World Mission Prayer League (WMPL)

The information on this page was last updated 1/19/2022. If you see errors or omissions, please email: [email protected]


May God be glorified and may all people participate in his Kingdom. This is our aim. The World Mission Prayer League exists to see that populations with limited or no access to the Gospel experience the love of Christ and that believers and communities of believers in the Americas and elsewhere engage in active and collaborative participation in living out their roles in the great commission.

Contact information

Mailing address:
World Mission Prayer League
232 Clifton Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403-3497


Phone: (612) 871-6843

Email: [email protected]

Organization details

EIN: 410786986

CEO/President: Paul Gossman

Chairman: Drew Bayless

Board size: 10

Founder: Lutheran Church Members

Ruling year: 1952

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 12/31

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 1987


WMPL is committed to the frontier and reaching those not yet reached. Workers are the Lord's hands, feet, and mouthpiece in difficult places. They are giving the very best of what they have to mountain hamlets...on steamy coasts...on dusty plains. They have positioned themselves at the very crossroads of faith and unbelief so that the lost might become found.

Mission statement

World Mission Prayer League uses the following to express its mission:

Our Mission

We are a Lutheran community committed to:

  1. know Christ;
  2. pray for the advance of His kingdom;
  3. share the Gospel and ourselves with those who do not know Him; and,
  4. encourage Christians everywhere in this global task.
Our Vision

We are a Lutheran community...

We are a Lutheran community in mission.
  1. We undertake our mission as Lutherans. We proceed from a variety of Lutheran synodical backgrounds, in which we participate gladly.
  2. We undertake our mission as a community: lay and ordained, male and female, multi-generational and multi-ethnic. Our members are variously and wonder-fully gifted for the task we share together. We appreciate their multi-textured gifts, and work at encouraging one another in their exercise, for the cause of Christ.
Moreover, we understand our fellowship to be part of a much larger body - the Church of Jesus Christ around the world. Wherever possible, we will advocate interrelationship, interdependence, and creative partnership in the cause of the Gospel around the world.

...committed to know Christ
  • We are committed to the Person and the Cause of Jesus. We believe that committed lives are indispen-sable for authentic and compelling witness.
  • We intend to call others to commitment as well. We intend to plead with all of our creative energy, "Be reconciled to Christ," as ambassadors of God himself.
  • We understand that this commitment exacts a cost - and we purpose to bear it, by the grace of God. We will ready ourselves for suffering. We will turn away from costly comforts, a larger income, material possessions, and places of personal privilege or honor. We will choose instead to embrace the way of poverty, loss, suffering, and humiliation - whatever it takes to bring the Gospel of Jesus to as many people as possible.
...committed to pray for the advance of his kingdom
  • We are committed to pray, as Jesus commands his followers in Matthew 9:38 - "Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."
  • We are not, primarily, a missionary sending organization. We are fundamentally a praying "league", a community of men and women who are committed to prayer as a key methodology for advancing the Gospel of Christ. Prayer is the "working method" of our mission.
  • Since God gives our resources, we will not solicit human beings. We envision mutual accountability as we hold one another to this common commitment.
  • Since God gives our resources, we will continue to treat them "as from the hand of God" - honoring financial designations explicitly. We will treat our personnel "as from the hand of God" as well - respecting insofar as possible each individual calling within our overall work and fellowship.
...committed to share the gospel and ourselves with those who do not know him
  • We declare our passion for the evangelization of the world. We will share the gospel. And our sharing will involve more than our words. We propose sharing "ourselves" - that is, our material goods, our money, our service, our very lives.
  • We will focus our sharing in three areas: disciple-making along the frontiers that surround us; leadership development in service to the emerging church; and, mission mobilization.
  • Disciple-making along the frontiers. We will remain prayerfully alert to the frontiers that surround us today, and the new frontiers that may beckon us tomorrow. We will apply our prayers and resources, in particular, along the frontier of the unreached - those peoples among whom an indigenous, missionizing, church-planting movement has yet to be established. We will apply ourselves further, as much as possible, along the frontier of limited access - unreached peoples among whom few missionaries are at work, or traditional missionaries cannot go.
  • Leadership development. We believe that God has equipped the church with everything needful for its basic ministries of proclamation, service and administration. We believe that God equips the church, as well, with the leadership necessary for its life and ministry. We will not, therefore, lead churches where local leaders are available. Rather, we will encourage the church to take up its calling. We will pray and work to encourage and develop its leadership in every way.
  • Mission mobilization. We will work toward an indigenous, missionizing, church-planting movement, wherever God has led us. We will work under the structures of the church as it exists in hopeful partnership, that the church may be planted where it has not yet advanced.
...committed to encourage Christians everywhere in this global task
  • We applaud evidences of God's mission from and to the entire world. We believe that the mission of God belongs to the whole people of God. We will encourage Christians everywhere in its pursuit.
  • As for ourselves and our work, we intend to be mobile. We pledge ourselves to expendability. We will not ensconce our persons or our organization perma-nently in any of our areas of work. We understand ourselves as scaffolding; but when a building is completed, the scaffolding must be removed. In all of our work, we will plan for our own dismantling, in order to help build up the church in another area.

Statement of faith

The World Mission Prayer League uses the following to express its Statement of Faith:

We believe in...

