Worship Is the Goal of Missions
Jesus is worthy of the worship of all the peoples of the world: every tribe, tongue, and nation; every man, woman, and child. Jesus is worthy of their worship. But there are three billion people on our planet today who do not worship Jesus. Three billion people have never been told the story of the rescuing God.
As worship leaders, our lives and leadership must reflect the gravity of unreached peoples. John Piper says, “Missions exists because worship doesn’t.” As those who have been commissioned to help lead people in worship, this must break our hearts. Worship leaders are a part of God’s story: we tell the story in song and in prayer. We are a part of the going and sending of the church.
The Need for Missions
Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!
Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.” (Psalm 96:10 ESV)
We are people who have been reached with the gospel. It informs, shapes, and sustains our worship. Because we know that the breath of God hung the foundation of the earth, and that man was fashioned in his image, we worship the Creator God. Since we know of the fall of our parents in the garden and how God made a covenant to rescue them, we worship the God of mercy. We read of the care God has for his people throughout the Old Testament, and we worship the God whose love is steadfast. We read of the life, death, resurrection, and return of Christ, so we worship the God who rescues. We worship God because someone taught us who he is and what he has done. But the glories we have seen, many have never seen. The God we have come to know and love many have never heard. And He is worthy of their worship.
Missions is the work of worship leaders. This is our work because we believe that people who do not worship the true and living God will spend eternity separated from him in a real hell. What we worship affects every facet of our lives both here and in the life to come. Worship is a matter of eternity. Those of us who lead the church in worship through song also ought to lead in worship through mission. James Boice said, “Worship should never be merely a private thing, something between ourselves and God only, but should also be that which leads to a missionary witness.”
Worship propels the people of God into the world with the glories of the gospel. Worship sends us beyond the walls of our churches, and even beyond the comforts of our city into places where Christ is not known.
The Aim of Missions
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth. Selah
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!
The earth has yielded its increase;
God, our God, shall bless us. (Psalm 67:4-6 ESV)
The aim of missions is that God would create, by his word, worshippers who glorify his name through glad-hearted faith and obedience. The prayer of the worship leader is that all of the peoples of the earth would worship God. We lead in song, and prayer, and confessions all with the aim that God would be beautiful in the eyes of men, women, and children from every nation, tribe, and tongue. We also carry a burden for people who do not worship God. As the people who worship God, our desire is that everyone would place their deepest hope and highest joys in the God of our salvation.
Part of what we are doing in leading worship is bidding the nations to come and see, savor, and sing of the God we love. As we gather in our churches each week, may we pray and go, and send to the nations, that those who have never heard of Jesus may be told the story of our God who rescues.