“So how is your church involved in missions?”
For many years, I never liked answering that question. Nearly every time it came up I was immediately attacked by a sense of guilt. My answer usually went something like this: “Here’s what we’re doing, but I know we should be doing more.” Cue the condemnation. Mind you, I never felt like the people asking me were trying to lay down the guilt trip. I took care of that part myself. Missions was kind of like my prayer life – never quite good enough.
I’m convinced God doesn’t want us to live there. He doesn’t want us to be involved in the worldwide proclamation of the gospel because we feel guilty. He wants us to be involved because we love his glory and desire nothing more than for every nation to be captivated by “the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 4:6). A hunger for the worldwide renown of Jesus is the only motivation for missions that pleases God. John Piper makes this point forcefully in his book, Let the Nations Be Glad.
“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. Worship, therefore, is the fuel and goal of missions.”
One of our church goals for 2014 is to be more involved in international missions – not because it’s a duty, but because we long to see God receive the worship he deserves. That’s why we’re setting aside time on Sunday morning once a month to pray for the ministry of the gospel in various countries around the world. The goal is not to check the missions box and go home feeling good about ourselves. The goal is to create a culture in Kingsway of faithful, humble, impassioned prayer for the glory of God on earth.
Last Sunday, we prayed for Afghanistan. Guided by our friends at Operation World, we prayed for:
- PEACE in a war-torn nation
- PROTECTION for the many children who have been orphaned in recent years
- EVANGELISM among 70 unreached people groups, especially the Pashtuns
- PERSEVERANCE for underground churches, asking God to frustrate the plans of their persecutors
- BOLDNESS among Afghan Christians in testifying to the truth of the gospel
- CONFIDENCE among Afghan Christians in their identity in Christ, asking God to show them how to be truly Afghan while truly following Jesus
I encourage you to spend time at home or at Community Group praying for Afghanistan this week. The following video will give you a sense of the challenges confronting the ministry of the gospel in a country with 48,000 mosques and not a single church building. Thank you for praying!