Missionaries are people who leave their homes to enter into a different cultural context to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Quotes about their work can inspire us and help us remember the importance of sharing the Gospel.
Quotes About Missionary Work
To start, here are quotes about missionary work by pastors and other Christian leaders. I hope these quotes will inspire you today.
These bold brothers and sisters weren’t just willing to live for Jesus; they were willing to die for Him. I asked myself—as I have a thousand times since—why are so few of us in America willing to live for Jesus when others are so willing to die for Him? Seeing Jesus through the eyes of the persecuted church transformed me.Johnnie Moore
Johnnie More is an evangelical leader. He was Ben Carson’s faith advisor during his 2016 presidential campaign. This quote was taken from his book, “The Martyr’s Oath: Living for the Jesus They’re Willing to Die For.” In his book, he writes about eyewitness accounts of Christian persecution. He wrote this book to help readers learn about why people are willing to die for Christ. We need to be reminded of our brothers and sisters in Christ who are being persecuted for their faith. We need to be praying for them and asking God to strengthen them. Although it can be difficult to read stories of persecution, they help to remind us how priceless the Gospel is. It also challenges us to live out of faith.
Jeffrey R. Holland
Missionary work in not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience.Jeffrey R. Holland
Jeffrey R. Holland serves on the Quorum for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His quote reminds us that missionary work is not easy because Christ’s work on the cross is priceless. He set us free from darkness and has made a way for us to enter the kingdom of God. Words cannot describe how incredible it is to bring another person into the kingdom of God.
D. Todd Christofferson
The work of our missionaries is a magnificent expression of the Lord’s redeeming love.D. Todd Christofferson
D. Todd Christofferson serves on the Quorum for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His words encourage us as we remember missionaries are being sent out to show God’s love to people around the world.
You will never make a missionary of the person who does no good at home. He that will not serve the Lord in the Sunday school at home, will not win children to Christ in China.Chalres Spurgeon
Charles Spurgeon is a famous preacher from the 1800s. This quote reminds us missionaries are people who are willing to serve overseas and leave their home town. They are willing to serve wherever they go. We can be encouraged as remember missionaries are people who serve the Lord wherever they are. We should be Christians who serve God wherever we are.
Oswald J. Smith
We talk of the Second Coming; half the world has never heard of the first.Oswald J. Smith
Oswald was a Canadian pastor who advocated for missions. His quote remains true to this day. We need to be praying for missionaries to be sent out into unreached places in the world. We should ask God what are part is in fulfilling the Great Commission. We all have a role to play in fulfilling the Great Commission as followers of Jesus.
The truth is most mission work is carried out where the church already exists. Only small percentages are working where the church is non-existent.George Verwer
To help put this quote into perspective think about this for a minute: there are 309,315 missionaries to reached people and only 13,315 missionaries to unreached people groups (Traveling Team). Missionaries are going where there is already a church. Although this can be discouraging, we can do our part to pray for missionaries to be sent to the unreached people in the world. Joshua Project is an organization with the purpose to make unreached people groups known to Christians. They have an unreached people group of the day for Christians to pray for. Click here to learn more.
Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson
Hastening the work has to do with the excitement we all feel about sharing the message of the Gospel.Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson
Sister Bonnie was the President for the Young Women’s group for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her quote reminds us of how exciting it is to share the Gospel around the world. We should be excited about supporting missionaries. Also, we should be excited to tell people we know about the Gospel. We have the privilege of inviting people to enter into the kingdom of God.
The will of God — nothing less, nothing more, nothing else.F.E. Marsh
Marsh was an author and public speaker. His quote tells us what the goal should be for every missionary: to do the will of God. It should be our desire to do God’s will, too. God has a plan and He knows what is best. As Matthew 6:10 says, “your kingdom come, your will be done.” Let’s pray for God’s will to be done through missionaries and in our life as well.
Quotes from Missionaries about Mission Work
Now, its time for quotes from missionaries about their work. These brave missionaries dedicated their lives to serving God. These quotes are powerful and tell of how God has moved around the world. These quotes inspired me and reminded me why I am attending a missionary school. I believe you will be inspired as you read of how bold these men and women were for Christ.
The missionary heart: care more than some think is wise. Risk more than some think is safe. Dream more than some think is practical. Expect more than some think is possible. I was called not to comfort or success but to obdience. There is no joy outside knowing Jesus and serving Him.Karen Watson
Karen Watson was a missionary to Iraq. Before she left America, she gave her pastor a letter only to be read in the chance she died while serving overseas. She died in March of 2004. Her vehicle was ambushed while she was in Iraq. The quote above is taken from the letter she had written. Karen reminds us to not fear death but to live boldly for Christ and go where He sends you. Without Christ, we have no joy. Our joy is found in Christ alone.
