Famous Calvinist preacher John Piper is well known for saying, in his own charge for missions, that:

Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t.

While we would not agree with his Calvinist doctrine or theological leanings, there is something to be said about Piper’s quote.

Piper is insightful to note that often times for us, it’s so easy for us to get so caught up in trying to fulfil Jesus’ Great Commission that we lose sight of what the Great Commission was actually for: worship.

The reason why we put so much emphasis on making disciples and teaching them to obey, is not because making disciples is the goal in itself. The reason behind our disciple making is to further rectify the worship problem that the world has with God.

God’s intention with man, before man fell, was for Him to be in harmonious relationship with man. This harmonious relationship was in man’s worship of God. Sin came and did precisely the opposite; it led us to live in active and blasphemous rebellion against God.

Therefore, we make disciples to help men and women all over the world repair their broken relationship with God through humble discipleship. Through humble discipleship we hope to bring them to joyful and loving worship.

In the Psalms, it says:

May the peoples praise you, God;
may all the peoples praise you.
May the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you rule the peoples with equity
and guide the nations of the earth.
May the peoples praise you, God;
may all the peoples praise you.

Our efforts to make disciples is to make worshippers of God: people who will worship God with their mouths, with their actions and with their lives.

With this we can learn three lessons:

  1. “Worship is the fuel for missions.”

This is also a quote taken from John Piper, but it does ring with a great truth. In times we feel weary in obeying Jesus’ Commission, we can encourage ourselves with the vision of seeing others worship God with joy. Do you remember how it felt to truly worship God from your heart? The peace and joy that you felt? Joy begets more joy. If we carry the joy of worship in our hearts, it will give us the strength to share that joy with other people.

2. Worship is what the world needs.

Political, economic reform and technological development have all been proposed to solve the world’s problems. It’s easy to forget that ultimately the world’s problems don’t stem from politics or poverty or a lack of technological development. The world’s problems stem from sin and specifically our refusal to worship God with our lives.

If the world lived in dutiful submission to God the problems of the world would disappear. If people feared God more than each other we wouldn’t have wars. If people gave to each other out of a worshipful heart towards God, there would be no hungry mouths to feed. True worship of God from the heart is what the world needs. In obeying the Great Commission, by God’s grace, we will make the world a better place.

And of course, we know that this would be impossible without Jesus sacrifice for our sins and His transformation of us with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

3. Making worshippers starts with being a worshipper.

How is your worship? Are you sincere in your worship of God in your songs and in your life? If we are to obey Jesus’ commandment to reach all nations, we also need to pay special attention that we ourselves are in worshipful harmony with God. We need to examine our lives to see whether we are walking in the light and if our joy is unhindered by shame and guilt. To help make worshippers, we need to first have sincere worship spring from our hearts.

There are many OYC sites where you can go and help make more worshippers. For more information, please visit oneyearchallenge.org.