Wayne Gretzky, one of the all-time great players of the National Hockey League says: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
During the past two centuries, modern missionaries took the shots, made the shots, and aggressively advanced the Great Commission. As part of the three great waves of missions, each of them linked to a timeframe, were championed by extraordinary people, and achieved a significant threshold for the advancement of the Gospel and global missions.
William Carey (1761-1834), a humble shoemaker and pioneer missionary to India for 40 years, started the first wave of missions - he took the shots and made them. During this time, missionaries from the West took the Gospel to key cities and trading ports along the coasts of many foreign countries.
The second wave was launched by missionary James Hudson Taylor (1832-1905) who realized that while many coastal cities were being reached with the Gospel, a vast number of interior regions in scores of countries had not yet been reached. Hudson Taylor took the shots and made them. He said: “The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed.”
The third wave was energized by Cameron Townsend (1896-1982), founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators, who was not afraid to take the shots and make them. He saw people in countless countries who didn’t have a Bible in their heart language. Townsend said: “The greatest missionary is the Bible in the mother tongue. It needs no furlough and is never considered a foreigner.”
Fast forward to today, involved in a new wave of missions is the global church - taking the shots, leveraging technology, and moving forward collaboratively at a velocity and with a power that is unprecedented.
Today’s global church understands that the power of the Gospel and the unswerving efforts of the first three waves of missions produced eternal results. The paramount mandate is still the Great Commission, which needs aggressive, purposeful, and collaborative participation in order to be fulfilled. The global church knows we have to be in anticipation of God’s Spirit to know where He is taking us, not simply be content with where we have been. We must be dependent on God so we can take the shots and make them, deliberately and strategically.
With a clear vision and passion, Faith Comes By Hearing wholeheartedly embraces the fulfillment of the Great Commission - committed to using every possible means so everyone everywhere has access to God’s Word in their heart language. “If the Great Commission is true, our plans are not too big; they are too small,” said author Pat Morley.
The resources to accomplish this task are already at-hand. As pastor and author John Piper said, “All the money needed to send and support an army of self-sacrificing, joy-spreading ambassadors is already in the church.” All of us have that sense of urgency Jesus spoke of when He described a plentiful harvest and a shortage of harvesters. But “the Gospel is only good news if it gets there in time,” as the late Bible scholar Carl F. Henry stated.
Jerry Jackson, founder and president of Faith Comes By Hearing, says, “We have been willing to walk through every door that God has seen fit to open, and we stand ready to do the same in the future.”
We will continue to take every shot, realizing the task is collaborative and not competitive; we partner with others, sharing resources and technology to get God’s Word to everyone everywhere in their heart languages.
To God be the glory!
Gretzky, Wayne. Brainy Quote. 2016. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
Henry, Carl F.H. Quotes. Quotable Quote. 2016. “The Gospel is only good news if it gets there in time.”
Hudson Taylor, James. Top 24 Hudson Taylor Quotes by Pamela Rose Williams. 2016. “The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed.”
Jackson, Jerry. PRNewswire. Faith Comes By Hearing Celebrates 40 Years of ‘bringing His church together and making disciples.’ October 16, 2012. “We have been willing to walk through every door that God has seen fit to open, and we stand ready to do the same in the future.”
Morley, Pat. 20 Missions quotes that will challenge you to action. Mike Livingstone. 2016. “If the Great Commission is true, our plans are not too big; they are too small.”
Piper, John. Get motivated for God’s Great Commission with these missionary quotes. Mission quotes PART I. 2013. “All the money needed to send and support an army of self-sacrificing, joy-spreading ambassadors is already in the church.”
Townsend, William Cameron. The Traveling Team. 2015. “The greatest missionary is the Bible in the mother tongue. It needs no furlough and is never considered a foreigner.”