Jesus, before he ascended into heaven, told his disciples to make disciples of all nations. One of the churches goals is to fulfill this commission by spreading the gospel both locally and globally. As a youth pastor I desire for students to get a global perspective of what God is doing around the world. I also desire for students to realize that we can serve Jesus and make disciples both here and around the world.
Thinking about missions is important because our view of missions can fuel how we use our time and direct how we use our funds. John Piper wrote a legendary book on missions titled “Let the Nations be Glad!” Chapter one begins with this paragraph:
“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.”
Two observations of this quote:
- Ultimately worship must be viewed as being of utmost importance.
- Missions is important because it helps enable more worship.
Part of our youth ministry includes taking students on summer mission trips. This quote is a good reminder for me to teach students that the reason we go on trips like these is so that more people can worship God and become followers of Jesus. A side benefit of these trips, and depending who you talk to might say the main benefit, is as students serve on these trips they can grow closer to God themselves.