Should Emotions Motivate Missions?

Ryan Martin explores the connections between Jonathan Edwards, David Brainerd, and the role of our affections.

Should Emotions Motivate Missions? Jonathan Edwards, David Brainerd, and Religious Affections With Ryan Martin

What role should our emotions play in motivating us towards missions? The answer is in church history. Jonathan Edwards is noted his biography of the famous missionary David Brainerd, who was among the first to reach the Native Americans with the gospel. But most people don’t know that Jonathan Edwards wrote about Brainerd primarily as an example of a missionary life driven by powerful, stirring affections for God. And if we feel the way we should about God and his gospel, we will be driven out on mission too.

To explain all this, we consulted with Ryan Martin. Ryan is pastor of the First Baptist Church of Granite Falls, Minnesota. Prior to that, he served as the associate pastor of Bethany Bible Church in Hendersonville, North Carolina. He is on the board of directors of Religious Affections Ministries. Ryan received his undergraduate degree at Northland Baptist Bible College, and has received further training from Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis, Minn. (M.Div., 2004; Ph.D., 2013).

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Alex Kocman & Scott Dunford

Alex Kocman is the Director of Communications and Engagement for ABWE. He serves as general editor for Message Magazine and co-hosts The Missions Podcast. After earning his M.A. in Communication and B.S. in Biblical Studies, he served as an online apologetics instructor with Liberty University and a youth pastor in Pennsylvania, where he now resides with his wife and three children. Read his blog or follow him on X/Twitter.

Scott Dunford is the pastor of Western Hills Church in San Mateo, Calif. Previously, Scott served as Vice President of Mobilization and Communications for ABWE and as a missionary in East Asia. Scott graduated from Northland International University (B.A. in Pastoral Studies), earned his M.A. in biblical studies from Central Baptist Theological Seminary, his M.B.A. from Cornerstone University, and is currently enrolled in Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s D.Min. program with an emphasis on missions.