The importance of missions remains grossly overlooked. The question of if missionary work is important has been raised by many different people throughout the history of the world. The best answer I have found to that question is from John Piper in “Let the Nations be Glad.”
Piper says, “Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions because God is ultimate, not man.” Understanding this idea will shape your thoughts about why missions are necessary and the importance of missions today.
How Should We View the Importance of Missions?
Piper’s statement is showing the authority and magnitude of God. Most of our thoughts toward missions and the importance of missions are to find those who have not heard the good news and focus on reaching them. This is true and biblically accurate. Mark 16:15 “Go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone.”
The question is, what is our motivation behind such an act? God has created us for his glory. The most important thing that matters, in the end, is whether or not God is glorified. With that in mind, we look back to those who remain lost. Our hope for them should not merely be to avoid hell. Nor should our goal be to simply get them to heaven.
We do want them out of hell and into heaven, but the question is “Why?” Our supreme goal is to see God glorified through every person on earth. The only way for that to happen is for people to be in a right relationship with the one true God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Another quote from a person, less well known than Piper but much more beautiful – my wife – profoundly said, “We are working with real people.” Currently, my family and I are in the year-long church-planting training program called Equip.
We are learning about church-planting principles, overseas missions and reaching the unreached while living in New York City. We are next to and building relationships with real people who God has created to worship him and yet they are not. There are real people everywhere who, if left unengaged and unreached, will never know the wonder and delight of truly worshiping their creator.
What to do?
There are REAL people who are not worshiping the One True God. This reality should bring home to Christians the importance of missions.
“How, then, can they call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without a teacher?” – Romans 10:14
Our job is to “go into the world and preach the good news to everyone” for God’s glory. How do we do this? For starters go to your neighborhood, go on short-term mission trips, go on Seed Week trips in New York City, or become a long-term missionary. The glory of God is at stake, and real people are still lost.