The greatest missionary example and strategy: William Carey

Hi everyone. Hope you’re all doing great! I know I haven’t been very present here, but we all anticipated this with my traveling schedule. I miss writing to you and every chance I have I come to the blog to write something…

For your own information, it is a fact that I have been busy! Since I arrived in Brazil on the 10th of August I’ve been preaching every weekend, some times twice or even three times on a weekend. There was only one or two weekends where I did not preach, but I was traveling around and checking out some places to live and to sow the seed of the Gospel. All your prayers are appreciated. I still have two more weeks to go, and I’ll be preaching again! Yep, nor holidays for me. Keep praying, keep loving one another, keep reading your Bibles and relying on god alone.

I thought I should share this that I’m about to share, firstly because it moved me and convicted me, so I want to have it stored somewhere, and secondly because I think it will encourage many church planters and leaders out there.

I finished reading a short Biography on William Carey, the father of modern missions and I also read his main pamphlet published in the 18th Century and was amazed by how much of what he endeavored to apply can be used today. Here is a short excerpt from a few pages, see if that doesn’t move you:

“First, as to their distance from us, whatever objections might have been made on that account before the invention of the mariner’s compass, nothing can be alledged for it, with any colour of plausibility in the present age. Men can now sail with as much certainty through the Great South Sea, as they can through the Mediterranean, or any lesser Sea.” 

Imagine what excuses do we have left now that no longer the great ships are the only way to convey the Gospel but we have the Internet, social media, channels that can take us around the world in fractions of seconds! Have you thought about it? Here is the answer: NONE!

“A Christian minister is a person who in a peculiar sense is not his own; he is the servant of God, and therefore ought to be wholly devoted to him. By entering on that sacred office he solemnly undertakes to be always engaged, as much as possible, in the Lord’s work, and not to chuse his own pleasure, or employment, or pursue the ministry as a something that is to subserve his own ends, or interests, or as a kind of bye-work. He engages to go where God pleases, and to do, or endure what he sees fit to command, or call him to, in the exercise of his function. He virtually bids farewell to friends, pleasures, and comforts, and stands in readiness to endure the greatest sufferings in the work of his Lord, and Master. It is inconsistent for ministers to please themselves with thoughts of a numerous auditory, cordial friends, a civilized country, legal protection, affluence, splendor, or even a competency. The flights, and hatred of men, and even pretended friends, gloomy prisons, and tortures, the society of barbarians of uncouth speech, miserable accommodations in wretched wildernesses, hunger, and thirst, nakedness, weariness, and painfulness, hard work, and but little worldly encouragement, should rather be the objects of their expectation.”

“Sure I am that it is entirely contrary to the spirit of the gospel, for its ministers to enter upon it from interested motives, or with great worldly expectations. On the contrary the commission is a sufficient call to them to venture all, and, like the primitive Christians, go every where preaching the gospel.”

“It might be necessary, however, for two, at least, to go together, and in general I should think it best that they should be married men, and to prevent their time from being employed in procuring necessaries, two, or more, other persons, with their wives and families, might also accompany them, who should be wholly employed in providing for them.”

“The Missionaries must be men of great piety, prudence, courage, and forbearance; of undoubted orthodoxy in their sentiments, and must enter with all their hearts into the spirit of their mission; they must be willing to leave all the comforts of life behind them, and to encounter all the hardships of a torrid, or a frigid climate, an uncomfortable manner of living, and every other inconvenience that can attend this undertaking. Clothing, a few knives, powder and shot, fishing-tackle, and the articles of husbandry above-mentioned, must be provided for them; and when arrived at the place of their destination, their first business must be to gain some acquaintance with the language of the natives, (for which purpose two would be better than one,) and by all lawful means to endeavour to cultivate a friendship with them, and as soon as possible let them know the errand for which they were sent.”

“They must take every opportunity of doing them good, and labouring, and travelling, night and day, they must instruct, exhort, and rebuke, with all long suffering, and anxious desire for them, and, above all, must be instant in prayer for the effusion of the Holy Spirit upon the people of their charge. Let but missionaries of the above description engage in the work, and we shall see that it is not impracticable.”

There must be a determination not to admit any person who is not of this description, or to retain him longer than he answers to it. From such a society a committee might be appointed, whose business it should be to procure all the information they could upon the subject, to receive contributions, to enquire into the characters, tempers, abilities and religious views of the missionaries, and also to provide them with necessaries for their undertakings.”

All quotes were taken from the works of William Carey, specially: Carey, William (2011-03-24). An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens In Which the Religious State of the Different Nations of … of Further Undertakings, Are Considered.

I pray that this excerpt will encourage you, inspire you and make us all think of what it takes to be a minister of the Gospel.

God bless you all!

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