Fulfilling Christ's Great Commission


"Some are trapped in boxes of pea-sized Christianity, full of myths about missions that rob them of incentive to care about the unreached"
  --David Bryant in In the Gap

Missions slogans and notables quotes from missionaries

World Christian sayings with meaning: Famous quotes about Christian missions

     Do you need a reason for being involved in global mission? Do you need inspiration or ideas for a sermon or message on missions? Are you involved in teaching or learning about missions? Would you like to sense the burden and hear the cry of a missionary's heart? Need some wall plaques or banners for a Faith Promise event? Quotations from missionary leaders like William Carey and Hudson Taylor have served as battle cries for the Christian missions movement.
     Why missions? World evangelism has advanced under the banner of inspiring missionary slogans or quotes like these:

"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

"God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply" — Hudson Taylor [ video ]

"God isn't looking for people of great faith, but for individuals ready to follow Him" — Hudson Taylor

"The Great Commission1 is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed" — Hudson Taylor

"If I had 1,000 lives, I'd give them all for China" — Hudson Taylor

"God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on him." — Hudson Taylor, missionary to China [ video ]

"Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God" — William Carey, who is called the father of modern missions [ more info ]

"To know the will of God, we need an open Bible and an open map." — William Carey, pioneer missionary to India

"Is not the commission of our Lord still binding upon us? Can we not do more than now we are doing?" — William Carey

"The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become."Henry Martyn, missionary to India and Persia

"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose" — Jim Elliot, missionary martyr who lost his life in the late 1950's trying to reach the Auca Indians of Ecuador [ info on video ]

"We are debtors to every man to give him the gospel in the same measure in which we have received it" — P.F. Bresee, founder of the Church of the Nazarene

"In the vast plain to the north I have sometimes seen, in the morning sun, the smoke of a thousand villages where no missionary has ever been"Robert Moffat, who inspired David Livingstone

"If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?" — David Livingstone

"Sympathy is no substitute for action." — David Livingstone, missionary to Africa

"Can't you do just a little bit more?" — J.G. Morrison pleading with Nazarenes in the 1930's Great Depression to support their missionaries

"Lost people matter to God, and so they must matter to us." — Keith Wright

"The Bible is not the basis of missions; missions is the basis of the Bible" — Ralph Winter, missiologist

On the importance of mission education: "God cannot lead you on the basis of information you do not have" — Ralph Winter, missiologist

"Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell."C.T. Studd

"If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him." — C.T. Studd

"Christ wants not nibblers of the possible, but grabbers of the impossible." — C.T. Studd

"No one has the right to hear the gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once." — Oswald J. Smith [ more on Oswald Smith ]

"Any church that is not seriously involved in helping fulfill the Great Commission has forfeited its biblical right to exist." — Oswald J. Smith

"The mission of the church is missions" — Oswald J. Smith

"We talk of the Second Coming; half the world has never heard of the first." — Oswald J. Smith

"This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls on the earth!" — Keith Green

"There is nothing in the world or the Church — except the church's disobedience — to render the evangelization of the world in this generation an impossibility." — Robert Speer, leader in Student Volunteer Movement

"If God calls you to be a missionary, don't stoop to be a king" — Jordan Grooms (variations of this also credited to G. K. Chesterson, Thomas Carlyle and Charles Haddon Spurgeon)

"If you found a cure for cancer, wouldn't it be inconceivable to hide it from the rest of mankind? How much more inconceivable to keep silent the cure from the eternal wages of death." — Dave Davidson

"World missions was on God's mind from the beginning." — Dave Davidson

"In our lifetime, wouldn't it be sad if we spent more time washing dishes or swatting flies or mowing the yard or watching television than praying for world missions?" — Dave Davidson

"Let my heart be broken with the things that break God's heart" — Bob Pierce, World Vision founder

"No reserves. No retreats. No regrets"William Borden

"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, as he reflected on the numbers of Christian workers in the U.S. as compared to those among unreached peoples in China

"The reason some folks don't believe in missions is that the brand of religion they have isn't worth propagating." — unknown

When James Calvert went out as a missionary to the cannibals of the Fiji Islands, the ship captain tried to turn him back, saying, "You will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages." To that, Calvert replied, "We died before we came here."

"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

"The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time" — Carl F. H. Henry

"The evangelization of the world waits not on the readiness of God but on the obedience of Christians." -- Bill M. Sullivan

"Our God of Grace often gives us a second chance, but there is no second chance to harvest a ripe crop." — Kurt von Schleicher [ Apple pickers' parable ]

"Missions is the overflow of our delight in God because missions is the overflow of God's delight in being God." — John Piper

"To belong to Jesus is to embrace the nations with Him." — John Piper

"God is pursuing with omnipotent passion a worldwide purpose of gathering joyful worshipers for Himself from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. He has an inexhaustible enthusiasm for the supremacy of His name among the nations. Therefore, let us bring our affections into line with His, and, for the sake of His name, let us renounce the quest for worldly comforts and join His global purpose." — John Piper

"Go, send, or disobey." — John Piper

"All the money needed to send and support an army of self-sacrificing, joy-spreading ambassadors is already in the church." — John Piper

"You can give without loving. But you cannot love without giving." — Amy Carmichael, missionary to India

"Only as the church fulfills her missionary obligation does she justify her existence." — Unknown

"As long as there are millions destitute of the Word of God and knowledge of Jesus Christ, it will be impossible for me to devote time and energy to those who have both." — J. L. Ewen

