The Fuel and Goal of Missions

Last Sunday night we had an IMB missionary at our church who has been recently challenged by John Piper’s book, Let the Nations Be Glad! I was glad to hear him say that the book was recommended by IMB President, Dr. Jerry Rankin (He reportedly said that this book has changed the way in which he looks at missions.). It was good to be reminded again of the opening lines of Piper’s magnificent book:

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, is the fuel and goal in missions. 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. . . .

But worship is also the fuel of missions. Passion for God in worship precedes the offer of God in preaching. You can’t commend what you don’t cherish . . . . Missions begins and ends in worship (John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad!, 11).

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