One of the textbooks for Contemporary Youth Missions is “Let the Nations be Glad: The Supremacy of God in Missions,” by John Piper (affiliate link). I love this book, and my students have been very engaged with it.
Our discussion today revolved around the first chapter of the book. Here are some of my favorite sections of the first chapter.
Missions is not our Ultimate Goal
Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is the ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man.
Missions is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever.
I told my students that we could substitute “Youth Ministry” for “Missions” in this phrase. Our ultimate goal is not youth ministry. Our ultimate goal is worshiping God. God deserves to be worshiped by young people from every tribe and nation and tongue. He deserves to be worshiped in different styles and forms, by young people from every culture.
We Must be Captured First by the Greatness of God
Missionaries will never call out, “Let the nations be glad!”, who cannot say from the heart, “I rejoice in the Lord…I will be glad and exult in thee, I will sing praise to thy name, O Most High.” Missions begins and ends in worship.
Where people are not stunned by the greatness of God, how can they be sent with the ringing message, “Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods! (Psalm 96:4)
We must first be mesmerized and amazed by God. Then we can proclaim Him. This truth led me to remember that I must be constantly looking to be amazed by Him personally. There are many things that lead me to be amazed by Him. These are the things must dominate my thinking. They are the things in which I must meditate as a youth leader. I must first be impacted by Him in order to share His greatness with others.
Zeal for God leads to Missions
Zeal for the glory of God motivates world missions.
Regardless of what you think about John Piper, if you’ve never read this book, I recommend that you pick up a copy and read it. It will inspire you to be a global youth worker and to think more about global youth ministry.