How to Do Missionary Work

By John Thiel

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.

We have the Elijah message to proclaim.

Elijah was overwhelmed with sorrow. In anguish of soul he besought God to arrest the once-favored people in their wicked course, to visit them with judgments, if need be, that they might be led to see in its true light their departure from Heaven. He longed to see them brought to repentance before they should go to such lengths in evil-doing as to provoke the Lord to destroy them utterly. {PK 119.2}

To Elijah was entrusted the mission of delivering to Ahab Heaven’s message of judgment. He did not seek to be the Lord’s messenger; the word of the Lord came to him. And jealous for the honor of God’s cause, he did not hesitate to obey the divine summons, though to obey seemed to invite swift destruction at the hand of the wicked king. The prophet set out at once and traveled night and day until he reached Samaria. At the palace he solicited no admission, nor waited to be formally announced. Clad in the coarse garments usually worn by the prophets of that time, he passed the guards, apparently unnoticed, and stood for a moment before the astonished king. {PK 120.2}

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Power was give to Jesus, therefore we have no power. Gods work and activity brings the result. How did Jesus do it? He came to his own but his own didn’t receive it because it wasn’t what they expected.

Jesus Didn’t Street Preach

Isaiah 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, [in whom] my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. 2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. 3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. 4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law. 5 Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: 6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;

They asked him, he did not go to them uninvited. Christ never forces his company upon anyone, he is our missionary leader. Jesus never went where he wasn’t invited. He spoke where he was wanted to speak. When Jesus was walking with the disciples on the road to Emmaus, as the two disciples reached their destination, Jesus moved on as to keep going and didn’t invite himself in. When the two disciples saw that, it caused them to press him to join them. As you mingle among the people, don’t impose on them. Jesus never street preached speaking loudly to those that didn’t inquire of him.

They had not advanced far on their journey when they were joined by a stranger, but they were so absorbed in their gloom and disappointment that they did not observe him closely. They continued their conversation, expressing the thoughts of their hearts. They were reasoning in regard to the lessons that Christ had given, which they seemed unable to comprehend. As they talked of the events that had taken place, Jesus longed to comfort them. He had seen their grief; He understood the conflicting, perplexing ideas that brought to their minds the thought, Can this Man, who suffered Himself to be so humiliated, be the Christ? Their grief could not be restrained, and they wept. Jesus knew that their hearts were bound up with Him in love, and He longed to wipe away their tears, and fill them with joy and gladness. But He must first give them lessons they would never forget. {DA 795.2}

Thus Christ discoursed to His disciples, opening their minds that they might understand the Scriptures. The disciples were weary, but the conversation did not flag. Words of life and assurance fell from the Saviour’s lips. But still their eyes were holden. As He told them of the overthrow of Jerusalem, they looked upon the doomed city with weeping. But little did they yet suspect who their traveling companion was. They did not think that the subject of their conversation was walking by their side; for Christ referred to Himself as though He were another person. They thought that He was one of those who had been in attendance at the great feast, and who was now returning to his home. He walked as carefully as they over the rough stones, now and then halting with them for a little rest. Thus they proceeded along the mountainous road, while the One who was soon to take His position at God’s right hand, and who could say, “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth,” walked beside them. Matthew 28:18. {DA 800.1}

During the journey the sun had gone down, and before the travelers reached their place of rest, the laborers in the fields had left their work. As the disciples were about to enter their home, the stranger appeared as though He would continue His journey. But the disciples felt drawn to Him. Their souls hungered to hear more from Him. “Abide with us,” they said. He did not seem to accept the invitation, but they pressed it upon Him, urging, “It is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” Christ yielded to this entreaty and “went in to tarry with them.” {DA 800.2}

Had the disciples failed to press their invitation, they would not have known that their traveling companion was the risen Lord. Christ never forces His company upon anyone. He interests Himself in those who need Him. Gladly will He enter the humblest home, and cheer the lowliest heart. But if men are too indifferent to think of the heavenly Guest, or ask Him to abide with them, He passes on. Thus many meet with great loss. They do not know Christ any more than did the disciples as He walked with them by the way. {DA 800.3}

Let us remember that the coming of the Lord is nearer than when we first believed. What a wonderful thought it is that the great controversy is nearing its end. In the great closing work we shall meet with perplexities that we know not how to deal with, but let us not forget that the three great Powers of heaven are working, that a divine hand is on the wheel, and that God will bring His purposes to pass. He will gather from the world a people who will serve Him in righteousness, who will not bind yokes on the necks of their fellow beings, but will break every yoke of human invention. {21MR 152.1}

The Lord speaks, saying, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters.” This is His promise. Will we comply with the conditions? {21MR 152.2}

When Christ was on this earth, He sought in vain for something with which to compare His kingdom. “Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God,” He said, “and with what comparison shall I compare it?” He who is the Wisdom of God seemed to hesitate, embarrassed. There was nothing in earthly governments which He could use as a means of comparison. Society contained no fitting symbol of His church. {21MR 152.3}

The kingdom of Christ does not and cannot bear any resemblance to the kingdoms of the world. In the kingdom of Christ there is no instrument of coercion. In it force has no place. The gospel of Him who gave His life for the life of the world is a gospel of peace. It is the Saviour’s grace, His love, His tender compassion, that breaks every barrier down. The gospel is a power of itself, above all and encompassing all. It is a divine, immutable principle, as well-spring fed by the stream that flows from the throne of God. {21MR 152.4}

The Way in Which God Works

There is a word that describes God’s way of working.

