“Andrew Fuller, when alarmed at the spiritual lethargy of his church, preached a sermon on the duty of the Church to give the gospel to the world; and as he broadened their intellectual life, and quickened their zeal, and stirred their purpose, he followed it up the following Sabbath with a sermon on the duty of the Church to give the gospel to the world. The third Sabbath the same theme was presented from his desk, and then men began to inquire: “Then, if the gospel can save the world, can it not save our own children, our own community?’ and from that missionary sermon there sprang one of the most memorable revivals in the history of any church.”
It is one thing for a minister to be an advocate and supporter of missions: it is another and very different thing for him to understand that
they are the chief end of the Church, and therefore the chief end for which his congregation exists.
It is only when this truth masters him in its spiritual power, that he will be able to give the subject of missions its true place in his ministry. As he sees how every believer is called to witness to Christ’s love and claim, how the healthy spiritual life depends on the share the believer takes in work for his Lord, how he has to lead the congregation on to make the extension of Christ’s kingdom the highest object of its corporate existence, he will feel how nothing can enable it to carry this out but a definite consecration to be filled with the Spirit and the love of Christ. And as he then thinks of all the ignorance and worldliness and unbelief that he has to contend with,
he will learn that his missionary enthusiasm must be nothing less
than the enthusiasm of the Holy Spirit filling him with an intense love to Christ, an intense faith in His power, an intense desire to lead all His disciples to give their lives to making Jesus King over the whole earth.
The more earnestly we study missions in the light of the pastors’ responsibility, the more we shall see that everything depends upon the personal life being wholly under the power of love to Christ, as the constraining power of our work.
With the pastor, at least, it will be found that the missionary problem is a personal one.
Murray, Andrew. The Key to the Missionary Problem. London: J. Nisbet & Co., 1902.