Strangers Next Door: Immigration, Migration and Mission, By J. D. Payne alt

Strangers Next Door

Immigration, Migration and Mission

by J. D. Payne

Strangers Next Door
  • Length: 206 pages
  • Published: August 02, 2012
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 6341
  • ISBN: 9780830863419

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More than ever, North America is being flooded by people from all around the world, many of them here illegally. How should the church respond to these sojourners among us?

In Strangers Next Door professor of evangelism and church planting J. D. Payne introduces the phenomenon of migrations of peoples to Western nations and explores how the church should respond in light of the mission of God. As we understand and embrace the fact that the least-reached people groups now reside in (and continue to migrate to) Western countries, churches have unprecedented opportunites to freely share the gospel with them.

This book includes practical guidelines for doing crosscultural missions and developing a global strategy of mission. It also highlights examples of churches and organizations attempting to reach, partner with, and send migrants to minister to their people. Discover how you can reach out to the strangers next door by welcoming them into God's family.

"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

"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

"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

"I found Payne's book a very helpful attempt to look at mass migration from a Christian perspective and believe that it can be a useful resource for Christians and churches seeking to reach out in love to migrant communities."

Phillip Scheepers, Vox Reformata, 2016

"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)


1. Immigration, Migration and Kingdom Perspective
2. What in the World Is God Doing?
3. The World's Unreached in the West
4. Migration and Kingdom Expansion, Part 1
5. Migration and Kingdom Expansion, Part 2
6. Migration and the West, 1500-2010
7. Students on the Move
8. Refugees on the Move
9. Stories from the Field
10. Guidelines for Reaching the Strangers Next Door
11. A Suggested Strategy for Reaching the Strangers Next Door
12. Diaspora Missiology: A Conclusion or Just the Beginning?
Appendix 1: Unreached People Groups in the United States and Canada
Appendix 2: Unreached People Groups in the West, Excluding the United States and Canada
Appendix 3: Unreached People Groups in the West
Scripture Index
General Index


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J. D. Payne

J. D. Payne (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is a writer, speaker, and 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.