What Others Are Saying About Freeing Congregational Mission

Presbyterian Outlook Review:

“This book is a must read for all congregational mission leaders, independent and denominational mission executives, and cross-cultural church workers who seek to participate in the mission of God in the way of Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit. After a much-needed critique of the N. American church’s turn to “selfie mission” and enduring captivity to a colonial mentality and mission practice, Farrell and Khyllep offer companionship, cultural humility, and co-development as “three stones” for rebuilding congregational mission around a center in Jesus Christ’s mission of self-forgetful repair of the world. Coming out of years of inter-cultural experience and denominational leadership, this beautiful book is prophetically honest and self-critical about the many mistakes that have been made by the “mission industry,” eminently practical in helping congregations rethink their mission attitudes and practices around the three stones, and positively hopeful that God is still extending the invitation to participate in the life-giving mission of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Tom Hastings, Executive Director, Princeton Theological Seminary’s Overseas Ministries Study Center and Editor, International Bulletin of Mission Research

“Hunter Farrell and Bala Khyllep bring decades of hands-on mission experience to the urgent task of reframing congregational mission. This book rejects ‘selfie mission’ and affirms that God is calling North American Christians to walk alongside others as companions in Christ. I highly recommend this book for classroom use. It is refreshing and accessible. Most important, it is full of faithful wisdom.”

Dana L. Robert, Boston University School of Theology, author of Faithful Friendships: Embracing Diversity in Christian Community

Freeing Congregational Mission is a must-read book for anyone who wants to engage in mission faithfully. In my ministry, I have been to over eighty countries and interacted with both senders and recipients of mission. The criticism of colonial models of mission as well as self-serving mission practices is a common theme. And yet there is the understanding that most mission teams mean very well. This book is the first of its kind that I have seen address this in an open, critical, and sensitive fashion. I will recommend it highly for both academic and mission practitioners’ use.”

Setri Nyomi, senior lecturer at Trinity Theological Seminary, Legon, Ghana, and former general secretary of the World Communion of Reformed Churches

“Hunter Farrell has written a seminal work for parish mission that promises freedom from the limitations, failures, and even harm of short-term mission trips and parish partnerships. More importantly, he and his companion, S. Balajiedlang Khyllep, provide a vision, a road map, and a vehicle for parishes to revitalize their mission in the world. This is a must-read for every pastor, mission leader, and Christian who longs to participate in the missio Dei, because it is accessible, honest, hope filled, and doable.”

Donald R. McCrabb, executive director of the United States Catholic Mission Association and partner in the Third Wave of Mission

“Much of what goes by the name ‘missions’ in American Christianity is captive to the habits of settler colonialism and slaveholder religion, squelching the good news both for those who proclaim it and those who hear it. Freeing Congregational Mission offers hope that churches can discover the gospel anew and the world can hear and see God’s mission in a way that brings hope and healing for all.”

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author of Revolution of Values

Freeing Congregational Mission is a welcoming multicultural, postcolonial, and interdisciplinary work that encourages a critical forward view of God’s mission (missio Dei) aimed at encouraging more faithful and effective mission engagements. With a distinct focus on the transforming energy of the short-term mission experience, the authors have produced an essential mentoring text to theologically encourage church mission leaders and seminarians who yearn for a more inclusive understanding of God’s mission. By examining three core elements necessary to overcome current destructive cultural forces, this book demonstrates how churches, by valuing human diversity, human agency, and ethical behaviors, can learn to model dignity, respect, humility, and love of neighbor related to missions in both local and global contexts.”

Marsha Snulligan Haney, intercultural theological education consultant, founder and editor of

“Hunter Farrell and Balajiedlang Khyllep have a message for congregational mission leaders: what you do matters. In fact, when mission wanes, the very identity of the church comes into question. The authors provide fresh theological insights for mission as well as practical tools to help God’s people recalibrate their ability to participate fully in what God is doing in the world.”

Al Tizon, associate affiliate professor of missional and global leadership at North Park Theological Seminary
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