A Study of the Moravian Missionary Businessmen
This is an excerpt of an article entitled, “Back to the Drawing Board: Business as Mission 200 Years Ago, A Case Study of the Moravians.”
You can read the entire article and peruse other articles on the Business As Mission website.
A case study that demonstrates the positive impactsuch a missional perspective of work can have on the advance of the Kingdom is that of the Moravians. Although the origins of the Moravian Church predate Luther’s ninety-five theses by about sixty years, these followers of John Hus are best known for their mission efforts around the world during a time when no other Protestant churches were sending out missionaries. In fact, their missionary efforts predated William Carey by sixty years as well. Given the relative sparsity of their numbers then and now, their record is truly astounding. During the forty year period from 1732 to 1771 they planted mission station in the Virgin Islands, Greenland, North America, Lapland, South America, South Africa, and Labrador…
The Moravians viewed their primary mission to be expansion of the Kingdom. Everything else was instrumental to that end. They chose crafts rather than agriculture because it would give them greater mobility in reaching people. Evangelism and discipleship was the primary goal, both at home and abroad. At home, during periods of slow economic activity, artisans would “go out in pairs and witness to the gospel, earning their living as they went.” In Surinam, the missionaries employed slaves (there was no other way to witness to them). “Sitting on a tailor’s bench together it was easy to converse about the gospel.