Few people have taken the Great Commission as seriously as the Moravians.
Not unlike the early church in Acts 8, they, too, were displaced due to persecution, and eventually settled on the estate of Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf in the German province of Saxony in the 1720’s. In fact, Zinzendorf gave them land, and the Moravians established a village called Herrnhut, meaning “under the Lord’s watch.” There they built their homes and common buildings, such as a church, a home for widows, and places of business; and the community grew. This partnership would prove fruitful in the coming years.
Specifically, it was after attending the coronation of King Christian VI of Denmark in 1731 that Zinzendorf returned to the Moravians with news of people outside Europe who had never heard the name of Christ. He, and they, were gripped with a sense of urgency to respond to this situation, and together they sought the Lord. Within a year, two craftsman from their group volunteered to take the gospel to peoples in the West Indies.
Perhaps you’re thinking, “That’s good, But it’s only two. How is that a picture of momentum?”
Momentum is simply the collection of much movement. It’s not just one step, but many “one steps” at one time. But it still started with one single step. One simple movement. The single “one step” of those two Moravian craftsmen led to many more simultaneous “one steps” from lots of other Moravians, so many that the Moravians are considered to be a stirring example of Great Commission obedience.
Need proof? Here’s the Moravian momentum’s raw data as spelled out by George Miley in his book Loving the Church, Blessing the Nations:
In 1732 the Moravians sent their first missionary team to St. Thomas in the Caribbean. In the next twenty years, teams were sent to Greenland (1733), North America’s Indian territories (1734), Surinam (1735) South Africa (1736), the Samoyedic peoples of the Artic (1737), Algiers and Sri Lanka (1740), China (1742), Persia (1747) and Abyssinia and Labrador (1752).
By the end of the first decade of these mission initiatives, seventy cross-cultural witnesses had been sent from a church of six hundred. Fifty years later, a total of three hundred had been sent out, more than all Protestants before them put together.
Never underestimate the exponential effect of a single step. A bold challenge. A fervent prayer. A strong base. Solid support. Aimed at the right target—God’s heart for the nations—every action will be used by the Almighty to bring about his passion and purpose: a people from every nation, language, tribe, and tongue worshiping Him!