are inextricably linked with God's divine purposes." (Matthew Krabill, International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Vol. 37, No. 2)

"Payne's work is informative and compelling, presenting fascinating data and inspiring anecdotes. Furthermore, it offers practical strategies for local churches seeking to reach the 'stranger next door.'" (Church Libraries, Winter 2012–2013)

"With its case studies and practical guidelines for reaching migrants, pastors and lay leaders will find Strangers Next Door to be a clear and useful resource in building a global missions strategy. . . . Payne does readers a service by bracketing the U.S. immigration debate and refocusing attention on the unique opportunity migrants present for the missions world." (Jeff Haanen, Christianity Today, October 2012)

"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)

"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)

"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)

"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)

"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)

"Strangers Next Door convinced me of the need to prioritize intentional outreach to students and newcomers in my neighborhood, and the need for further research and sharing ideas on diaspora missiology among the broader Australian and global church." (Darren Cronshaw, Mission Studies 31 (2014))

"As migration continues and grows, churches must adjust to not only reach their communities but also fulfill their calling of missions. Payne provides an excellent rationale, vision and strategy for just that." (Aaron Davis, On Mission, Summer 2015)

About the Author

J. D. Payne (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is a writer, speaker, church planter and currently serves as the pastor of church multiplication with The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama. He previously served with the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and as an associate professor at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where he directed the Center for North American Missions and Church Planting. J. D. has written extensively in the areas of missions, evangelism and church growth and he speaks frequently for churches, networks, conferences and mission agencies. He is the author of books such as Missional House Churches, The Barnabas Factors, Discovering Church Planting, Strangers Next Door, Kingdom Expressions and Pressure Points. In addition to these works, he and Mark Terry coauthored Developing a Strategy for Missions and he coedited Missionary Methods with Craig Ott. J. D. has pastored five churches in Kentucky and Indiana and has worked with four church planting teams. He formerly served as the executive vice president for administration for the Evangelical Missiological Society and as the book review editor for the Great Commission Research Journal. He and his wife Sarah and their three children live in Birmingham, Alabama.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 206 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books (October 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830857583
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830857586
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #467,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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This is a great book for Christians who want to gain perspective on the ever-increasing ethnic diversity of North America and the West. It helps us to lift our eyes, come to terms with new demographic realities, and gain biblical hope concerning the mega-trend of the migrations of the peoples. Covering the tremendous rise in migration for job-seeking immigrants, international students, refugees, and more, JD Payne provides a multitude of stories as well as straightforward statistical evidence for the profound demographic and ethnic changes taking place in Western nations.

The book provides a thorough overview of people on the move in the Old and New Testaments, and creates for readers a clear Scriptural lens through which to see these people movements in our generation. This was very encouraging for me, creating a much stronger link between the accounts of "people on the move" in the Bible--and "people on the move" in our world, in our own communities.

Payne's overview of the demographic changes of many nations--demonstrated through well-researched and documented statistical evidence--is proof of the dramatic changes which are creating culture clashes in cities all over the western world. His primary readers are North Americans, so the additional information he provides about the USA and Canada is valuable and eye-opening.

The challenge to Christians engaged in God's purpose to bless the peoples of the world--is nuanced and multifaceted. He recommends a strategy called R.E.P.S.--Reach, Equip, Partner, and Send.
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Format: Paperback
In my neighbourhood 36.9% of people were born overseas (higher than Australia’s 30.2%). Locally this includes 4.6% people from India (more than triple the national 1.4%) and 3.5% from China (more than double the national 1.5%). Australia is a country of migrants, and our local area even more so. My church, AuburnLife Baptist Church, shares a building with our Baptist mission agency, Global Interaction. As we send missionaries overseas, the nations are coming to us. This is not just a feature of my parish, but a globalized trend the church all over the West is seeing with all sorts of opportunities.

Diaspora Missiology is the emerging and exponentially growing field that brings migration research into conversation with mission. Strangers Next Door is a concise and accessible introduction to the field. It is compiled by J D Payne, a seminary professor, author and pastor who currently serves as pastor of Church Multiplication at The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama.

The book offers biblical perspectives on migration and especially the conviction that God is orchestrating a movement of peoples across the world to advance the Kingdom of God. For any church wanting to ‘advance the Kingdom’, being aware of and strategic about people from less reached cultures coming to us is basic. Payne comments: ‘Something is missiologically malignant when we are willing to send people across the oceans, risking life and limb and spending enormous amounts of money, but we are not willing to walk next door and minister to the strangers living there.’ (p.33) The God of mission is organising for the church in the West to engage in global mission on their doorstep, without relocating.
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I have to admit that I have not yet finished this book, but its contents cover a good range for our flexible modern society with many changes almost daily. We must find ways to welcome strangers; this analysis should help. I look forward to finishing it.
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