Two ways to promote reading about missions

Note: Nazarene mission books that were produced annually have now been replaced by an email publication called NMI Central that is sent weekly to subscribers.

Idea 1: How the Grinch Stole Mission Books

by Dr. Who?

In recognition of the power of God to change hearts and perform miracles!

Every whosoever down in Whosoeverville liked world missions a lot
And the Grinch liked missions, but not every part.
The Grinch disliked mission books, the whole thing about reading.

Please don't ask why; no one knows quite the reason.
It could be his head wasn't screwed on just right,
Or it could be his sneakers were too tight!
I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his eyesight was not quite up to par.

But whatever the reason -- his eyes or his shoes --
He lived around Whosoeverville and knew all those Whos.
He knew that in rain, sleet, sunshine or snow,
Whosoevers would still like to go
Get together and worship the Lord.
He knew when they're together they're never bored
For there's singing and praying and preaching to do
The things that the Grinch like to do too.
He gave in the offerings to God and His work
For spreading the gospel would always come first.

They hammered their dulcimers and played their Who trumpets
And often you'd find them eating Who crumpets.
The kids loved to come too and make lots of noise,
Learn about Jesus and play with their toys.
And the fun - well, you never saw such a crowd!
Hey, does the Manual say that's allowed?!

Oh, yes, and the Missions service was no exception to that,
For you'd never know what (name of local Nazarene Missions International president) would pull out of (his/her) hat!
The Grinch just loved it, except for one thing,
Read a mission book? You've gotta be kidding !
Then he got an idea -- an awful idea!

The Grinch got a wonderful, awful idea!
"I'll break into the library and take every book,
I'll hide them so they won't know where to look!"

So one day when the little Whosoevers were snoozing,
And (insert name of church secretary) must have been out talking to (insert somebody's name),
The Grinch found the key, slid it into the lock,
Went through the door and took one look at the clock.

Two minutes, I tell you, that's all that it took,
To take every last mission book!
He took all the audio ones too, and can you believe it?
He took all the kids' books just at the last minute!

He checked down the hall, saw no one in sight,
Shut the door and turned out the light.

Little (insert name of a child at church) who had come out for a soda,
He saw the Grinch and said, "Whoa!
Where are you going with all those books in a bag?
Put them back now or my mom will be mad!"

But you know that Grinch was so smart and so slick,
He thought of a line and he thought of it quick.
"No, (name of church kid) dear, you don't understand!
I'm the new church librarian!
I'm taking these books home to sort and to stack,
Now, don't worry, (name of church kid), they'll all come back."

And with that, off he went in his Grinchymobile
Off out of sight, out over the hill.
So he took the books home and packed them away.
"Now, that's the end of that," he said.

But when he thought of what he had done,
He wondered why the Whosoevers had so much fun,
Checking out the books week after week,
Well, it certainly won't hurt, "I'll just take a peek."

And would you believe it, before he knew it,
He had read one mission book, the whole way through it!
He read about snakes and dogs without tails,
Building of churches without any nails!

He stood to his feet and cried, "What should I do?
I'll take them all back so more Whos can read too!"

The very next Sunday all things looked just the same,
But that day the Grinch took back his old name.

Now some say this story just couldn't be true,
But (name of kid at church) told me. So I believe it, too.
"Who was this?" you ask. So now I will tell you.
You certainly know him; yet this may surprise you.
He's no longer called the Grinch,
Today we affectionately call him Pastor . . .

    -- contributed by Ellen Gailey Decker

"We did a push to read mission books last year and had approximately 80% of our church congregation take part in the reading of these texts." Kayte S.

Idea 2: Ballad promoting Nazarene mission books

This song was written for promotion in specific year. This it serves as an example of what can be done. It is not something to be used "as-is" for the current set of Nazarene mission books.

To the tune of "The Beverly Hillbillies" theme song, also known as "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" (on YouTube: banjo | steel guitar | original

Come and read about a film that's helping spread the News
It's reached 'round the world and is filling up the pews
From day to day the numbers seem to grow
By 2025, 100 million more will know
Jesus that is, our Master, Savior.

Or read about a man who starts his day at five
Goes around to visit churches, sometimes doesn't drive
The Makua tribes were a people never reached
So he followed God's leading and just began to preach
Good News, Light instead of darkness

There were six brave nurses who were pioneers of faith
Suffered through scorpions, spiders, rats and snakes
It mattered not the challenge, each was asked to face
They all were ready, just to run the race
High calling, always serving God

A pastor in New England set out to shine the light
He was more than confident that it was only right
A fisher of men, his name is Manny Chavier
He spent 50 years sharing about his Savior
God's son, hope for ALL the world.

Well, that's just a taste of the stories you will find
If only you'll take just a little bit of time
To listen to a cd or read a missions book
Oh say, won't you please just come and take a look
Four books, interesting, educational.

words by Wes Harper, NMI president, Church of the Nazarene, Kingfisher, Oklahoma

Reaching your reading goal

"The reading of mission books had slacked off in our church over the past several years. Our pastor expressed his concern to me over this, and said that last year, he had read only two of the books because they were never available. I saw that as something that needed to be changed.

"Last year, our congregational reading total was turned in as 155 -- and our pastor wasn't completely convinced that figure was accurate. I thought we should do better than that. So we set the goal at 700!

"A lady who is a middle school librarian attends our church. Even though she is not a member I asked her to take care of these books, and she has done a tremendous job. (And she plans to join the church soon.)

"In the past four months, we have read 400 books. We've dug out the old books and are encouraging people to read at least 12. If a person reads one, they are so challenged that they want to read more.

"If people are informed, they can pray more intelligently, and will participate more willingly." -- Rosemary Nolley

Online mission books

arrow pointing rightRead Howard Culbertson's NMI mission books online      Subscribe now to NMI Central, a weekly world missions inspiration and information publication

    -- Howard Culbertson,

10/40 Window explanation and map     Seeking God's will?     African martyr's commitment     Mission trip fundraising     Ten ways to ruin mission trips     Nazarene Missions International resources