Throughout the decades, there have been missionaries who inquire impactful and tenacious faith. The outcome of these hard-working go-getters never stops their fight against the enemy. They are always aspiring to get even closer to the Lord. This has them leave an imprint of legacies for the Kingdom’s impact upon the earth.
What missionary activities have changed the world? There are several different ministries that have made a massive impact internationally through history. 1. Early Childhood Education, 2. Social Justice, 3. Business as Missions, 4. Church Building, and 5. Medical Missions.
Missionary duties vary from going to a different nation to teach about the Lord to handing out medical aid to help a community from a critical disease. It’s amazing to understand what exactly mission trips are doing, to bring Christians to love and unity throughout the world.
Types of Missionary Activities
Here are seven examples of different missionary activities that have made a massive impact on the world.
- Early Childhood Education
- Social Justice
- Business as Missions
- Church Building
- Medical Missions
Early Childhood Education
First are the Childhood Education missionaries. Christians have left a massive influence of the Lord all over the world with this specific ministry. People from all over the world enter a nation combined with poverty and no education for the community’s younger generation.
Children living in a despairing and hopeless environment have a higher chance of not receiving an academic education. Missionaries are going to a university to attend language learning classes (to understand and speak a nation’s native language) and also attend a ministry-influenced Early Childhood Development degree.
There is a significantly large amount of countries with children that have received an education through the Lord’s followers. This ministry leaves an impact on these nations. They see the love, care, and nurture of these Christians that have a passion for teaching their community’s children.
From mathematical to literature, these missionaries teach the younger generation how to read. They also inspire the kids to look towards their future and pursue an education outside of grade school. This involves college education which leads to a more financially substantial future for them and their families.
Second, this ministry focuses more on the law aspect of a trip. There are so many amazing events that come out of the Social Justice ministry. When a missionary pursues this type of ministry, they are more involved in relationships with the adults of the nation.
More importantly, these Christians show the Lord’s love and light through counseling and comforting. An example of this type of ministry is the red-light district. This location is known as the red-light district for areas where human trafficking is common in normal life.
Many people are trafficked through work or sexual labor. Missionaries venture across the globe and step foot into another culture to love, save, and become close friends with these people who are lost, hopeless, and forced to do an activity they don’t want to do.
Business as Missions
Next, this ministry has been incredibly impactful to other nations for providing occupations and money for others in poverty. Missionaries that pursue this type of mission trip have more of an entrepreneur mentality.
Many nonbelievers of a lost nation have their homeland in an inferior economic situation. Jobs are very few and in-between to find. When this ministry is started up in one of these nations, occupations are created and pay is given to the supporters of their families.
There are several different coffee and pastry shops that are created to create occupations and unity to a nation’s community. Starting up a business in a different country can be difficult, but with the right training, that nation’s company that is created, lives are going to change forever.
The fifth mission activity is the ministry that gives a spiritual impact on the mission field. Before church planter missionaries start-up a House of God, it’s likely that the country didn’t have a place to worship the Lord. So, when someone takes initiative to create a church, people from the community and can gather and worship the Father’s name.
It’s amazing to see the wondrous events that happen in a physical church to feed the spiritual church. Miraculous healing happens, the Lord shows who He is, and prayer is intensified with passion when others gather as the church.
Lastly, this ministry shows the attributes of nurture and care. Medical missionaries travel across the globe to help heal and save humans who are deprived and are in critical condition. From providing on the spot surgery to injecting vaccines for a disease, the missionaries are strong-willed and show God’s love through healing and counseling.
Many nations have some type of critical illness that spreads around their village or town, and most of the time there is not a remedy. This mission trip leaves an impact on nations that were saved or shown love to the people groups.
The ones that do not know about the Lord, get introduced to Him through a follower of Christ. They grow relationships taking care of their patients and even share how God has shown them who He is and what He has done for them.
If you are more interested in reading about the different types of mission trips, here is a more elaborate article I wrote called What is Missionary Work & What Do Missionaries Do?
