The Power of Words

We celebrate Fannie E. S. Heck as the most quoted WMU leader of all time. Her most famous writing was from her deathbed in 1915. It contained words so powerful they ignited a missions fervor that caused the women to give sacrificially (what would be worth $400,000 in today’s dollars) at their next annual meeting. The manuscript contained less than 200 words.

Our organization will be 131 years old this month. I wondered what would be the most important 131 words I could share with you. Writing fewer words is much harder than it appears. A few months ago, I spent hours trying to come up with the perfect 300 words for a book preface. It was a book about Fannie E. S. Heck, so I wanted each phrase to be rich with meaning.

A pastor friend of mine once told me, “If you want me to preach for 45 minutes, then I’m ready now. If you want me to speak for five minutes, then I’m going to need time to prepare.” Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was only 272 words, taking two minutes to deliver; yet those few words have echoed through history, impacting generations. The power of words and how they are put together intrigue me. So here’s my 131-word challenge for our 131st birthday.

May this be our prayer.

Embrace the Father’s passion for the nations.

Be singularly devoted to a love greater than your own desire.

Lay your brokenness before Christ, and let His power perfect your weakness.

Live a grateful, authentic life with every breath as worship.

Listen with His heart. Surrender your pride. Serve wholeheartedly.

Love without hesitation. Chase peace. Scatter grace.

Tenderly cradle reconciliation.

Bend your will toward His. Abandon the good to pursue His best.

Trust God for provision; acquiesce to His outcomes.

Seek neither the worn path nor strike out on your own. Simply follow Him.

Be adventurous for God. Let every act be one of pure faith.

Deliberately and purposefully stretch and reach.

Dream in rhythm and live in concert with the Creator.

Entertain hope as a frequent guest.

Quietly walk with courage.


As we celebrate 131 years of God at work through WMU, there will be 131 different activities offered on Monday, June 10, at the WMU Missions Celebration in Birmingham, Alabama. I hope you will join us for this meaningful event. With the theme Pursue, we will explore ways God pursues us and we pursue Him. The celebration begins Sunday, June 9, at The Church at Brook Hills and continues all day on Monday at national WMU. 

What 131 words would you write? Start thinking now . . . it's one of the 131 activities on June 10! See the full schedule and register today.



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