“If I had 1,000 lives, I’d give them all for China.Hudson Taylor
Hudson Taylor was a missionary in China for 51 years during the late 1800s. He founded a missionary sending organization called China Inland Mission. His work continues today through OMF International (formerly called China Inland Mission). He understood the importance of bringing the Gospel to China. We can be encouraged as we read of his dedication to serving God by bringing the Gospel to China. You can read more about Taylor’s story here.
“It was strictly forbidden to preach to other prisoners. It was understood that whoever was caught doing this received a severe beating. A number of us decided to pay the price for the privilege of preaching, so we accepted their [the communists’ ] terms. It was a deal; we preached and they beat us. We were happy preaching. They were happy beating us, so everyone was happy.Richard Wurmbrand, Tortured for Christ
Richard Wurmbrand wrote a book entitled, “Tortured for Christ” to share his testimony of surviving persecution. During World War II, he and his wife, Sabina, saw the opportunity to share the Gospel with the German forces (Tortured for Christ). They preached the Gospel and handed out over one million Bibles to Russian soldiers. They were put in chains and beaten for their faith. Persecution did not stop Richard and Sabina. They continued to share Jesus and helped with smuggling Bibles into Russia. He founded a ministry called Jesus to the Communist World, which is now called The Voice of the Martyrs. He helped to give Christians suffering persecution a voice. Seeing someone willing to give up everything and even be brutally beaten for Christ inspires us to live without fear of what could happen to us. We can live for Christ unashamedly and risk it all for Him.
Missionary zeal does not grow out of intellectual beliefs, nor out of theological arguments, but out of love.Roland Allen
Roland Allen was a missionary to China for around six years. He wrote a book called, “Missionary Methods” which is a study about Paul’s missionary journey and how we can learn from Paul’s work to help us with missions today. His quote reminds us that missionaries serve people overseas out of love. 1 Corinthians 13:1 says, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” Without love, our words and actions mean nothing. With love, our words and actions can point others to Christ as we honor Him with our life.
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
Nate Saint was a missionary pilot. He and his wife served with Mission Aviation Fellowship in Ecuador. His work as a pilot was useful on the mission field. He was able to help invent the “bucket drop” to bring gifts to tribes. This meant dropping gifts to a tribe while flying over them. Nathan became a martyr, along with four other men, while trying to meet with a tribe called Aucas (MAF). The tribe killed the men, but this is not where the story ends. After this killing, many people in the tribe came to know Jesus, including men who had assisted in the killing of these five missionaries. His quote shows how dedicated he was to serve Christ. It pushes us to ask ourselves if we are wasting our lives away? Or are we living for Christ and doing what He asks us to do?
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
Robert Moffat is reflecting in this quote from when he was in Africa. This sentence is part of what inspired David Livingstone to go to Africa. To this day, there are still people in the world who haven’t heard the Gospel. Joshua Project estimates there are around 7,000 people groups who still need the Gospel today. That’s over 40% of the world’s people groups. Quotes like this one can help inspire us to be praying for missionaries to be sent out into these places.
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
Dave Davidson points out if we believe we have the cure for the world, why would we keep it to ourselves? We have what people in the world are looking for and need. They need love. They need hope. They need peace. The world cannot give them what they need. They will only be satisfied if they have a relationship with Jesus. Nothing else will do. It’s our job to tell them and invite them into the kingdom of God. We can pray and ask God to give us boldness to share the Gospel.
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
C.T. Studd was a missionary to China, India, and Africa. This quote was his life’s motto. He understood the price Jesus paid for his salvation and was willing to give up anything in return. The only thing we can give to Jesus is our lives. Are we willing to sacrifice anything for Him? We can praise Jesus and thank Him for dying for us by laying down our life and allowing Him to use us.
Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.William Carey
William Carey is known as the “father of modern missions.” He was a missionary to India. When he was a boy, there was a picture hanging at his church with the phrase, “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.” This phrase became his life motto as he served Christ overseas and trusted Him to provide. Like William Carey, we can attempt great things for God. We simply need to be willing to do what He asks of us. You can read more about Carey’s story here.
John Keith Falconer
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
John’s quote is talking about how the Gospel is his “candle of life.” He wanted to dedicate his life to telling others, who are living in darkness, about the Gospel. He did this by serving as a missionary in Aden, Yem. There he worked to start an orphanage along with his wife. This quote reminds us we only have one life. Will we spend our time bringing light to people who are in darkness?
