A Catholic missionary is one who goes into a foreign culture, either local or abroad, to spread the Good News of Jesus. Missionary work has been happening for centuries, with missionaries of many religions traveling to share their faith. Missionaries like the ones Catholic World Mission supports will take this a step further, helping communities achieve dignified living and educational opportunities to escape the cycle of poverty.
Are you a missionary doing the good work of spreading the Gospel? Has God called you to become a missionary? Has He placed it on your heart to give financially to help missions work around the world? Discover what the Bible says about missionaries to inspire you as you make your next step.
Bible Verses About Missionary Work
You can clearly see and understand missionary work in the Bible throughout its pages and verses. Here are 11 missionary Bible verses to encourage you, whether you are thinking of becoming a missionary, already are a missionary or are planning to donate to missions work around the world.
“Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless His name;
proclaim His salvation day after day.
Tell His glory among the nations;
among all peoples, His marvelous deeds.” Psalms 96:1-3.
God is worthy of our praise every day. If you are openly rejoicing and praising God for His marvelous deeds, the people around you will notice. Missionaries should get excited about praising God, showing everyone they meet that God is the reason for rejoicing.
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20.
This is the Great Commission given by Jesus Christ and the foundation of all Catholic missions and evangelical work worldwide. The charge is clear — God wants people of all nations to encounter the love of Christ to better love one another. To accomplish this, missionaries must enter new cultures to spread the Good News.
“But how can they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach?” Romans 10:14.
The Apostle Paul asks three rhetorical questions that have convicted believers since he penned them. Think of all the people in the world who have yet to come to know Jesus. The only way they will ever hear the Good News is if someone preaches it to them.
1 Chronicles 16:23-24
“Sing to the Lord, all the earth,
announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell His glory among the nations;
among all peoples, His wondrous deeds.” 1 Chronicles 16:23-24.
This passage is a lot like Psalms 96:1-3. And when the Bible repeats something, it deserves special attention. Missionaries are called to announce to all the world that through the wondrous work of Jesus, they can achieve eternal salvation and newness of life.
1 Peter 4:10
“As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” 1 Peter 4:10.
Every believer has a gift they can use to further the Kingdom of God by serving others. Missionaries must tap into their spiritual gifts and God-given talents to be effective while spreading the Gospel.
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? Who will go for Us?’ ‘Here I am,’ I said; ‘send me!’” Isaiah 6:8.
In the Great Commission, Jesus commands us to go out and share the message of salvation with all the nations. He is waiting for someone to answer the call to missions. We must pray for people to rise up with a willing heart like Isaiah, who immediately volunteered himself to the service of the Lord.
“Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9.
You can compare the people waiting to hear the Gospel to a field that is ripe for the harvest. As Catholics, we are called to do good so people around us can see and experience the love of Jesus. Missionaries must continue striving to do good and reach souls because God promises they will reap their harvest.
“Many are the plans of the human heart,
but it is the decision of the Lord that endures.” Proverbs 19:21.
This verse serves as an encouragement to missionaries or people who are thinking of becoming one. In this life, it’s normal to want certain outcomes and set goals for yourselves. But when you make a decision that furthers God’s Kingdom — like spreading the Gospel — that decision has true, eternal value and outcomes.
“I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” John 13:34.
Missionary work stems from a simple origin — love. Jesus’ words here remind us that, as we share the Good News, we must do it out of love for our fellow humans. This means meeting their physical needs as well as their spiritual ones.
“Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor. Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the holy ones, exercise hospitality. Romans 12:9-13.
Paul gives us some of the keys to living like Christ in these verses that can inspire missionaries worldwide. Missionary work can be difficult, but it also offers plenty of opportunities to follow in Christ’s footsteps and become more like Him.
“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believes in Him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3:17-18.
John gives us the centerpiece of the entire message of the Good News in these verses. When missionaries share the Gospel, this is what they are sharing. The message of these verses is the reason we can have eternal life and go out and make a difference in the world every day.
Praying for Catholic Missionaries
Missionaries need our prayers. We invite you to submit a prayer intention for missionaries around the world and join us in prayer every Friday afternoon.
Donate to Catholic World Mission Today
It’s through the generosity of our donors that we can make a difference around the world through mission work rooted in our pillars of dignified living, evangelization and education. We humbly ask that you make a secure donation online today to help us further the Kingdom of God.
Deacon Rick Medina is the Executive Director of Catholic World Mission and oversees the management of all of Catholic World Mission's projects in over 35 countries. He was ordained a deacon of the archdiocese of Atlanta in 2013. He currently serves at All Saints Catholic Church in Dunwoody, Georgia, and is active in several ministries, including RCIA, baptism preparation, Life Teen, Altar Server group, Grief Share, and Adult Faith Formation.