Monday, May 28, 2012

Book Review ~ Great for God: Missionaries who Changed the World

In Great for God: Missionaries who Changed the World, David Shibley chronicles the lives of  twenty-three Christian missionaries. "The subjects of this book were visionary, motivated, and imperfect. They sought great things- but not for themselves. They were great for God" (p.10).

The missionaries detailed in Great for God are: Rowland Victor Bingham, William R. (Bill) Bright, William Carey, Amy Carmichael, Jim Elliot, Charles E. Fuller, H.B. Garlock, Adoniram Judson, Eric Liddell, Paul E. Little, David Livingstone, Lottie Moon, John R. Mott, Bob Pierce, Warren Shibley, Mary Slessor, Oswald J. Smith, C. T. Studd, Hudson Taylor, William Cameron Townsend, Dawson Trotman, Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf, and Samuel Zwemer.

Each chapter begins with an informational box containing the featured missionary's name, the year and place of  birth, year and place of death, a paragraph stating their legacy and a quote from the highlighted servant. In 144 pages, Shibley beautifully describes how their lives, full of faith and courage, made a difference in the Great Commission.

Quite a few of the missionaries' stories were familiar, but the author gives a moving and fresh perspective.Who can read Jim Elliot's legacy and not be touched? Some I had never heard before, like the incredible account of H.B. Garlock's service to Christ in western Africa~ simply amazing.

What a joy it has been to read the historical account of so many great men and women. Shibley has provided remarkable examples of faith, encouragement and wisdom through their lives. The author challenges that after reading these biographies we will be compelled to to make a decision: "Will you consign yourself to a little life or will you be great for God?" (p.13).

This book shows by example that one does not need to be perfect to serve God's purpose in their lives - to make a difference larger than themselves and their imperfections. None are perfect, but all can serve.

 "It only takes one courageous life in Christ to bring hope to millions! It could be yours." 
                                                                                                              ~New Leaf Publishing website

(According to Shibley, this book has been written for individual reading, for Bible Studies, for classrooms, and as a read aloud family devotion.)


(I was given the Kindle version of Great for God: Missionaries who Changed the World to read in exchange for my honest review.)

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