It is no sacrifice, as some think, to come here as pioneers of Christianity and of civilization. I would not give my position here for all the world. A powerful race has to be won from darkness to light; superstition and idolatry have to be overthrown; men have to be taught to love God and love their neighbor, which means the uprooting of institutions that have lasted for centuries; labor made noble, the slave set free, knowledge imparted, and wisdom implanted; and, above all, that true wisdom taught which alone can elevate man from a brute to a son of God. Who would not willingly engage in such noble work, and consider it the highest honor on earth to be called to do it?Alexander Mackay
Alexander penned these words while in Uganda in November of 1878. He lived in Uganda for twelve years, until his death due to malaria fever. He was only forty when he died. His passion for the Lord and bringing people into the kingdom of God can be seen in his quote. He considered it an honor that God would use him to spread the Gospel. We should all keep in mind the great honor it is to serve Jesus, just as Alexander did.
I cannot tell you what joy it gave me to bring the first soul to the Lord Jesus Christ. I have tasted almost all the pleasures that this world can give. I do not suppose there is one that I have not experienced, but I can tell you that those pleasures were as nothing compared to the joy that the saving of that one soul gave me.C.T. Studd
Here is another beautiful quote by C.T. Studd. He tells us of the first time he saw someone come into the kingdom of God. The joy of seeing someone become a follower of Jesus was the most rewarding experience for him. We can remember this when it seems hard to share the Gospel, it’s always worth it. Even if you don’t see someone come to faith right away, you are planting seeds in their hearts. You can’t see what God is doing in their hearts. You just have to be willing to let God will use you.
Love is the root of missions; sacrifice is the fruit of missions.Roderick Davis
Davis was a missionary to Keyna. His quote tells the truth that missions require both love and sacrifice. Missionaries must be willing to give up their lives for the sake of the Gospel. Missions are rooted in love. Love is the reason missionaries leave their homes. Love is the reason people support missions.
Missionary life is simply a chance to die.Amy Carmichael
Amy was a missionary to India and is known for opening a safe house for children being trafficked. She gave up her life to help protect children and share the Gospel in India. As Luke 9:24 says, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” We are called as Christians to lay down our lives. Jesus sacrificed everything for us. The least we can do is give Him our life. You can read more about Amy’s story here.
The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become.Henry Martyn
Martyn was a missionary to India and Persia. He worked to translate the Bible for the Persian people. His quote inspires us to walk closer to God. As we become closer to God, our passion for missions will grow. Our longing for others to know God and to come into His kingdom should become a priority. Let’s pray and ask God to create a passion for missions in our hearts.
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
Here is another inspiring quote by missionary C.T. Studd. His quote reminds us of the sacrifice required when following Jesus. He had a true desire for people to know and follow Jesus. His bravery and boldness can inspire us to share the Gospel without fear and step out in faith. As Paul wrote in Phillippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
All my desire was the conversion of the heathen… I declare, now I am dying, I would not have spent my life otherwise for the whole world.David Brainerd
David Brainerd was a missionary to Native Americans during the 1700s. He spent his life serving the Native Americans and saw many of them come to the Lord. Throughout his time as a missionary, he was offered many jobs as a church minister, but he turned them down. As we can see from his quote, he did not regret staying among the Native American people. I hope we will all be able to say the same thing when we die. This quote can inspire us to re-evaluate our lives. Are we prioritizing God and His plan for us? You can read more about Brainerd’s story here.
There are three stages to every great work of God; first it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.Hudson Taylor
Here is another quote from Taylor. As a missionary, he knew what it was like think something is impossible. Many of us have also thought something was impossible. You may have thought to yourself before, “that person will never come to know Christ.” But, Luke 1:37 says, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” Without God, Taylor’s ministry would have been impossible. With God, it was possible. When we come into situations that seem impossible, let’s remember that everything is possible with God. Take time to pray for the situation and as God to do what you think is impossible.
God had only one Son, and He was a missionary.David Livingstone
Lastly, a reminder from David Livingstone that Jesus was a missionary. Jesus spent His time on earth spreading the Gospel. Matthew 4:17 says, “From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.'” We have the honor of telling others about Jesus and inviting them into the kingdom of God.
I hope these quotes about missionary work have inspired and encouraged you. I want to encourage you to start praying for missionaries and unreached people groups in the world on a regular basis. As missionary Amy Carmichael said, “If you are ever inclined to pray for a missionary, do it at once, wherever you are. Perhaps he may be in great peril at that moment.” Let’s be dedicated to praying for missionaries and ask God to equip more people to share the Gospel around the world.
If you are unsure how to pray for missions and missionaries, check this blog out.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.Matthew 28:18-20