Luther gets bad press on missionary emphasis.  The canard has been that because of the State church and emphasis upon that church there was no vision of taking the Gospel around the world.

Even a cursory reading of the events of the reformation put the lie those ideas from a purely organizational standpoint.  Luther’s own words defend him as a missionary and missionary minded.  The following come from “Martin Luther’s View on Mission and Christianization”, by Michal Valco found in Oxford Research Encyclopedia.

In a letter to his friend and colleague Melanchthon when Luther was hidden at the Wartburg castle, Luther wrote, “For goodness’ sake, do you want the kingdom of God to be proclaimed only in your town? Don’t others also need the gospel? Will your Antioch not release a Silas or a Paul or a Barnabas for some other work of the Spirit? I tell you: although I would be very happy to be with you all, yet I would not be disturbed if the Lord deigned to open to me a door for the Word either at Erfurt or Cologne or anywhere else, since you already have a surplus [of preachers and teachers]. Look how big a harvest there is everywhere—and how few are the harvesters! You all are harvesters.  Certainly we have to consider not ourselves but our brethren who are spread out all over the country, lest we live for ourselves, that is, for the devil and not for Christ.”

“Of missions among foreigners he wrote, God gathered a church in the world not only from the one family of the patriarchs but from all nations to which the Word made its way . . . For I have often stated that it is quite credible that when the patriarchs were teaching, many of the heathen flocked to them, for they saw that the patriarchs were godly and holy men and that God was with them, and therefore they heard and embraced their doctrine”. (WA 12)

The Lutheran Hymnal (the old one) has one hymn that emphasizes Luther’s missionary heart.

“May God Bestow on Us His Grace”
by Martin Luther, 1483-1546

1. May God bestow on us His grace,
With blessings rich provide us,
And may the brightness of His face
To life eternal guide us
That we His saving health may know,
His gracious will and pleasure,
And also to the heathen show
Christ’s riches without measure
And unto God convert them.

2. Thine over all shall be the praise
And thanks of every nation,
And all the world with joy shall raise
The voice of exultation;
For Thou shalt judge the earth, O Lord,
Nor suffer sin to flourish;
Thy people’s pasture is Thy Word
Their souls to feed and nourish,
In righteous paths to keep them.

3. Oh, let the people praise Thy worth,
In all good works increasing;
The land shall plenteous fruit bring forth,
Thy Word is rich in blessing.
May God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit bless us!
Let all theworld praise Him alone,
Let solemn awe possess us.

Hymn 500
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Ps. 67
Author: Martin Luther, 1524
Translated by: Richard Massie, 1851, alt