Laceye C. Warner, Ph.D., Royce and Jane Reynolds Associate Professor of the Practice of Evangelism and Methodist Studies at Duke Divinity School, and the Rev. Gaston Warner, M.Div., chief executive officer of ZOE, a non-profit Christian organization, have co-written a book on how churches can engage in sustainable mission work moving beyond relief to empowerment.

The new book, From Relief to Empowerment: How Your Church Can Cultivate Sustainable Mission, was published in December by Wesley’s Foundery Books, a publisher of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) of the United Methodist Church. Foundery books are written by Methodist/Wesleyan experts, with an emphasis on church life and ministry.

The Warners have written the book as a resource for those who want to engage or are engaged in mission to move mission beyond “us and them” to “all of us together.” In the book, the couple supports the idea that mission flourishes when relationships are characterized by mutuality—a difficult but important balance to sustain—and mission work that moves beyond relief to empowerment. According to the book, this opens ways to address systemic forms of oppression and poverty.

An excellent resource for study groups, From Relief to Empowerment examines ZOE, an orphan relief and empowerment program serving 35,000 children in Africa and a United Methodist Global Ministries’ Advance program for giving, as an example of sustainable mission that can empower even the most vulnerable to help themselves. Gaston Warner, who leads ZOE, is a Duke Divinity School alumnus and former staff member.

Proceeds of book sales will go to ZOE, which was launched in 2004 as a mission of the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church.

The book is available from Cokesbury or Amazon.