I am reading a thought-provoking book by Gary Wright, who is a member of my church’s praise team. It’s called Worship Awakening. At the end of chapter 2, he pulls an insightful quote from John Piper about worship and missions.
I have not found a better statement on missions and worship than this one by John Piper:
“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever.
Worship, therefore, it the fuel and goal in mission. It’s the goal of missions because in missions we simply aim to bring the nations into the white-hot enjoyment of God’s glory. The goal of missions is the gladness of the peoples in the greatness of God.”
Missions is not the goal — worship is! You can’t neglect worship and expect to be truly fruitful in missions. It’s impossible. The road to missions is paved with worship.
Worship is THE purpose, and if that purpose is being lived out, the fruit will result in ministry, evangelism, fellowship, and discipleship. If we mistakenly view worship as one of the purposes of the Church, instead of THE purpose, we can be headed for trouble. Everything flows out of worship. Ministry, evangelism, fellowship, and discipleship are things you do. Worship is who you are. The others are about doing, worship is about being. I am certainly not claiming that ministry, evangelism, fellowship, and discipleship are not important, but they must flow out of being GOD-WOPSHIPERS.
Excerpt from Worship Awakening (WinePress, 2007) pp. 53-54. Used by permission.