Mission of the Local Church

Andrew Murray (1828-1917) was a pastor in South Africa with great clarity on the role of the local church in missions.

Please consider the following quotes from his book, Key to the Missionary Problem:

The Role of the Pastor and Local Church in Missions

"The one and supreme end of the Church is to bring the world to Christ." (96)

"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 missions are the chief end of the Church, and therefore the chief end for which his congregation exists. ... He must learn how to lead the congregation on to make the extension of Christ's kingdom the highest object of its corporate existence." (15)

"In the long run the spiritual tone of the missionaries and the mission congregation abroad cannot be higher than that of the home church out of which it was born. ... Great advances in missions are always connected with a deep revival of spiritual life, and a higher devotion to the Lord Jesus. ... The only way to waken true, deep, spiritual, permanent missionary interest is not to aim at this itself so much as to lead believers to a more complete separation from the world, and to an entire consecration of themselves, with all they have, to their Lord and His service." (55)

"The missionary problem is a personal one. Every believer, in receiving the love of Christ into his heart, has taken in a love that reaches out to the whole world. The great commission rests on every member of the Church." (90)

The responsibility for foreign missions rests on the pastor. The purpose of the church is God's eternal purpose and Christ's dying love: to bring the gospel to every creature. Every congregation is meant to be a training class for this work. The pastor's responsibility rests on four principles:

1. The primary purpose of the Church is missions.
2. The primary purpose of the ministry is to guide the Church in this work.
3. The primary purpose of preaching is to train the congregation to fulfill the Church's destiny.
4. The primary purpose of every minister is to equip himself thoroughly for this work.

The pastor needs to study three things: the world in its sin and misery, Christ in His dying love, and the Church as the link between the two. The missionary problem must be solved by the power of God's love. "The minister must study it, so he will learn to preach in new power - missions, the great work, the supreme end, of Christ, of the Church, of every congregation, of every believer, and especially of every minister." (109)

The Key to the Missionary Problem: A Passionate Call to Obedience in Action

Author: Andrew Murray

Publisher: Christian Literature Crusade, 2001, 173 pp.
ISBN: 087508401X

Andrew Murray was a well known South African pastor and devotional writer who responded to papers submitted for the 1900 World Missionary Conference. He concluded that the army of missionaries is so small because of a lack of enthusiasm for the King. He responds to the question of how the Church can be aroused to the work God has destined for her. The above are quotes...