A great comment was made by someone at CPCC the other day, reminding us that whatever we do as a church — including evangelism and outreach — must flow out of worship. He had just read the following (from an OPC publication, available online), where author Larry Wilson quotes John Piper. It is one of my favorite points made by Piper, and its significance is worth digesting…
But our Lord Jesus declares that God is seeking worshipers (John 4:23–24)! As we grow in our love for God, we will, like John Calvin, grow in our zeal that God be truly worshiped, as well as truly known. If our Lord grants such zeal, it will drive reformation and renewal in every aspect of the church’s life. It will even renew our evangelistic and missionary zeal. John Piper helpfully exhorts:
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…. Worship… is the fuel and goal of missions…. When the flame of worship burns with the heat of God’s true worth, the light of missions will shine to the most remote peoples on earth…. Where passion for God is weak, zeal for missions will be weak. Churches that are not centered on the exaltation of the majesty and beauty of God will scarcely kindle a fervent desire to “declare his glory among the nations” (Ps. 96:3). Even outsiders feel the disparity between the boldness of our claim upon the nations and the blandness of our engagement with God. (John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad [Baker, 1993], pp. 11–12)
It is of the utmost importance, then, that our hearts be gripped by the real point of worship.
Amen! The whole of Larry Wilson’s article, THE REAL POINT OF WORSHIP, can be found here.