"Since God is a missionary God, God's people are a missionary people." — Eddy Ho

"God was the first ever missionary when in Genesis 3:8 he went out in search of two sinners who had rebelled against Him in order to bring them back into fellowship with Him." -- Eddy Ho

"The command has been to 'go,' but we have stayed — in body, gifts, prayer and influence. He has asked us to be witnesses unto the uttermost parts of the earth ... but 99% of Christians have kept puttering around in the homeland." — Robert Savage, Latin American Mission

"People who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives ... and when the bubble has burst, they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted." — Nate Saint, missionary martyr [ devotional thoughts ]

"We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God." — John Stott

"Believers who have the gospel keep mumbling it over and over to themselves. Meanwhile, millions who have never heard it once fall into the flames of eternal hell without ever hearing the salvation story." — K.P. Yohannan, founder of Gospel for Asia Bible Society

"Tell the students to give up their small ambitions and come eastward to preach the gospel of Christ."Francis Xavier, missionary to India, the Philippines, and Japan

"The mark of a great church is not its seating capacity, but its sending capacity." — Mike Stachura

"The true greatness of any church in not how many it seats but how many it sends!" — Unknown

"'Not called!' did you say?
'Not heard the call,' I think you should say.
Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father's house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face — whose mercy you have professed to obey — and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world.
William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army

"It is not in our choice to spread the gospel or not. It is our death if we do not." — Peter Taylor Forsyth

"If God's love is for anybody anywhere, it's for everybody everywhere."Edward Lawlor, Nazarene General Superintendent

"Never pity missionaries; envy them. They are where the real action is — where life and death, sin and grace, Heaven and Hell converge." — Robert C. Shannon

"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

"It is possible for the most obscure person in a church, with a heart right toward God, to exercise as much power for the evangelization of the world, as it is for those who stand in the most prominent positions."John R. Mott

"In no other way can the believer become as fully involved with God's work, especially the work of world evangelism, as in intercessory prayer." — Dick Eastman, president of Every Home for Christ (formerly World Literature Crusade)

"What's your dream and to what corner of the missions world will it take you?" — Eleanor Roat, missions mobilizer

"We can reach our world, if we will. The greatest lack today is not people or funds. The greatest need is prayer." — Wesley Duewel, head of OMS International

"Love is the root of missions; sacrifice is the fruit of missions" — Roderick Davis

"Missionary zeal does not grow out of intellectual beliefs, nor out of theological arguments, but out of love"Roland Allen

"I have but one passion: It is He, it is He alone. The world is the field and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ." — Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf

"If you take missions out of the Bible, you won't have anything left but the covers"Nina Gunter

"If the Church is 'in Christ,' she is involved in mission. Her whole existence then has a missionary character. Her conduct as well as her words will convince the unbelievers and put their ignorance and stupidity to silence." — David Bosch

"Missions is not the 'ministry of choice' for a few hyperactive Christians in the church. Missions is the purpose of the church." — Unknown

"The concern for world evangelization is not something tacked on to a man's personal Christianity, which he may take or leave as he chooses. It is rooted in the character of the God who has come to us in Christ Jesus. Thus, it can never be the province of a few enthusiasts, a sideline or a specialty of those who happen to have a bent that way. It is the distinctive mark of being a Christian." — James S. Stewart

"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

"The Christian is not obedient unless he is doing all in his power to send the Gospel to the heathen world."A. B. Simpson [ missionary hymns by Simpson ]

"Prayer is the mighty engine that is to move the missionary work." — A.B. Simpson

"The will of God — nothing less, nothing more, nothing else." — F. E. Marsh (also attributed to Bobby Richardson)

"If the Great Commission is true, our plans are not too big; they are too small." — Pat Morley

"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." — Arthur T. Pierson

"The history of missions is the history of answered prayer." — Samuel Zwemer

"'Go ye' is as much a part of Christ's Gospel as 'Come unto Me.' You are not even a Christian until you have honestly faced your responsibility in regard to the carrying of the Gospel to the ends of the earth." — J. Stuart Holden

"A congregation that is not deeply and earnestly involved in the worldwide proclamation of the gospel does not understand the nature of salvation." — Ted Engstrom, World Vision

"To stay here and disobey God — I can't afford to take the consequence. I would rather go and obey God than to stay here and know that I disobeyed." — Amanda Berry Smith

"I believe that in each generation God has called enough men and women to evangelize all the yet unreached tribes of the earth. It is not God who does not call. It is man who will not respond!" — Isobel Kuhn, missionary to China and Thailand

"I thought it reasonable that I should seek the work where the work was the most abundant and the workers fewest." — Scottish missionay James Gilmour on why he went to Mongolia

"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


1Who was the first to use the phrase Great Commission? It may have been Dutch missionary Justinian von Welz (1621-1688). Nearly 200 years later, it was Hudson Taylor who really popularized the use of the phrase "Great Commission" to describe Matthew 28:19-20.

Page of missions slogans, classic scripture passages and faces from the "crowd of witnesses": PDF format

More well known missionary sayings and missions leadership quotes

arrow   Never pity missionaries. Envy them [ more quotations ]

What does God's Word say about missions?

Click hereChrist's Great Commission in Matthew 28 is just the tip of the iceberg. The Bible is chock-full of missionary material! read more ]

SNU missions course materials and syllabi

Cultural Anthropology    Introduction to Missions    Linguistics    Mexican Field Studies    Missions Strategies    Modern Missionary Movement (History of Missions)    Nazarene Missions    Church Growth and Christian Missions    Theology of Missions    Traditional Religions    World Religions
 
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