We have gathered some of the books that we find most helpful and recommend most often! These are resources that have been published outside of CVM that are beneficial to read. If you are interested in purchasing books that CVM has written, check out our Book Store!


When Helping Hurts

By Brian Fikkert

Recommended for Short and Long-term Missions

When Helping Hurts is an excellent resource that we recommend anyone looking to go into short or long-term missions read. This book, from a biblical perspective on poverty, moves from the foundational concepts about poverty (Who are the poor?) to principles (Should we do relief, rehabilitation, or development?) to strategies (How can we help the poor domestically? Internationally?). It will guide you toward a true understanding of poverty and a plan to make a difference. We also recommend Chalmer’s When Helping Hurts course in addition to this book. For more information visit their website.

Foreign to Familiar: A guide to Understanding Hot and Cold Climate Cultures

By Sarah Lanier

Recommended for Short and Long-term Missions

A guide to understanding cultural differences and how they influence customs and communication. An easy to read paperback that serves as a beginning introduction to cross cultural sensitivity. (McDougal Publishing, 2000)

Serving with Eyes Wide Open

By David Livermore

Recommended for Short-term Missions

An excellent but small paperback designed to prepare you to serve God through short-term missions. (Baker Book House, 2006)

Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourist to Global Citizen

By Tim Dearborn

Recommended for Short-term Missions

Another excellent but small paperback designed to prepare you to serve God through short-term missions. This workbook allows you to work through this together with a team or as an individual. “Going on a short-term missions trip can be a life- and faith- transforming experience. It can enrich the way you view the world. It will cause you to rely on God more fully. It is an opportunity to develop deep relationships with your team and the people you serve. A short-term missions experience can also involve weeks of physical and spiritual distress. An unprepared team can wreak of havoc on each other and the people they intend to serve. To get the most out of such a missions trip, you need to go prepared.” (Intervarsity Press, 2003)

Global Mission Handbook: A Guide for Cross-Cultural Service

By Steve Hoke and Bill Taylor

Recommended for Long-term Missions

This is a practical handbook for preparing for intercultural missions. It includes resources for personal spiritual preparation as well as cross cultural skills and hands-on missionary training. (Intervarsity Press, 2009)