How You Can Help Relieve Theological Famine Around the World

I love this quote from Samuel Zwemer:

The printed [and digital] page is a missionary that can go anywhere and do so at minimum cost. It enters closed lands and reaches all strata of society. It does not grow weary. It needs no furlough. It lives longer than any missionary. It never gets ill. It penetrates through the mind to the heart and conscience. It has and is producing results everywhere. It has often lain dormant yet retained its life and bloomed years later.

I praise God for the way he ordains the use of the written word to call and equip us as his children. The importance of text in the history of the church is difficult to overstate. Whether it’s the Scriptures, the pamphlets of the Reformation, or sermons read by thousands on the internet, God has deployed text as a vital means through the ages. By his design, books continue to be one of the most effective tools for spreading the gospel. And of course, in our day resource formats have exploded to include audio, video, and digital.

And yet, while we in the West often walk out of conferences with huge stacks of free and inexpensive books, much of the rest of the world suffers from a theological famine. In many regions, particularly in the Global South, the cultural, language, economic, and infrastructure barriers mount up. This leaves much of the church vulnerable to false teaching and weakness. God is calling us to address this need.

I’m grateful to Desiring God, where I worked for 13 years, for the incredible platform our team had to launch and grow this effort beginning in 2006. God has overwhelmed us with so many great partners and implemented projects. Now, I’m excited and humbled to join The Gospel Coalition, as we seek, by God’s grace, to expand this mission and its fruitfulness.

The scope of the need is larger than any single ministry can fill. We are looking for publishers, translators, givers, churches, mission senders, and goers who sense a call to engage in Theological Famine Relief. You can help us to create and deploy these resources where they are most needed around the world.

Here’s a quick tour of what you’ll find on our site:

  • Learn about Theological Famine Relief and how you can join us.
  • Explore tools for stirring your heart for the global cause.
  • Browse TGC’s resources in many languages.
  • Consider supporting this effort and our current Relief Projects.
  • Explore our Packing Hope resources for your next missions trip.
  • Pray with us that God will make provision for this ministry to move forward according to his will.
  • Follow our Twitter missions channel on @TGC_IO.

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! (Psalm 96:3)

  • Jo

    Way to go, Bill! So exciting to see. Blessings on this new endeavor. As we say in Chinese, 加油! — add oil! GO!

  • Bruce Taylor

    Good reminder for people about the great need for what so many here take for granted. We have decided that our primary strategy will be with an organization called LeadresFor here in Canada. This is a ministry of our fellowship of Churches, where we go to other countries to provide training for pastors using material from BILD out of Iowa ( This concept is not only about providing Church based Theological education for leadership, but training them to provide this training to their Churches and other leaders.

  • Pingback: Flotsam and jetsam (6/18) | Everyday Theology()

  • Pingback: Stones Cry Out - If they keep silent… » Links for Monday, 2 July 2012()

  • Pingback: Toward Better Short-Term Missions – The Gospel Coalition Blog()

  • Pingback: WorldChristians » Nice add to Short-Term Missions Discussion by DARREN CARLSON()

  • Pingback: If Joseph Were Chinese, Would He Have Adopted Jesus? « jacksonwu()

  • Pingback: Toward Better Short-Term Missions : Cross()

  • Jacob Lee

    I praise God for the work of the Gospel Coalition International Outreach and for your leadership Bill! I have seen first hand the impact of these godly resources in the hands of many who are thirsting for sound Biblical instruction. May the Lord raise up many to support this much needed ministry!

  • Philip John

    Your vision to help those in ministry around the world is commendable. But I do not understand the point of sending Piper’s & Keller’s books all around the world when there are so many local authors who know their Bibles, know their local contexts and communicate in the local language so much more effectively than any of these authors can. Maybe you consider all of them only capable of ‘false teaching and producing weakness’ in the Church! And what is more perhaps you consider only Piper and Keller as capable of preaching the truth! I wonder if behind all the hype that you seem to have created at TGC is this just another marketing scheme for these celebrity’s? Oh how sad that you seem to know so little of the vitality of the church around the world. How sad that you cannot even respect the people you want to serve and only feel that what you say is gospel truth!!! Oh God our Heavenly Father, have mercy on these your people and please convict and save them from such bombastic thoughts and acts.

  • Pingback: Questions that Itch | Rise & Shine365()