8 Historical Missionaries
With the five different categories of ministries (Early Childhood Education, Social Justice, Business as Missions, Church Building, and Medical Missions), there are specific missionaries that have reached far and beyond. Here are five important missionaries that have made an enormous impact on missions and the world itself.
1. Paul the Apostle
Paul the Apostle, mainly known as Saint Paul (or Saul of Tarsus ) was a missionary back in the 60 ADs. Paul went on four different mission trips in the New Testament (of the Bible) and is one of the leaders of the first generation of Christians.
This man was convicted as Saul and then later converted to Paul the Apostle. He was a major figure for the very small movement of Christianity and refused to deny beliving in the Lord after he was physically suffocated by the Lord’s light.
Paul’s faith had him a witness to being persecuted and thrown into prison multiple times for the Lord. His mission is to show God’s truth and love and it didn’t matter where or what the consequences were going to be.
2. William Carey (1761-1834)
Carey was an English Baptist missionary. He traveled to India to share the gospel. He is the perfect example of the Social Justice Missions movement because Carey showed India who God is. He studies their language and even translated the Bible into six different languages and dialects (in Bengali, Oriya, Marathi, Hindi, Assamese, and Sanskrit).
Having established a press at Serampore, Carey edited and published two works by horticulturist William Roxburgh, Hortus Bengalensis (1814) and Flora Indica (1832), and helped distribute prose texts for use in schools.
He also encouraged the use of Indians as missionaries and led in the formation of the Agricultural Society of India in 1820. Carey also opened the first theological university in Serampore (India) offering divinity degrees and campaigned to end the practice of sati (where a widow sacrifices herself by sitting above her deceased husband’s pyre).
3. Hudson Taylor (1832-1905)
Hudson Taylor was the most widely used missionary in China’s history. During his 51 years of service there, his China Inland Mission established 20 mission stations, brought 849 missionaries to the field.
Taylor ventured to Shanghai, China, and spent 51 years there. He also is known for the sensitivity to the Chinese culture and zeal of evangelism. Taylor had the opportunity to preach and minister in several varieties of China’s dialects. The last of these he knew well enough to help prepare a conversational edition of the New Testament written in it.
Hudson Taylor inspired generations of Christians to follow his example of service and sacrifice. Till today, Taylor is influencing many different full-time Chinese Christian missionaries. Several different ministries have now been created (even with China being strict on Christian views). He has motivated missionaries to fight for the Lord’s name and The Great Commission.
4. David Livingstone (1813-1873)
Livingstone was the first missionary to open the heart of Africa to the gospel. He received an education in medicine and missionary work before going to the nation that the Lord called him to. Livingstone eventually made his way to northern Africa and trudged along the Kalahari Desert (South Africa) in 1849.
Over the time period of several years, David Livingstone served in Africa, he continued his explorations and reached the western coast. Throughout his entire journey, Livingstone exposed God’s truth to several African people groups and spread the gospel to different villages.
Thanks to Livingstone, Africa has been influenced and inspired by many other missionaries. They have been receiving care and ministry from Christians from all over the world, and are now following the footsteps of other Christian missionaries. Spreading the Lord’s name to passed-down generations.
5. Mother Teresa (1910-1997)
Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu is the epitome of a medical missionary. She is known as a controversial figure for following her faith and showing God’s love to the people on one would care for. She is admired for a loving and caring and serving-heart.
Teresa found the Missionaries of Charity in 1950. This charity is a Roman Catholic religious congregation with over 4,500 nuns in 133 countries actively. This congratulation manages homes for others who are in the critical donation of AIDS/HIV, tuberculosis, and leprosy. This charity also ran different charitable activities such as soup kitchens, mobile clinics, family counseling sessions, orphanages, and schools.
By 1996, Teresa operated 517 missions in over 100 countries. Her Missionaries of Charity grew from twelve to thousands, serving the “poorest of the poor” in 450 centers worldwide. The first Missionaries of Charity home in the United States were established in the South Bronx area of New York City, and by 1984 the congregation operated 19 establishments throughout the country.
