Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Primacy of Worship Before Mission

Worship at "Furious Love"
I'm reading Muslims and Christians at the Table: Promoting Biblical Understanding Among North American Muslims, by Bruce McDowell and Anees Zaka. In their chapter on introducing Jesus to Muslims they emphasize, thankfully, the priority of prayer. Then, they stress the primacy of worship. I love the quote they use from John Piper. Piper writes:

"Missions exists because worship doesn't. Worship, therefore, is the fuel and goal of missions. It's the goal of missions because in missions we simply aim to bring the nations into the white-hot enjoyment of God's glory. The goal of missions is the gladness of the peoples in the greatness of God. Passion for God in worship precedes the offer of God in preaching... Missions begins and ends in worship."

I think that is beautiful and true. I interpret it to mean that, without Jesus-followers who are in love with God and passionately worshiping him, missions and outreach to others will be non-convincing. What outsider would want to become part of something that the insiders are bored with?