Jacob J. Mueller and the Cost of Missions

Description: Jacob J. Mueller with his first wife Isabelle, 1922.

This Week in AG History — January 14, 1928

By Darrin Rodgers
Originally published on AG-News, Mon, 13 Jan 2014 – 7:46 PM CST

“Do missions pay?” Veteran missionary Jacob J. Mueller wrote that this commonly asked question “pained” his heart. In a 1928 Pentecostal Evangel article, Mueller encouraged readers to support missions work, even when it seemed that the high personal and financial toll required to spread the gospel might not be worth it.

Jacob Mueller (1893-1978) knew from personal experience the costly nature of the missionary call. Mueller and his wife, Isabelle, received appointment as Assemblies of God missionaries and arrived in India in February 1922. Isabelle died six months later, at 36 years of age, of typhoid fever. Mueller continued to minister in Laheriasarai, North India, despite his great grief.

Early Pentecostal missionaries knew the chances were high they would never return home. They bought one-way tickets and some even shipped their belongings to the mission field in a casket. These missionaries exhibited a consecration that, quite literally, often involved dying to self.

Mueller suggested that it would be better to ask “Do missions cost?” rather than “Do missions pay?” He encouraged readers to ask themselves: “Have missions cost us anything in real sacrificial giving? Have they cost us a son, a daughter, yea, our own lives?” According to Mueller, Christians are called to obey God’s command to fulfill the Great Commission to bring the gospel to the ends of the earth. The success of missions is measured not by a cost-benefit analysis, but by faithfulness to God’s call.

Read the article by Jacob J. Mueller, “Do Missions Cost?” on page 11 of the January 14, 1928, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

* “Weighty Words of Counsel,” by A. G. Ward

* “The Potter and the Clay,” by Thomas B. Lennon

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. For current editions of the Evangelclick here.

Do you have Pentecostal historical materials that should be preserved? Please consider depositing these materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The FPHC, located in the Assemblies of God national offices, is the largest Pentecostal archive in the world. We would like to preserve and make your treasures accessible to those who write the history books.

Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center
1445 North Boonville Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65802 USA

Phone: 417.862.1447 ext. 4400
Toll Free:  877.840.5200
Email: Archives@ag.org

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