A Heart for Missions Bible Study

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.

So worship is the fuel and goal of missions. That has been the signature thesis of this book since its first edition in 1993. With all the change in the world, that has not changed. Worship has always been and will always be the ultimate purpose of God in the universe. It has always been the fire that fuels our passion to reach peoples who do not worship the true God through Jesus Christ. That’s where we’re headed in chapter 1.

But before we go there a new situation in world Christianity commands our attention. Lamin Sanneh, professor of history and world Christianity at Yale University, uses the word “breathtaking” to describe the new situation.

Among the many breathtaking developments in the post-World War II and the subsequent colonial eras, few are more striking than the worldwide Christian resurgence. With unflagging momentum, Christianity has become, or is fast becoming, the principal religion of the peoples of the world. Primal societies that once stood well outside the main orbit of the faith have become major centers of Christian impact, while Europe and North America, once considered the religion’s heartland, are in noticeable recession. We seem to be in the middle of massive cultural shifts and realignments whose implications are only now beginning to become clear.1

Europe and America are not the center of gravity in world Christianity any longer. The center is shifting south and east. The churches of Latin America, Africa, and Asia are experiencing phenomenal growth and are becoming the great sending churches.

John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad! The Supremacy of God in Missions (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2010), 15–16.










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