The Mind of a Missionary: Nikolaus Zinzendorf

1024 538 David Joannes

Global Kingdom worker: Nikolaus Zinzendorf

Role in The Mind of a MissionaryHe appears in section one: Motivations, chapter three: Passion for the Glory of God.

Dates: May 26, 1700—May 9, 1760

Location of missions work: Worldwide

Known for: Nikolaus Zinzendorf was a German religious and social reformer, bishop of the Moravian Church, founder of the Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine, Christian mission pioneer, and a major figure of 18th-century Protestantism.

Famous quotes: “Ambassadors of Christ, Know ye the way you go? It is a path not strewed with flowers, But yielding thorns and woe.”1

“I have but one passion, it is He, it is He alone. The world is the field, and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ.”

“I am destined to proclaim the message, unmindful of personal consequences to myself.”

In The Mind of a Missionary, section one: Motivations, chapter three: Passion for the Glory of God, you come to understand the quintessential motivator in the missionary mind: God’s glory. His glory undergirds your compassion for the lost and your obedience to the commands of Christ. You will see that not everyone is called to be a missionary, but all are called to play their part in God’s global mandate. You will learn how a negative shift in missions occurred and how our understanding of God’s Kingdom has led to lethargy and lack of concern for the Great Commission. In the end, you will be inspired to pursue the glory of God as He empowers you to see His Kingdom come to the earth.

 

The emphasis of God’s glory must be the core of missionary work. Without it, missionary labor gradually turns into drudgery. This, then, leads to exhaustion and often to the abandonment of the missions call. Love for the lost is not enough. Even the act of obedience devoid of God’s glory can sour the hearts and minds of global Kingdom workers. Everything is a hard toil without God’s sustaining supernatural empowerment of glory.2

 

Ocean blue and the sapphire sky met on the line of the distant horizon as the ship was readied to set sail from Copenhagen. On October 8, 1732, Johann Leonhard Dober and David Nitschmann, the first Moravian missionaries (sent by Nikolaus Zinzendorf), commenced their two-month voyage to the West Indies. They stood on deck as the families were there weeping. Many questioned the wisdom of their missionary task. The two young men might never return; still they were willing to sell themselves into slavery if it was the only way to reach the slaves.3

As the ship set sail, the gap widened between land and sea. The hawsers curled around the posts on the pier, and the young men linked arms. They gazed back at their well-wishers, lifted their hands as if in a sacred pledge, and called out to their friends on shore, “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering!”4

This clarion call was to become the cry of Moravian missions. Their zeal was unquenchable. Nothing was more important than giving their lives to the representation and the declaration of God’s glory to the ends of the earth. For His authority on earth allows us to dare to go to all nations. His authority in heaven gives us our only hope of success. And His presence with us leaves us no other choice.5

 

When our primary goal is to glorify God, it follows that we make Him known in the earth.6

 

When we glorify God, we are attuned to His heart. It is inevitable, then, that when we worship the Living God, we feel a deep sense of satisfaction. God delights to share His joy with His children.7

 

The Moravian missionary movement led by Nikolaus Zinzendorf was one of the most remarkable Christian movements in history. Within thirty years, the church sent hundreds of missionaries to many parts of the world. Their reach went far and wide, from the Caribbean to North and South America, the Arctic, Africa, and to the Far East.

They held firmly to the belief that every member was a minister and every disciple a disciple-maker. The Great Commission was not for the chosen few but a command to be obeyed by all. There were to be no spectators in the church. Each individual was convinced that they were invited to be involved in God’s grand global mission.

 

We are busy with religious activity for Christ, devoid of relational intimacy with Him. Like Martha, we forget to join Mary at the feet of Jesus. After all, this is the one thing that Jesus desires above all else—that we love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and, in turn, love our neighbor as ourselves.8

 

As you make God’s glory central in your missional efforts, the power of the Holy Spirit will use you in ways you thought impossible.

 

God does not involve us in ministry and mission because He needs us. He involves us in ministry and mission because He loves us.9

 

The Mind of a Missionary: What Global Kingdom Workers Tell Us About Thriving on Mission Today by David Joannes 
 
Books/resources:

Books by Nikolaus Zinzendorf

Books/resources referenced in chapter three of The Mind of a Missionary:

Brian Howell, Christianity Today, Roots of the Short-Term Missionary 1960-1985: A brief history of short-term mission in America (Part 1)
When Everything Is Missions by Denny Spitters and Matthew Ellison
David Platt, Mission Precision, Defining Missionary

  1. Nikolaus Zinzendorf, The Servants of Christ, no. 725, The Liturgy and Hymns of the American Province of the Unitas Fratrum, 1876, page 553
  2. David Joannes, The Mind of a Missionary: What Global Kingdom Workers Tell Us About Thriving on Mission Today, chapter three: Passion for the Glory of God
  3. History of the Moravian Church, Chapter VI, The Foreign Missions and Their Influence http://www.ccel.org/ccel/hutton/moravian.v.vi.html
  4. Paris Reidhead, Ten Shekels and a Shirt,  message delivered at Bethany Fellowship, Bloomington, Minnesota in 1965 http://www.parisreidheadbibleteachingministries.org/pdf/Ten_Shekels.pdf
  5. John R. W. Stott https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/14919141.John_R_W_Stott
  6. David Joannes, The Mind of a Missionary: What Global Kingdom Workers Tell Us About Thriving on Mission Today, chapter three: Passion for the Glory of God
  7. David Joannes, The Mind of a Missionary: What Global Kingdom Workers Tell Us About Thriving on Mission Today, chapter three: Passion for the Glory of God
  8. David Joannes, The Mind of a Missionary: What Global Kingdom Workers Tell Us About Thriving on Mission Today, chapter three: Passion for the Glory of God
  9. David Joannes, The Mind of a Missionary: What Global Kingdom Workers Tell Us About Thriving on Mission Today, chapter three: Passion for the Glory of God