“Missions exists because worship doesn’t” 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, is the fuel and goal of 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. “The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!” (Ps 97:1). “Let the peoples praise thee, O God; let all the peoples praise thee! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy!” (Ps 67:3-4).

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. Missionaries will never call out, “Let the nations be glad!” who cannot say from the heart, “I rejoice in the Lord…I will be glad and exult in thee, I will sing praise to thy name, O Most High” (Ps 104:34, 9:2). Missions begins and ends in worship.”

–John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad! The Supremacy of God in Missions (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993/2003), 17.

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Filed under Christian Theology, Jesus Christ, John Piper, Missions, Quotable Quotes, The Church, The Gospel, Worship

14 responses to ““Missions exists because worship doesn’t” by John Piper

  1. Caleb

    This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with [their] lips; but their heart is far from me. (matthew 15:8)

    To obey is better than sacrifice, in fact, obedience is the greatest form of worship. Jesus said to GO! Go to all the nations and spread the gospel. Singing songs is fine to worship, but the pharisees sang songs also.

    • PB

      worship is not just singing!! We worship Him thru His word, thru Prayer and thru song, Your verse was correct, your response was only partly there.

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  3. I agree that worship supersedes missions in the sense that the former is the impetus of the latter, but I certainly wouldn’t say that missions exist solely due to the absence of worship. Missions are a command of Christ (the great commission) and therefore are an outworking of obedience and a form of worship. Missions exist because worship does, not because it doesn’t.

    • I thought the quote was strange at first as well, but then I just got it – I think what he is saying is that because there are people in the world who don’t worship God, mission exists to bring the Word of God to them. He’s not saying that mission exists because of a lack of worship within the church.

    • Moisés

      you got it bad

  4. stephen johnson

    good insight Tim Becker …

  5. Val

    Things to think about…..

  6. Sad to see God’s name, Yahweh in the biblical text, removed even from Tyndale’s lead (the LORD). It is his only name and should be seen in Ps.97:1 & 104:34. Even the ESV follows Tyndale! God’s name speaks of covenant, and removing its trace throws us the way of Sabellius – God is one person with three faces – and his friend Hillsong – “you alone are God, Jesus”.

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  8. Moses Banda

    I don’t understand this phrase, can someone help me understand it please

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