Book Review – Andrew Murray’s “Key to the Missionary Problem”

This book has provided me with a wake-up call, a fresh understanding of the history if missions, the importance of every believer participation, and my position as a pastor of a church.  Although Andrew Murray, South African Pastor, Evangelist, missionary, was not able to attend the April 1900 Ecumenical Missionary Conference in New York he did respond to the papers submitted at the Conference.  The Key to the Missionary Problem is largely that response and a challenge to pastors and parishioners to take missions seriously.  Instead of training missionaries we should ignite missions in the heart of every believer.  Pastors should see the world as their parish and seek the fulfilment of the Great Commission as the church’s chief end.  The church’s response to missions has been affected by the world and lack of prayer.  Murray brings out the important work of the Moravians.  “In the first twenty years of its existence the Moravian Church actually sent out more missionaries than the whole Protestant Church had done in two hundred years” (46). We are indebted to the Moravians for their great work which shows up in the Wesleyan churches.  “Three great principles taught by the Holy Spirit in any time of His mighty working are these: (1) that the church exists only for extending the kingdom (2) that every member must be trained to take part in it and (3) that the personal experience of the love of Christ is the power that fits for this”(53).  The Missionary Problem is a personal problem within the life of every believer.  Therefore, as preceding the Day of Pentecost every believer must prepare to receive the Holy Spirit by forsaking, consecrating, and surrendering all to Jesus Christ.  A deep spiritual life connected and in tune to Jesus Christ is the key!  Murray states, “Every believer has been saved with the express purpose to save others” (100).  For this reason we must commit ourselves to prayer!

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