Mission from the Margins: Selected Writings from the Life and Ministry of David A. Shank

Published: December 9, 2021

David A. Shank has been reflecting on the mission of the church from an Anabaptist perspective for more than half a century. His writings represent among the best biblical, theological, and missiological study on the matter, shaped by two primary contexts–Europe and Africa–where his ministry took place. This collection will be of particular interest to global church leaders wanting to know more about how to contextualize the gospel message; to mission and church historians interested in examining how missiological thought and practice evolves over time; and to pastors, students, and mission workers seeking insights from a wise elder as they serve the church through its mission efforts in the twenty-first century.

About the author and editor

David A. Shank, retired in Goshen, Indiana, served as a Mennonite mission worker with his wife, Wilma, in Europe (1950–73) and West Africa (1979–89). His many missiological writings include a three-volume doctoral study of the Liberian Christian prophet, William Wadé Harris, abridged and published as The Prophet Harris: “Black Elijah” of WestAfrica (Brill, 1994).

James R. Krabill served in West Africa as a Bible and church history teacher among African-initiated churches. He currently serves as senior executive for global ministries at Mennonite Mission Network in Elkhart, Indiana.

David Shank’s writings are rich and original, always stimulating and sometimes prophetic, but far too little known. This splendid collection, beautifully presented and interpreted, thus comes as a boon and a blessing.

—Andrew F. Walls, Professor, Liverpool Hope University; Honorary Professor, University of Edinburgh

This book will inspire readers by its compelling, deeply instructive, and well written content. More importantly, they will discover in it a delightfully poignant reminder that God’s people are citizens of an upside-down kingdom in which the meek inherit the earth, the poor are blessed, the humble are exalted, and the rich and powerful are sent empty away when God’s will is done in God’s way on God’s earth, as it is in heaven.

—Jonathan J. Bonk, Executive Director, Overseas Ministries Study Center; Editor, International Bulletin of Missionary Research

Margins may be fragmented and ill defined. But as each essay in this collection develops a particular strand of David A. Shank’s ministry and motivation, the full-orbed tapestry emerges: a picture that is at once history, vision, and a sourcebook for continued faithfulness as individuals and church in God’s mission.

—Alice M. Roth, Vice President, Overseas Ministries, Mennonite Board of Missions, 1990–99