Mission Smart book review

Mission Smart book review
10 Point Rating10
10Overall Score

Date read: 04.07.2017. How strongly I recommend it: 10/10.

Mission Smart: 15 Critical Questions to Ask Before Launching Overseas, by David Frazier on Amazon.

See my Kindle highlights here.

(Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means that the ministry of Within Reach Global will receive 4.50% of your total purchase from Amazon.)


The author has clearly written this book for Christian individuals who plan to move overseas and minister cross-culturally. The content in this book serves to enhance the pre-trip experience of those who go abroad as global missionaries, empowering them to thrive in their new cross-cultural environment. The author recognizes the numerous difficulties that overseas missionaries face, and seeks to better prepare those who take a faith step to serve their Lord where the witness of the Gospel is severely lacking.


Rarely have I come across a book with such depth. The content in this book is next to none. Mission Smart should be required reading for every potential cross-cultural missionary. Each chapter is filled with invaluable topics and subject matter. But the author states that the content is only part of the solution of overcoming the numerous expectations of life on the mission field. “Simply reading this book gives only half the benefit of the material. The real meat of this training is found in working through the discussion questions and homework assignments personally and with mentors.” The content, layout, flow, reiterations, discussion questions, and homework assignments construct, in my opinion, the quintessential pre-field missionary guide.


The author explores a long list of issues that every overseas missionary will encounter at some point in his or her ministry service. The message is crystal clear: those who put in the preparation time before launching into overseas missionary work will not only survive, but thrive in their calling. This book is made up of three sections: The Person, The Partners, and The Place. The author reveals his expertise by exploring heart motivations, personal giftings, family needs, and learning the language and culture, to name a few themes. I was astonished at the depth of each chapter. I was also very happy that the author reiterated language learning as a prerequisite for successful overseas missional endeavors. I have found this to be true in my life, and the author’s urging to focus on the main things felt natural and encouraging.


The flow of this book is both natural and surprisingly thorough. The author states that “this book is not designed to be a missionary training program.” Instead, he addresses the steps one should ask when considering cross-cultural ministry overseas. The strength of this book is it’s discussion questions and homework assignments. Each chapter challenges the reader (potential missionary) to explore the nuances of cross-cultural missionary work, learn from church mentors and present missionaries, and thus enjoy a healthy, long-term overseas missions experience.


This book is written for the modern reader. There was no need for loquaciousness and lofty expressions. The author simply directs the reader to consider the subtleties that he or she will one day encounter overseas. He brings up numerous potential issues that impact every cross-cultural worker, and he does well to state his thoughts clearly and adequately. No need to break out a thesaurus for this one! You won’t be learning new terms. Instead you will better comprehend the many facets that are often unspoken in the global missionary endeavor.


This book is an essential read for every potential cross-cultural missionary. It is superior to nearly every other pre-field missions book I have read. In fact, it will now become required reading for potential missionaries who desire to serve at Within Reach Global. I wish that this book existed 20 years ago when I first set out to serve as an overseas missionary to China. Many of the struggles I have encountered over the years might have been quelled had I better prepared for cross-cultural ministry. After reading this book, my prayer is that today’s potential missionary force might take ample time to better prepare themselves for the long haul of missionary work.


I give Mission Smart: 15 Critical Questions to Ask Before Launching Overseas a 10/10

David Joannes
Founder/President at Within Reach Global
David Joannes is the co-founder and president of Within Reach Global, Inc, which serves the advance of the Gospel in some of Southeast Asia’s most difficult places. He is the author of The Space Between Memories: Recollections from a 21st Century Missionary. David has a love for language, culture, and creative writing, and for the last 20 years, he has witnessed God’s Kingdom established in forgotten parts of the globe. David lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with his wife, Lorna, and their daughter, Cara.
Get The Space Between Memories: Recollections from a 21st Century Missionary by David JoannesBUY NOW