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‘Great for God’ lighting mission fuses

By August 15, 2012

USA (MNN) — It was bright and early one Wednesday morning in May, 1792. The ministers and brethren of Nottingham had been assembled since 5 a.m. for five hours of prayer, singing, and fellowship.

Afterwards, William Carey rose to preach the stirring message that characterized his ministry and catapulted missions for years to come: “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.”

Known as the “father of modern missions,” William Carey’s exhortation parallel’s the theme for the book “Great for God” written by David Shibley, founder of Global Advance.

“Great for God” spotlights the profiles of 23 missionaries who faced many trails and even death to change the world for Christ. Names include Amy Carmichael, David Livingstone, Lottie Moon, Bill Bright, Eric Liddell, and Jim Elliot.

“Great for God” was published by New Leaf Press and released in May 2012. Copies continue to sell at an accelerating pace each day. According to Shibley, it is intended to be an easy read.

Shibley shares the purpose of the book: to “give inspiration and encouragement, and for us to understand that we are standing on the shoulders of some real spiritual giants who led the way and helped paved the way for the advance of the Gospel in our own day.”

And “Great for God” is very applicable in this modern day and age. “For us to understand our own times, we need to have some appreciation of how we have gotten here,” explains Shibley.

Already, lives are being changed. “One young person wrote me the other day and said that he was going to give his life as a cross-cultural missionary as a result of reading this book,” Shibley says. “Another young man who serves with YWAM told me the decision to do this was based on these stories that were shared.”

Spurring and equipping missionaries for the field is part of Global Advance’s ministry. They conduct missions training for pastors and businesspeople. “The great new fact of missions is that it is from everywhere to everywhere,” says Shibley, “so our training events are also, in a sense, a mission conference–always pointing people to the harvest.”

Shibley goes on to explain, “There is an urgency always about the harvest wherever we are. Whether we’re serving the Lord in our own sphere of influence, or around the world, we need to be listening for the promptings of the Holy Spirit to share the Good News of Jesus Christ wherever we are.”

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