I'm not sure how many times I've been asked why I filter every aspect of life and ministry through a "missions" lens.
They want to know why missions and missionaries are such a big deal to me.
The simple answer is that I'm absolutely convinced that the God who has revealed Himself in the bible is The Missionary God.
I've also written many times about the reasons why I believe this is true, and have provided what I believe is more than a sufficient amount of scripture to validate that my view of Him is derived from His own self-revelation found in the bible.
In this post, I’d like to share a few quotes about the value and importance of “missions” that provide better reasons than I can come up with to explain why I have what some people have referred to as "missions" addiction.
And then, before I close, I’ll share a couple of observations that might bring a bit more clarity.
GREAT QUOTES ABOUT MISSIONS
Here are the quotes:
“I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light” John Keith Falconer
“The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed”. Hudson Taylor
“The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become”. Henry Martyn
“The Bible is not the basis of missions; missions is the basis of the Bible”. Ralph Winter
“Any church that is not seriously involved in helping fulfill the Great Commission has forfeited its biblical right to exist”. Oswald J. Smith
“If ten men are carrying a log–nine of them on the little end and one at the heavy end–and you want to help, which end will you lift on”? William Borden
“The reason some folks don’t believe in missions is that the brand of religion they have isn’t worth propagating”. unknown
“Someone asked ‘Will the heathen who have never heard the Gospel be saved?’ It is more a question with me whether we–who have the Gospel and fail to give it to those who have not–can be saved”. Charles Spurgeon
“Only as the church fulfills her missionary obligation does she justify her existence”. unknown
“We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God”. John Stott
“The mark of a great church is not its seating capacity, but its sending capacity”. Mike Stachura
“People who don’t believe in missions have not read the New Testament. Right from the beginning Jesus said the field is the world. The early church took Him at His word and went East, West, North, and South”. J. Howard Edington
“Missionary zeal does not grow out of intellectual beliefs, nor out of theological arguments, but out of love”. Roland Allen
“If you take missions out of the Bible, you won’t have anything left but the covers”. Nina Gunter
“Missions is not the ‘ministry of choice’ for a few hyperactive Christians in the church. Missions is the purpose of the church”. unknown
“The average pastor views his church as a local church with a missions program; while he ought to realize that if he is in fact pastoring a church, it is to be a global church with a missions purpose”. unknown
“If missions languish, it is because the whole life of Godliness is feeble. The command to go everywhere and preach to everybody is not obeyed until the will is lost by self-surrender in the will of God. Living, praying, giving, and going will always be found together”. A. T. Pierson
“To know the will of God, we need an open Bible and an open map”. William Carey
“God is a God of missions. He wills missions. He commands missions. He demands missions. He made missions possible through His Son. He made missions actual in sending the Holy Spirit”. George W. Peters
“The best remedy for a sick church is to put it on a missionary diet”. unknown
“The church must send or the church will end”. Mendell Taylor
THOUGHT PROVOKING OBSERVATIONS
And finally, a few things that I find interesting:
1. The greatest theologian in the New Testament was also the greatest missionary, (Paul). Is that a coincidence? Or, does plunging deeper into who God is inevitably lead to actual participation in making Him known to all of the ethnic and linguistic groups that He has created for His glory?
2. The greatest theological mind America has ever seen, (Jonathan Edwards), was led to personal participation in reaching the unreached tribes that lived nearby, (the Stockbridge Indians).
3. I can’t count the number of God-glorifying and life-impacting pastors I’m aware of that truly wrestled through with God about why they should NOT leave their churches and head off to the nations for direct participation in assisting Rev. 5 and 7 to become a reality.
Not long after the movie “Field of dreams” came out, a number of pastors put a spin on the signature line of that movie.
They spun it from "If you build it, they will come", to the line, “If you teach it, they will come”.
That stuck in my craw the fist time I heard it–and all these years later, it still does.
If that classic line is going to be tweaked and express a truth about the Kingdom of God, it should be changed to: “If you teach it, they will go”!
If God's word is faithfully taught in its fullness, He will call a large portion of those who have come to learn about Him to turn around and go to ends of the earth for His glory and the ultimate good of those He created in His image and likeness.
Finally, God's Holy Spirit will move those who teach and those are well taught to want to know where things are in the fulfilment of the Great Commission that Jesus gave to the church.
Here's what joshuaproject.net reports:
"The latest estimates suggest that approximately 6,550 people groups are considered unreached. That means over 40% of the world’s people groups have no indigenous community of believing Christians able to evangelize the rest of their people group. Over 42% of the world’s population live in these over 6,550 people groups."