Worship & Missions

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 4.44.54 PMWe have thought on your steadfast love, O God, in the midst of your temple. As your name, O God, so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth.  (Psalm 48:9-10 ESV)

It has been written that “missions exist because worship doesn’t” (Let the Nations Be Glad, John Piper). This statement is certainly true. There are many places around the world where God is not worshiped. As Christians, we are compelled by the gospel to go and make disciples so that others may properly worship God.

We need to contemplate worship. True worship is not the result of blind ignorance but rather the result of careful thought about God. Worship involves our minds. Asaph wrote, “We have thought on your steadfast love, O God.”

Not only does worship involve our minds, but it also involves our hearts. It influences our emotions. Careful thinking about the character of God (specifically His steadfast love in this passage) leads to outward praise that cannot be contained. Our praise becomes global, or as Asaph wrote, “your praise reaches to the ends of the earth.” Therefore, not only is it true that missions exist because worship doesn’t, but it is also true that missions exist precisely because worship exists.

There are three implications that all Christians can take from this passage concerning worship and missions. First, we need to think carefully and rightly about God. Second, we need to put ourselves in God’s presence. Both of these are rooted primarily in knowing God through His Word. Third, our praise is proportionate to the One we praise. God cannot be contained; therefore, our praise cannot be contained. Our praise must be global.

The application is clear. A right view about worship will lead to a right view about missions. When Christ returns, missions will end, but worship will continue forever. Until He returns, our heart for missions must be an overflow of our worship.