  1. The only true God, the almighty Creator of all things, existing eternally in three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - full of love and glory.
  2. The unique divine inspiration, entire trustworthiness and authority of the Bible, our infallible guide and inerrant norm for doctrine and living.
  3. The value and dignity of all people: created in God's image to live in love and holiness, but alienated from God and each other because of their sin and guilt, justly subject to God's wrath and unable to save themselves.
  4. Jesus Christ, fully human and fully divine, who lived as a perfect example, who assumed the judgment due sinners by dying in our place, and who was bodily raised from the dead and ascended as Savior and Lord.
  5. The means of grace - principally the Bible and the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper - by which God shares with us the good news of the wonderful salvation that can be ours in Jesus Christ.
  6. Justification by God's grace - complete access to God's every gift and benefit - for all who repent and put their faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.
  7. The indwelling presence and transforming power of the Holy Spirit, who gives to all believers a new life and the spiritual gifts necessary for a calling to obedient service.
  8. The unity of all believers in Jesus Christ, manifest in worshipping and witnessing churches making disciples throughout the world.
  9. The future personal return of Jesus Christ, who will judge all people with justice and mercy, giving over the unrepentant to eternal condemnation but receiving the redeemed into eternal life.
  10. We further believe that...
    The historic creeds of the church - the Apostolic, the Nicene, and the Athanasian - and the historic confessions of the Lutheran Church - particularly the Small Catechism and the Unaltered Augsburg Confession - describe the Christian faith accurately and well.

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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Foreign Missions

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating389 of 103343 of 124
Fund acquisition rating100 of 103513 of 124
Resource allocation rating333 of 103535 of 124
Asset utilization rating923 of 1033114 of 124

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$63,722$81,169$72,980$66,062$48,284
Short-term investments$1,287,773$2,244,356$1,243,072$1,401,506$1,471,482
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$2,794,822$2,930,818$2,430,651$2,132,496$2,332,461
Long-term investments$248,406$250,564$211,541$225,893$208,981
Fixed assets$3,023,363$3,068,347$3,133,029$3,217,830$3,230,808
Other long-term assets$485,554$484,177$478,119$530,817$510,889
Total long-term assets$3,757,323$3,803,088$3,822,689$3,974,540$3,950,678
Total assets$6,552,145$6,733,906$6,253,340$6,107,036$6,283,139
Payables and accrued expenses$20,621$20,572$18,281$287,972$33,775
Other current liabilities$18,497$25,243$24,706$26,904$26,571
Total current liabilities$39,118$45,815$42,987$314,876$60,346
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$2,930$2,065
Other long-term liabilities$185,811$205,190$206,196$242,335$235,116
Total long-term liabilities$185,811$205,190$206,196$245,265$237,181
Total liabilities$224,929$251,005$249,183$560,141$297,527
Net assets20202019201820172016
Without donor restrictions$6,237,066$6,398,002$5,925,521$5,456,458$5,902,626
With donor restrictions$90,150$84,899$78,636$90,437$82,986
Net assets$6,327,216$6,482,901$6,004,157$5,546,895$5,985,612
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$2,820,969$3,054,285$3,460,621$3,316,148$3,637,786
Program service revenue$0$0$0$0$0
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$59,262$219,943($56,522)$138,504$167,176
Other revenue$14,908$37,941($5,409)$2,723$29,973
Total other revenue$74,170$257,884($61,931)$141,227$197,149
Total revenue$2,895,139$3,312,169$3,398,690$3,457,375$3,834,935
Program services$2,647,398$2,415,178$2,558,907$3,400,953$3,279,153
Management and general$392,913$406,654$359,196$482,090$428,541
Total expenses$3,056,085$2,839,688$2,929,627$3,903,543$3,734,874
Change in net assets20202019201820172016
Surplus (deficit)($160,946)$472,481$469,063($446,168)$100,061
Other changes in net assets$5,251$6,263($11,801)$7,451$20,619
Total change in net assets($155,695)$478,744$457,262($438,717)$120,680


Compensation data for this ministry has not been collected.

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 1/19/2022. To update the information below, please email: [email protected]


The World Mission Prayer League grew out of a God-given burden to pray for the unreached interiors of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. By the mid-1930's, a band of students, pastors and friends in the Minneapolis area joined together in prayer that the Lord of the harvest would send laborers into his harvest (Luke 10:2). Soon some of them felt called to join the harvest themselves.

They organized themselves along simple lines to accept volunteers and send them into areas of special concern by founding the South American Mission Prayer League in Minneapolis on May 25, 1937. They were committed to finding a way to send and go in mission, without the constraint of budgetary limitations; to providing a way for lay participation in mission, without the requirement of ordination; and to complement the regular work of the Lutheran synods, without diverting means or personnel from their programs. Within a year its first global workers were sent out: John Carlsen and Ernest Weinhardt were on their way to Bolivia. Soon other volunteers were sent to Central Asia, and eventually to Africa and Eastern Europe.

A sister organization emerged from this same sending fellowship. The Lutheran World Crusade functioned alongside the Prayer League for a few years in the 1940's. These two communities were formally merged and, in 1945, as a reflection of growing involvements around the world, they were incorporated in the State of Minnesota as the World Mission Prayer League.

In 1969 a sister organization, the World Mission Prayer League Canada, adopted its Constitution and incorporated in Edmonton, Alberta. Read more in WMPL Canada History 1944 - 1995.

In 1972 the American Board of the Santal Mission merged with the World Mission Prayer League. The American Board sent its first global workers from Minneapolis in 1904, to join a Scandinavian work already in progress among the Santal people in northern India. From these early beginnings, the World Mission Prayer League has inherited a particular concern for the Santal people of India and Bangladesh.

Together with the Church and its partners in mission, the World Mission Prayer League seeks to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's fresh initiative in our world today. Prayer League members continue to pray that the Lord of the harvest would send forth workers, and that the Lord himself would sustain and uphold them.

For more on the history of our fellowship, read the Mission Handbook, The Spirit of God Was Moving and Food from Ravens.

Program accomplishments


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Evaluate your lifestyle and priorities in the light of the world's urgent needs and the compelling commission of Christ and consider cross-cultural missionary service yourself. Over 30 service opportunities are listed at, and often include the following:

  • Evangelistic Church Planting
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