Updated: Nov 21, 2019
Is it important to know about missionaries from the past? Getting some laypersons to present biographies of missionary heroes of the past can be an excellent way to stimulate missions education. We did it in our church! A couple of presenters couldn’t get through their whole presentations without tears, they were so moved!
Here are some guidelines:
Have the volunteer/recruited presenter study the biography, probably starting with Ruth Tucker’s book “From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya” (an anthology of missionary biographies).
Tell them to concentrate on answers to the following:
General Outline for Missionary Biography
When did this person live and what was the spiritual climate of his environment and upbringing?
What were the formative influences and events which moved this person to serve God in missions?
How did this person become equipped to serve God in missions?
What were the unique characteristics of the people to whom he ministered? And with whom he ministered (his colleagues or missions sending agency)?
What did he set out to do in ministry? And what did he actually spend most of his time and energy doing?
What were the most significant challenges and achievements of his ministry?
What was the most important legacy of his influence? I.e. – What did he do or what were his principles that continued to influence others after his death?
What lesson/s might we learn from this great missionary?
Here’s a suggested list to start with (in chronological order):
Count Nicolaus Von Zinzendorf (1700-1760)
David Brainerd (1718-1747)
William Carey (1761-1834)
Adoniram Judson (1788-1850)
John Paton (1824-1907)
Hudson Taylor (1832-1905)
Charles Thomas (C.T.) Studd (1860-1931)
Here is a second set:
Samuel Zwemer 1867-1952
Lilias Trotter 1853-1928
Lottie Moon 1840-1912
Nate Saint 1923-1956
Cameron Townsend 1896-1982
Stan Dale (1916-1968) &
Phil Masters (1932-1968)
Finally, here is a more comprehensive set to choose from:
Suggested Missionary Biographies
Nicolaus von Zinzendorf
George & Sarah Boardman
Robert & Mary Moffat
J. Hudson Taylor