She also learned five other languages to help show love and relationships with her patients (Bengali, Albanian, Serbian, English, and Hindi). Teresa has been nominated for several different honors, humanitarian awards and also has won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Internationally, Teresa has influenced the world and changed other perspectives of the critically ill and in poverty. With her generous heart form the Lord, she showed others who felt hopeless theLord. Every baby, child, adult, and older person in her care was shown what God’s infinite love actually is.
6. David Brainerd (1718-1747)
Brainerd is an American missionary that’s one of the first missionaries to share the gospel with Native Americans. This people group was located in New Jersey and had their own language until his death in 1747. He preached about Jesus Christ being humanity’s savior and the results ended with seventy-seven Indians being baptized in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
This man also attended Yale had a building on campus named after him due be expelled for his Christian faith. Yale Divinity School is the only building on campus that was named after a former student. Brainerd would have pursued a degree in teaching or pastoral ministry if he wasn’t expelled.
Because of David Brainerd’s strong-will to preach and minister the gospel to this people group, he has influenced many others. In 1748 (after Brainerd’s death), a school founded by Eleazar Wheelock for Indians and colonists was built from the inspiration of Brainerd’s Native Native American education.
If it was not for David Brainerd, Dartmouth College and Princeton would not exists today. These colleges train, minister, and guide their students to be the best lawyers, doctors, and teachers.
Leadership is an important aspect of someone’s future and these universities mentor students to save, impact, and lead others’ lives.
7. Adoniram Judson (1788-1850)
Adoniram Judson (and wife Ann Judson) made an unforgettable imprint in history forever in missions through persecution. The Judsons are the first American missionaries to ever set sail from America. They initially had their mindset on India but ended up settling down in Burma (Myanmar located in Southeast Asia). The Judson’s both served in Burma for 40 years and planted many Baptist churches in Burma.
This man translated the entire New Testament (and important parts of the Old Testament) in Burmese which resulted in a massive spread of the gospel through the nation’s people. He ministered God’s Word and truth in Burma and influenced many people who lived there to know and grow more closely with the Lord.
Both Judson’s are the perfect example of faithful, and God-fearing missionaries. They sacrificed, obeyed, and trusted the Lord. With their submission to God’s authority, they have planted seeds in Burma and has grown the Christian faith in this location.
“The motto of every missionary, whether preacher, printer, or school master, ought to be devoted for life… It is a mistake to suppose that a dull and second-rate man is good enough for the heathen. The worst off needs the very best we have. God gave His best, even His only begotten Son, in order to redeem a lost world. Christianity will advance over the earth with long, swift strides when the churches are ready to send their best men and the best men are ready to go.”–Adoniram Judson, 1833
8. John G. Paton (1824-1907)
John Gibson Paton is a Scottish Protestant missionary to the New Hebrides Islands of the South Pacific. He brought the natives of Newbrides to the knowledge and awareness of Christ’s love. Paton is the epitome of the Business as Missions ministry because he founded and developed several small industries for the natives to have jobs. This industry was for hat making.
Paton’s morals and opinions were strongly opposed to a specific form of slavery called blackbirding (this involved in the actions of kidnapping and forcing natives out of their homes and relocating them). Paton attended seminary classes and also started a ministry in his home country Scotland. He married a woman named Mary and they both gave birth to their little boy. Both the wife and son died of pneumonia and Paton gave his mourning to the Lord. This resulted in him connecting even more with God and listened to whatever He would direct Paton to do.
One impactful event that Paton participated in was venturing to the ‘south seas’ (New Hebrides) to love on the people and share God’s name with them. These people were notoriously known as rebels and dangerous. Paton risked his life to show the island natives. After multiple attempts for many years, Paton had to leave the island due to his safety and wrote an Autobiography telling Christian missionaries that no matter the circumstances of the field, that the Lord will love and protect them following His calling.
Paton has influenced modern Christian missionaries to the present time and has changed the world. He has influenced Christians internationally because of all of the letters, notes, and journal entries that he wrote during his time serving on a dangerous mission field. Many missionaries today read his autobiography to be inspired and motivated to take the leap of faith and travel to a destination that will most commonly end in either persecution or harm.
For more examples of impactful missionaries, read further more into this blog: 10 Christian Missionaries Every Christian Should Know