Lately I’ve been reading an old mission book called The Key to the Missionary Problem by Andrew Murray. Murray was a South African pastor and missionary who wrote in the early 1900s. It;’s been amazing to read the issues they faced then and realize how similar the needs are today. I thought I’d share some key thoughts from the book.
1. The missionary problem is a personal one.
Before we think of missions strategy and methods, of unreached peoples and church planting movements, we need to have believers committed to loving Christ by fulfilling the Great Commission.
“Every believer, in receiving the love of Christ into his heart, has taken a love that reaches out to the whole world.”
In speaking of the disciples, Murray writes, “Jesus Christ had their whole heart. They had forsaken everything for Him. His love filled them and made them one with Him, and with each other.”
“The missionary problem is a personal one. A passionate love to Jesus Christ, born out of his love, truly possessing each of us personally, will teach us to pray, and to labour, and to suffer. Let us pray for such a love.”
2. The power for missions is the Holy Spirit
“The Church of the first generation is given us by God as an example and a pledge of what the Holy Spirit can do in men wholly possessed by Him.”
“The missionary revival we need and pray for within the Church, ere it is fitted to do its work aright, can only come by a return to Pentecost.”
“The great commission was given in connection with Pentecost, and its fulfillment was made entirely dependent on it.”
“Prayer must be preached and practiced as the first and last duty of a Church that hopes to have the power of God seen in its work.”
“Missions have progressed so slowly abroad because piety and prayer have been so shallow at home.”
“Nothing but continuous prayer will solve the missionary problems of today.”
4. The Church must realize that missions is its chief end.
“Missions are the chief end of the church.”
“The Lord Jesus Christ is the Author and Leader of missions.”
“You have been redeemed to be the witnesses and messengers of Christ’s love…As he loves you, He loves the whole world. He wants those who know it to tell those who don’t.”
“The chief end of preaching ought to be to train every individual believer and every congregation to take its part in helping the Church fulfill her destiny.”
Ultimately it all comes down to this. If we are growing disciples who love God and are staving to live obediently, we will naturally be committed to making Him known. If we are not committed to Him, we cannot be committed to His mission.
“What is needed is that the spiritual life of every Christian, and that of the whole Church, should be so deepened, instructed, and inspired by the Holy Ghost, that it shall become as natural and easy to pray daily for foreign missions as to pray for daily bread.”
Quotations from Murray, Andrew. The Key to the Missionary Problem. (1902). In Seven Classic Missions Texts, the Christian Classics Treasury.