So I’ve been going through the Steven Norris vault and found some interesting articles I wrote for our church newsletter a few years back. Thought I might share them here as they would be pertinent to this blog.
(Originally written July, 2007)
You know, it’s been funny to see the reactions of people when I tell them about the new position that I am starting this month here at Quaker Gap. Many have asked, “What does music have to do with missions?” or “who came up with that idea?” I just have to tell them, “Well, God did, and I’m glad that I serve a church that was willing to listen to the movement of the Spirit and respond accordingly.” Secondly, I have to say, “While my title may say ‘music’ my true concern is that people connect with God in worship, and worship has everything to do with missions.”
We are all worshippers. We are all called to be missionaries. Over the next few months, I want to devote this space to that intersection where worship and missions meet in each of our lives. But before we begin getting down to the nitty-gritty, we need to take the time to define our terms so that we all know what we are talking about.
Throughout scripture, we frequently hear the term “worship” used over and over. We say that come to a “worship service” each Sunday as we gather together. We have all heard numerous sermons preached on worship, both corporately and individually. The best definition that I think I have found comes from a little book by Louie Giglio, which states, “Worship is simply about value. The simplest definition I can give is this: Worship is our response to what we value most.” For this reason, he argues that everyone worships, not just the Christian, although those who do not know God will worship very different things.
Worship is ultimately the goal of all of creation. We are told from scripture that heaven will be filled with worship for the only God who is worthy to receive worship. Our worship will be to be in the presence of perfection and enjoy a direct relationship with Him.
And what about missions? The term is never found in the Bible. God never commissions any “missionaries”. Remember that when you look through your Bible and see the little headings over certain sections, they were added much later and weren’t in the original writings. I haven’t been able to find a definition that I feel good about, so I will offer my own: Missions is the act of proclaiming and demonstrating the Gospel through word and deed. We engage in missions because there are those that have never heard or seen the Gospel message and do not know the God that has done a saving work in us.
So how do these two relate? As John Piper puts it, “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t…Worship, therefore, is the fuel and goal in missions.” We share the gospel so that others may know and worship the same God that we know. Who are the best missionaries? Those that are the most passionate about seeing people worship God. Who are the best worshippers? Those that cannot stand to keep this experience with God to themselves and must share it. The way I see it, these two have everything to do with one another.