George Verwer: A Life Devoted to Missions and Evangelism

Remembering the Life and Legacy of George Verwer (1938-2023)

On April 14, 2023, the Christian community lost a beloved leader and servant of God. George Verwer, the founder of Operation Mobilization (OM), passed away at the age of 84 after a lifetime of ministry and mission work around the world. Verwer’s life and legacy are worth remembering, not only for his impact on the Christian world but also for the example he set as a faithful follower of Christ. Let’s take a look at his life and the impact he made.

Early Life and Conversion

George Verwer was born in 1938 in New Jersey, USA. He grew up in a Christian home but did not fully commit his life to Christ until he was 16 years old. Verwer’s conversion experience was profound and transformative, and it set him on a course to dedicate his life to serving God.

After completing high school, Verwer attended Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. While there, he was part of a group of students who were passionate about evangelism and outreach. They began travelling to different cities across the United States to hold evangelistic rallies and events.

George Verwer experienced a sense of full assurance a few days later while walking across a field to catch the bus to go to school. This sense of assurance came after he read George Cutting’s famous booklet, “Safety, Certainty, and Enjoyment for the Christian.” Furthermore, Verwer read Billy Graham‘s bestseller, “Peace with God: The Secret of Happiness” which was published in 1953. He also gained much of his theological understanding from the sermons and publications of Billy Graham.

Founding Operation Mobilization

In 1957, Verwer and a group of his fellow students travelled to Europe to hold evangelistic meetings. While there, they were struck by the need for Christian workers to serve in the mission field. Verwer realized that he could use his passion for evangelism and his entrepreneurial spirit to help address this need.

In 1959, Verwer founded Operation Mobilization, a ministry that would send Christian workers to serve in different parts of the world. OM quickly grew, and by the early 1960s, it had established teams in several countries, including India, Mexico, and Israel. Over the next several decades, OM continued to grow and expand its ministry. Today, the organization has over 6,100 workers serving in over 110 countries around the world.

Verwer’s Vision and Leadership

One of the key reasons for OM’s success was Verwer’s vision and leadership. He was passionate about reaching the lost with the gospel of Christ and saw OM as a way to mobilize Christians to serve in the mission field.

Verwer’s leadership style was characterized by his willingness to take risks and try new things. He was not afraid to venture into new areas of ministry or to challenge the status quo. This led OM to develop innovative approaches to evangelism and mission work, such as using ships to transport Christian workers to remote areas of the world.

In addition to his leadership of OM, Verwer was also a prolific author and speaker. He wrote several books on evangelism and missions and was a sought-after speaker at conferences and events around the world.

Verwer’s Impact on the World

The impact of Verwer’s life and ministry is difficult to quantify. Through OM, he has sent thousands of Christian workers to serve in different parts of the world, sharing the love of Christ with people of different cultures and backgrounds.

In addition to his work with OM, Verwer was also involved in several other ministries and initiatives. He founded the School of Frontier Missions, which provides training for Christians who feel called to serve in remote or unreached areas of the world. He also founded the George Verwer Foundation, which supports Christian workers who are facing financial or other challenges.

Verwer’s legacy also lives on through the lives of those he mentored and trained. Many Christian leaders around the world credit Verwer with inspiring them to serve God in the mission field.

A life well-lived

George Verwer’s life is a testimony of what it means to live fully for God’s kingdom. His passion for evangelism and missions drove him to travel to over 120 countries, preach the gospel to countless individuals, and inspire a generation of young people to follow Christ.

Verwer was not just a man of words but also action. He founded Operation Mobilization in 1957, which has become one of the largest and most dynamic mission organizations in the world. He was also instrumental in establishing the Greenbelt Festival in the UK, an annual Christian festival that seeks to connect faith with culture.

Verwer’s tireless efforts to share the gospel with the unreached and to mobilize believers for missions have inspired many. His message was clear: every believer has a role to play in fulfilling the Great Commission, whether through praying, giving, or going.

A man of humility and transparency

Despite his remarkable achievements, George Verwer remained a man of humility and transparency. He openly shared his struggles and weaknesses, and he never sought to glorify himself or his ministry. Instead, he pointed to the faithfulness and grace of God, who had enabled him to do what he could never do on his own.

Verwer’s authenticity and vulnerability endeared him to many. He was not afraid to admit his mistakes or to seek forgiveness when he had wronged others. He also encouraged others to be real with God and with one another, to admit their weaknesses, and to rely on the strength and mercy of God.

A Call to Radical Discipleship

One of George Verwer’s most significant contributions to the Church was his call to radical discipleship. He challenged believers to move beyond a comfortable, complacent Christianity and to embrace a life of radical obedience to Christ.

Verwer believed that the Church had become too comfortable and that Christians had lost their sense of urgency and passion for the gospel. He saw a need for a new wave of radical, sold-out believers who would be willing to pay any price to follow Jesus and to make Him known.

Verwer’s message was not always popular, but it resonated with many who were hungry for more of God. His challenge to radical discipleship was not just for the few but for all believers who longed to make a difference in the world.

An inspiration for generations to come

George Verwer’s impact on the Church and the world cannot be overstated. His passion for missions, his commitment to radical discipleship, and his humility and transparency have inspired countless individuals to follow Christ and to serve Him with their lives.

Verwer’s legacy lives on through the thousands of missionaries and ministry workers who have been trained and sent out through Operation Mobilization. His message of radical discipleship continues to challenge and inspire believers around the world to live fully for God’s kingdom.

As we celebrate the life and legacy of George Verwer, let us be inspired to follow his example of radical obedience to Christ. Let us be willing to step out in faith, take risks for the sake of the gospel, and live fully for God’s kingdom. May his life and ministry continue to inspire generations to come to follow Christ with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Blessings,

Godwin.

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Godwin Shon Sequeira
Godwin Shon Sequeira
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