“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t… 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.”
John Piper – “Let the Nations Be Glad”
“All things have been created through Him and for Him.”
As a current worship leader who now feels called to preach, I’ll admit that the concept of worship has taken some time for me to wrap my mind around. If you had asked me several years ago for a definition of worship I would quickly have said that worship is anything we do that glorifies God, but I’ve been so steeped in western culture that I still tend to think of worship and preaching as two separate components in the Christian life. We go to church and fellowship for a while, then worship with songs of praise, and then listen to a sermon. Right?
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Worship is simply drawing attention to the glory and majesty of God, helping others to draw closer to their Almighty Father. If done well, then the songs of praise that we sing should certainly achieve this. And if preaching is done well, then it will accomplish the exact same thing. By explaining Scripture, preachers are able to draw people’s attention to God’s glory and call them to draw closer to Him. So you see… preaching is not something that follows worship. Preaching is worship.
This realization has helped clarify my own calling. As a young high school student, I felt the Lord calling me to devote my life to helping others worship Him, and as a worship leader and also as a preacher, I am able to do just that.
Understanding this will also change the way we listen to sermons. Instead of singing with all our hearts and then allowing our minds to wander the moment the preacher steps onto the stage, we will praise God with all our hearts and then wait in breathless expectation as we prepare to hear a word from the Lord.
As John Piper states in the quote above, worship is what human beings were created to do. Of all the activities we can choose to spend our time engaging in, the single greatest activity that any of us will ever be part of is worship. This is such an awesome task, because we serve such an awesome God.
Have You Taken a Moment to Worship Him Today?