In this compelling book, Kuja challenges the exploitative roots of McMission and calls us to something deeper. He never gives up on mission but invites us into a posture that will be more sustainable, more holistic and ultimately more transformative. Read it with an open mind and heart and you will be challenged.
—Craig Greenfield, author of Subversive Jesus and founder of Alongsiders International
A bold and courageous examination of unconscious motivations for mission, whereby we discover the way of interior freedom that allows for more effective service in our world. A timely clarion call for the integration of contemplation and action.
—Phileena Heuertz, author of Pilgrimage of a Soul: Contemplative Spirituality for the Active Life and co-founder of Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism
In From the Inside Out, Ryan Kuja helps us to right-size our egoic ventures of fixing the world to seeing its people through wildly curious, deeply wise, and always loving eyes. No matter your current worldview, From the Inside Out is sure to expand its boundaries of beauty and reconciliation. This transformational book will be required reading for all Make Way Partners staff and mission volunteers.
—Kimberly Smith Highland, author of Passport Through Darkness and founder of Make Way Partners
A timely contribution to the conversation about mission, which masterfully weaves together stories from the author's own experience, biblical reflection and theological insight. Even as he challenges widespread misconceptions of cross-cultural mission, Kuja's intention is to awaken a fresh and liberating engagement with God's redeeming work in the world.
—Emmanuel Katongole, Associate Professor of Theology and Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame and author of The Sacrifice of Africa
In these pages, Ryan courageously talks about the power of story and the grace of redemption. This book is not simply about theory or general recommendations. It is told through the lens of someone who has done the hard work of questioning in order to find a new way forward. Ryan wrestles with what it truly means for us to live into incarnational ministry by first calling us to look at our history and personal stories before seeking to impose ourselves on the narratives of others. This book gives me hope for the future of missions, both locally and globally, and is a teaching tool for a new way forward. It will take you on a journey of self-discovery that is convicting, inspiring, and ultimately redemptive.
—Romal Tune, Senior Advisor to the President, TMS Global and author of Love Is an Inside Job: Getting Vulnerable with God
Ryan Kuja brings together a rich analysis of cultural, theological, and spiritual formation issues along with rich reflections of the Bible and his own experience among the marginalized. Ryan skillfully deals with the many blind spots in the life of the agent of transformation, such as communication of our beliefs, culture, personality, and perceptions of our histories. He reinforces that foundational to any model of mission or development is the transformation of the agent of transformation – “integrity in integral mission.” I recommend From the Inside Out to anyone who sincerely seeks to invest themselves in contexts of poverty – so they may heal the poor and themselves.
—Jayakumar Christian, Director and CEO, World Vision India and author of God of the Empty Handed
From the Inside Out is at once heartbreaking and hopeful. Through theological exploration, therapeutic insights, and personal stories from his experiences around the world, Kuja confesses the Western church’s missionary movement’s devastating sins of colonialism, ethnocentrism, and dehumanizing theologies, while offering a new way forward for Christian missions marked by memory, mysticism, mutuality, and imagination. A new era of expressing and embodying the good news of Jesus is possible, but first Western missions must repent and undergo a conversion itself. This book is a critical tool towards that end.
—Ben Katt, host of RePlacing Church podcast and regional leader, Resonate Global Mission
Through depth, honesty, humility and storytelling bound together in theological insight, Ryan shares, not as an expert, but with the authority of one who has tried and failed and in doing so discovered the grace to keep going. This book invites all of us to embrace the courage to open ourselves to the healing only God can bring, and in doing so offer that healing to our world.
—Michael Hidalgo, author of Changing Faith: Questions Doubts and Choices about the Unchanging God
In a world of unrest and uncertainty, Ryan Kuja awakens us to a hopeful vision of God’s dream of restoration. From the Inside Out offers engaging stories and practical anecdotes for what it looks like to live purposefully with the transforming mission of God as our goal and the Spirit of Christ as our guide. A worthwhile read for anyone ready to wholeheartedly engage.
—Christiana Rice, co-author of To Alter Your World: Partnering with God to Rebirth Our Communities and missional leadership coach & trainer, Thresholds
Ryan Kuja has created a tool that is both field guide and textbook for missional practitioners by using tools of hermeneutics, cultural and social analysis, history, and personal experience “in the field.” Hermeneutics gives us first century field-tested experience from the great mission strategist and apostle, Paul; history gives us warnings of unintended harm imposed on receiving cultures as practitioners bring their own “Main Street” to cultures where streets may not even be paved; cultural analysis gives tools where listening comes first and proclamation is embodied in humility; and Ryan’s personal experience brings a passionate missioner whose desire to faithfully serve the missio Dei has been tried, tested, and tempered by listening well to biblical text, cultural setting, and the unfolding story of his own pilgrimage of fierce faith. This is not a heavy academic tome with which you will argue but an invitation to listen deeply and well in the pursuit of your own faithful practice of mission.
—Keith R. Anderson, President Emeritus, The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology and author of A Spirituality of Listening
In From the Inside Out, Ryan Kuja bravely faces the fractures in the foundation of Christian mission, and asks the kinds of questions that are essential for the future of our faith.
—Amy Peterson, author of Dangerous Territory: My Misguided Quest to Save the World