Book Review: Strangers Next Door


stranger next door

In a previous post I wrote about the book Strangers Next Door by J. D. Payne. In this post I want to briefly explain the layout of the book so that you have a sense of the big picture as you read it.

From my point of view the book can be divided into four parts:

Chapters 1-3 set the stage by talking about God’s sovereignty in the movements of people around the globe. Payne introduces terms and presents charts to help us get our bearings.

Chapters 4-6 are a survey of the history of migration. We start in Eden and end the West today seeing how God has moved people.

Chapters 7-9 talk about refugees, students, and other unreached people who are living in the West.

Chapters 10-12 finish the book by giving guidelines and suggested strategies to actually work among unreached people groups.

In chapter 11 Payne gives a 5 –step strategy to help those who want to begin working with unreached peoples groups.



  • What do we know about the people (culturally, spiritually, demographically)?
  • Why are they in this community?
  • What are the bridges to connect with them?
  • What are the best ways to share the gospel?


  • Now that they are believers, what is the best way to teach them the Scriptures?
  • Are we casting the vision for them to return to reach their social networks?
  • How can we model spiritual disciplines and local-church involvement for them?
  • Is the Spirit leading them to unite to form a local church?


  • Are we treating the new church as partners in the gospel ministry?
  • How will we continue the encouraging, training, and coaching after they return to their people


  • How do we assist migrants to return to their peoples across the globe?
  • How do we travel with them to assist them in the planting of churches in other parts of the world?
  • Are we sending long-term missionaries to serve alongside them in church planting endeavors?


This is just a sample of the types of questions you will find yourself wrestling through as you read this book.

Few books or authors have had as profound of an impact on my views of ministry in recent years. I absolutely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in seeing the church seize this wonderful opportunity it now has to befriend, serve, and evangelize the unreached people groups around us.




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