First the Spirit Comes, then the Mission Grows
We’ve been seeing how the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Moravian believers in the early 18th Century led them directly into evangelistic passion.
This passion not only resulted in fervent prayer, but also in actual plans to reach the nations of the world with the gospel message.
These Spirit-baptised believers did not merely revel in their enjoyment of the experience of God’s power but got to work, began to plan and sacrificially left home and country to proclaim the good news to others.
Organised for Mission
For every 60 Moravian believers, one was a missionary! That’s a staggering statistic compared to estimates for the rest of 18th Century Protestantism, which has been put at 1:5000 (See Ruth Tucker – From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya, Zondervan, p.69).
In 1727 (two weeks after the outpouring) they began a 24 hour a day prayer meeting that lasted all through the Great Awakening and on for over a hundred years!
It was while Peter Boehler was on his way to America that he met John Wesley (in 1738) in the Moravian meeting in Aldersgate Street, London and sparked the Evangelical Revival by gaining Wesley’s conversion!!
Zinzendorf even planted a church in Geneva (in 1741), having moved 50 people from Herrnhut as the core group.
A ‘Missional’ Church
In 1862 Bost wrote:
‘The church of the United Brethren may indeed be called a ‘missionary church’. No other body of professing Christians can lay an equal claim to that appellation;
for the establishment of missions to the heathen is considered by them as part of the business of the church, as such, and one of the main designs of its existence, while every brother and sister stands prepared to go wherever the general voice shall determine, according to the opinion entertained of their qualifications and gifts.’ (A Bost – History of the Moravians, London, 1862, Religious Tract Society, p.400)
Jesus said we would ‘receive power when the Holy Spirit comes’ on us. But He didn’t stop at saying we were to enjoy God’s power. Something would happen. Something would change. And it is this: ‘you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ (Acts 1:8)
Are you seeking God for a similar outpouring of God’s ‘power’ on your life, and for similar results of His power?
Next time we’ll see how the power of the Spirit ignited Apostolic passion
© 2009 Lex Loizides