Romans 10:19 But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by [them that are] no people, [and] by a foolish nation I will anger you. 20 But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. 21 But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

What is he doing? He is reaching out unto a people in a very interesting kind of manner. What is the word that describes God?


There are many who read the Bible who do not practice its teachings. Those who occupy positions as teachers, as counselors, ought to be circumspect. They should be modest, unobtrusive, and manifest humility. Let us see what the Lord says about this matter. [Isaiah 57:15, 19; 66:2, quoted.] {21MR 182.1}

Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name [is] Holy; I dwell in the high and holy [place], with him also [that is] of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. 19 I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to [him that is] far off, and to [him that is] near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him. 

Isaiah 66:2 For all those [things] hath mine hand made, and all those [things] have been, saith the LORD: but to this [man] will I look, [even] to [him that is] poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

This is the ingredient of missionary activity. We should be unobtrusive, this is Gods missionary work.

Children of God are citizens of heaven. They are the purchase of the Son of God, His blood-bought family. Every soul is precious in His sight, more precious in His sight, more precious than fine gold, even than the golden wedge of Ophir, and yet to every one the word of God declares: [Romans 12:3, 10; 1 Peter 5:5, quoted]. {21MR 182.2}

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Not to think too highly of ourselves.

Romans 12:10 [Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

These words describe true humility of mind; they reveal a heart touched by the love of Jesus. He who has the Spirit of Christ will have modesty of demeanor, and his words will reveal that the Holy Spirit is cherished. Christians will not be bold, rash, dictatorial, boastful, denunciatory, and revengeful, but will manifest an unassuming, gentle spirit, and will show that they discern and appreciate the virtues of others. {21MR 182.3}

They will give due respect to all saints, counting them members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. They will speak kindly when in conversation, whether they are young or old, high or low, learned or unlearned. Their words will not be like piercing swords. They will not have a spirit to humble their brethren by accusing and condemning them for their faults or errors. {21MR 182.4}

Take this into our experience as then the Lord can do marvellous work amongst us. By not being obtrusive when someone is doing something wrong and is outspoken and being positively oppressive. When someone is like that, what do you want to do to them? I want to quiet this person so I will do something to bring them down. That is not God’s missionary work. It is so important to do this and we will be missionaries of such an order that people will say, This is God’s church. Don’t we need to be missionaries to each other?

If we ever reach heaven, it will be by linking our souls to Christ, leaning upon Him, and cutting loose from the world, its follies and enchantments. There must be on our part a spiritual co-operation with the heavenly intelligences. We must believe and work and pray and watch and wait. {6T 148.1}

This is an important exercise when we are touching the lives of people and they are not responding as we think they should. What do we do? Prod them. Patiently wait. I waited for a man in the ministry once for seven years. As I would see him around from time to time, I could tell he was someone I wanted to reach out for. I would see him and he would attack me and after seven years of waiting, we ended up with Bible studies. Finally when I was leaving New Zealand, he was baptised. He rang me and said your long patient work with me has come to fruition, I’m now baptised. This is God’s way, wait. Wait on him. You have a certain thing you need to deal with? What happened with Elijah? He waited three and half years and the Lord opened the door for him to do something. He sat by the brook cherub for three years waiting for the brook to dry out and then with the widow of Zarephath, another two years. What did he do all that time? He communed with God, he waited.

Sometimes you will feel you are a slack minister but while you are waiting you are active in doing something else. Don’t think you have to hone in on something while it comes to fruition. The waiting is a beautiful walk with the Lord. The moment we become anxious and we feel we have to do something, we make more mess than good. Sometimes we feel we are not doing our job. We are to be unobtrusive, no coercion. The people doing wrong sense it from you anyway. By waiting and waiting and always showing kindness eventually the Lord brings it around and this is the attitude we must have one to another as well. We may think if we don’t do it, we are not going to get anywhere. The Lord is at hand. People will be prepared to talk to you and look for counsel if you know you haven’t crowded in on them.


About The Typist

Sabbath Sermons is a small resource information ministry in Australia standing upon the original platform of the Adventist truth. We are dedicated to spreading the special 'testing truths' for our time and are not affiliated with the various denominations. This website is administered by lay members only

Posted on 05/09/2010, in Missionary Studies, Short Studies. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

%d bloggers like this: