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This assortment of quotes focuses on the missionary work of the Christian Church - regarding the fulfillment of the Great Commission of Jesus Christ.

(Although the term missional is sometimes used by the emergent church movement, the quotes here are not specific to the terminology of that movement.)

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Holy Bible[edit]

– from the New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Jesus Christ[edit]

On Being Sent[edit]

  • Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work." John 4:34
  • "I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me." John 5:30
  • "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me." John 6:38
  • "I know Him; because I am from Him, and He sent Me." John 7:29
  • "And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him." John 8:29
  • "We must work the works of Him who sent Me, as long as it is day; night is coming, when no man can work." John 9:4
  • And Jesus cried out and said, "He who believes in Me does not believe in Me, but in Him who sent Me. And he who beholds Me beholds the One who sent Me." John 12:44-45
  • "For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me commandment, what to say, and what to speak." John 12:49
  • "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me." John 13:20
  • "And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent." John 17:3
  • "For the words which Thou gavest Me I have given to them; and they received them, and truly understood that I came forth from Thee, and they believed that Thou didst send Me." John 17:8
  • "As Thou didst send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world." John 17:18
  • Jesus therefore said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you." John 20:21

On Mission[edit]

  • "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20
  • "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." Mark 10:45
  • "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." Luke 19:10
  • "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him." John 3:16-17
  • "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." Acts 1:8

Apostle Paul[edit]

  • "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." Romans 1:16
  • "Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God." 2 Corinthians 5:20
  • "...in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord." Ephesians 3:10-11
  • "And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ." Colossians 1:28


  • Every heart with Christ, a missionary; every heart without Christ, a mission field.
    • Dick Hillis (1913-2005), Missionary to Asia, Founder of OC International (formerly Orient Crusades)
  • Mission cannot be something separate from or added to the essence of the Church. The essential nature of the local congregation is, in and of itself, mission, or else the congregation is not really the Church.
    • God's Missionary People by Charles Van Engen, 1991, p. 70.
  • The church is missionary by nature because God has sent it on a mission in the world under the leading of the Holy Spirit. It is to bear witness to God's redemptive reign. Just as God is a missionary God, so the church is to be a missionary church.
    • The Essence of the Church by Craig Van Gelder (p. 98)
  • God’s church falters from exhaustion because Christians erroneously think that God has given them a mission to perform in the world. Rather, the God of mission has given his church to the world. It is not the church of God that has a mission in the world, but the God of mission who has a church in the world. The church’s involvement in mission is its privileged participation in the actions of the triune God.
    • Beyond Duty: A Passion for Christ, a Heart for Mission by Tim Dearborn (p. 2)
  • The church exists, in other words, for what we sometimes call "mission": to announce to the world that Jesus is its Lord.
  • When the church is in mission, it is the true church. The church itself is not only a product of that mission but is obligated and destined to extend it by whatever means possible. The mission of God flows directly through every believer and every community of faith that adheres to Jesus. To obstruct this is to block God's purposes in and through his people.
  • It is not the local church that will change the world; it is Jesus. Attendance on Sundays does not transform lives; Jesus within their hearts is what changes people.
    • Organic Church by Neil Cole (p. xxiv)
  • It's possible to be a missionary without ever leaving your zip code.
    • Planting Missional Churches by Ed Stetzer (p. 2)
  • Missional means actually doing mission right where you are. Missional means adopting the posture of a missionary, learning and adapting to the culture around you while remaining biblically sound.
    • Planting Missional Churches by Ed Stetzer (p. 19)
  • The church exists for the sake of the world....The ultimate goal of all ministry is to reach others for Christ.
  • Christ's strategy is to scatter His people throughout the world between Sundays, penetrating society's structure from within. They are the true ministers of Jesus Christ in the world. Rightly understood, every believer is in full-time service for Jesus Christ. That movement is a lay movement, and the church's impact is the aggregate of all the laity's impac as they carry out their common tasks between Sundays.
    • Perspective (a biweekly devotional letter of Concern Ministries, Inc) by Richard Halverson, n.d.
  • Our mission has not life of its own: only in the hands of the sending God can it truly be called mission. Not least since the missionary initiative comes from God alone.
  • Jesus was the first apostle. He was sent by his Father. He, in turn, sent the Twelve. They went to people who would then take the gospel to the rest of the world. Whoever received it would understand that they, too, had been sent. With the gospel being what it is, the church as bearer of the gospel is bound to be apostolic.
    • The Insider by Jim Petersen and Mike Shamy
  • The essence of any church is its mission. The essence of God's mission is extravagant love, which Jesus Christ communicated and displayed for us on the cross.
    • Lost In America by Tom Clegg (p. 20)
  • The calling of the church in every culture is to be mission. That is, the work of the church is not to be an agent or servant of the culture. The churches’ business is not to maintain freedom or to promote wealth or to help a political party or to serve as the moral guide to culture. The church’s mission is to be the presence of the kingdom. . . . The church’s mission is to show the world what it looks like when a community of people live under the reign of God.
  • If we want to be on mission with God we simply must pause long enough to understand how God is on mission. Only then can we know with some degree of certainty that we are aligned as his instruments and not misaligned as his obstacles.
    • Church Planting Movements by David Garrison, 2004, p. 28.
  • The church doesn't exist for itself; it exists to serve the world. It is not ultimately about the church; it's about the people God wants to bless through the church. When the church loses sight of this, it loses its heart.
  • At the core, it is not the number of activities a church is involved in that defines success, but whether those activities result in accomplishing God's mission for His church.
    • Shaped By God's Heart by Milfred Minatrea, 2004, p. xvi.
  • It is imperative that Christians be like Jesus, by living freely within the culture as missionaries who are as faithful to the Father and his gospel as Jesus was in his own time and place.
  • It is in the very being of God that the basis for the missionary enterprise is found. God is a sending God, with a desire to see humankind and creation reconciled, redeemed, and healed. The missional church, then, is a sent church. It is a going church, a movement of God through his people, sent to bring healing to a broken world.
  • The time for getting people to come to church is over. It is time now to get people to come to Christ.
  • The church was first established and organized with a world-wide mission for a world-wide work.
    • The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church by Roland Allen (p. 96)
  • The Church is sent into the world to continue that which he came to do, in the power of the same Spirit, reconciling people to God (John 20:19-23).
  • Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn't. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity, But worship abides forever.
  • The Church exists by mission, just as fire exists by burning.
    • The Word and the World by Emil Brunner (p. 108) (Quoted in Michael Griffiths, God's Forgetful Pilgrims: Recalling the Church to its Reason for Being, p. 135)
  • The life of the church is the heart of God. The heart of God is to serve a broken world. When Jesus wrapped a towel around his waist, he reminded us that only he could wash away our sin. The church cannot live when the heart of God is not beating within her. God's heartbeat is to seek and save that which is lost. The church exists to serve as the body of Christ, and it is through this commitment to serve that we are forced to engage the culture.
  • Jesus came to ignite a fire within you that would consume you and ignite you. Jesus the King came to fight for your heart. If He has won your heart, then to follow your heart will always lead you to follow the heart of God. He will always lead you to advance forward behind enemy lines to win the hearts of those who do not yet know Him or love Him.
  • A mission focus looks first at those who are outside the church before it ever looks at the internal needs of the church.
    • Invading Secular Space by Martin Robinson & Dwight Smith, 2003, p. 167.
  • Success is achieving an intended outcome. Success in God’s Church is achieving the outcome God intends. Another word for this outcome is mission.
    • Winning on Purpose by John Edmund Kaiser (p. 19)
  • If the Church is to be missional rather than institutional, we must begin with a clear understanding of what that mission is....Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, the Lord of the Church. Christ cast the only ballot that counts. Since Jesus Christ is the owner of his Church and thus all of its local expressions, we do not get to dream up the mission for our congregation.
    • Winning on Purpose by John Edmund Kaiser (p. 52)
  • Christians living in modern culture face a fundamental challenge. That challenge is to learn to think about their culture in Missional terms.
    • Write the Vision by Wilbert R. Shenk (p. 43)
  • To fulfill the Great Commission, we need to stop doing ministry by addition and start doing ministry by multiplication...planting churches that plant churches that plant churches that plant churches.
    • Be Fruitful and Multiply by Robert E. Logan (p.58)
  • Mission is no longer about crossing the oceans, jungles and deserts, but about crossing the streets of the world's cities.
    • A Theology as Big as the City, by Ray Bakke (p. 13)
  • Remember, you are never more like God than when you are living in relationships with God's people and working in partnerships for the re-creation and redemption of God's world.
    • A Theology as Big as the City, by Ray Bakke (p. 35)
  • The Church is by nature missionary to the extent that, if it ceases to be missionary, it has not just failed in one of its tasks, it has ceased being Church.
    • What is Mission?: Theological Explorations by J. Andrew Kirk, 2000, p. 30.
  • Participating in the mission of God means leaving our place of security, to travel to the place where other are. This is the heartbeat of the incarnation....Mission is always in the direction of the other, and away from ourselves.
    • Threshold of the Future: Reforming the Church in the Post-Christian West by Michael Riddell, 1998, p. 24.
  • When the church ceases to reach out to all people, it ceases to be a true church. This is why the Great Commission is a controlling and central command. All these metaphors and commands spring out of one profound reality: the church is a result of and a participant in the mission of God.
    • Planning Strategies for World Evangelization by E.R. Dayton and D.A. Fraser, 1990, p. 45.