Worship and The Short Term Mission Trip
This was written5 years ago for a a Mission Outfitters International Workbook to help prepare a worship mission team for a mission trip. It was really fun to find this ghosting around inside my computer. Its also fun to see how my writing skills have matured - apparently there is hope in that department as well. That John Piper is pretty cool too...
Worship & The Short Term Mission Trip
When planning missions, worship must be central. First of all it’s the reason for going, to bring glory to God. Second, it’s the birthplace for ministry. “Worship is the act of freely giving love to God.” (John Wimber) It’s the act of surrender. Missions is the act of service. There can be no service until you have surrendered. When you acknowledge who God is, God then begins to reveal who you are and the role you play in His Kingdom. “ Missions is the overflow of our delight in God.” (Piper)
Music is only a vehicle for worship. It is nice to have but not absolutely essential. Worship brings everything else into perspective. It breaks down the walls that seem to grow throughout life. It allows your heart to focus on God. Natural musical giftings are good, but the heart is what God is after. If all you have is your voice, sing his praise or use a CD, but make it a point to worship. With a surrendered heart, God can do anything.
It is absolutely essential in the pre-trip preparation that when you are meeting together, worship is first on your to do list. Worship (surrender) has always been the precursor to Gods moving. In the presence of God at the burning bush is where Moses is commissioned. David’s story really starts while herding sheep, that’s also where he first encounters God in worship. It’s the worshipers you find in the front of the Israeli line before a battle. It’s the obedience of worship that brings the walls of Jericho down. Missions was never Gods ultimate goal, a heart of worship is what He’s after.
Missions in one word is simply serving. “What can I give, what can I bring as an offering”, (Matt Redman) not me, but you Lord. The great commission is the response to surrendered worship. “Love the Lord Your God with all your heart.” Then and only then, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” It is impossible to love your neighbor (the lost) until you have loved the Lord. But, when true worship happens, God ignites a passion for His purposes. “When passion for God is great, a passion for God’s purposes will result in great sacrificial service. It is thru worship that you are willing to risk all for the sake of God’s glory and His Kingdom.” (David Ro)
Active trip –
Open the eyes of my heart Lord. Don’t get caught up on the ground in the day to day and forget your true purpose for being there. “God is pursuing with omnipotent passion a worldwide purpose of gathering joyful worshippers for himself from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” (Piper) Worship keeps the line open, keeps you sensitive, keeps your heart uncluttered, and keeps the main thing, the main thing.
“Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” If you can’t hear God out on the mission field, you’re in for a bad time, or at least a frustrated unfruitful time. I’ve been there, thinking to myself, for the amount of money I raised I could be on a beach in Hawaii. I’ve also seen the Holy Spirit move way beyond me. Because I was able to hear Him, I could see His hand at work. No mission trip will go as planned, but if your there to serve, if you’ve had some time in communion, in worship with God, then your heart is in a position to hear, and the eyes of your heart will be opened. Now you can roll with the punches, now you can see God in the details. Now the trip is in His hands.
Post trip -
God deserves His due. “Great and wonderful are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the ages! Who shall not fear and glorify your name, O Lord? For you alone are holy. All nations shall come and worship you, for your judgments have been revealed.” (Revelation 15:3-4)
God will be glorified. Your sending church and those who supported you need to know what happened. This is where we often miss it. When we come home we think the trip is over. But God would use you and your surrendered heart as a catalyst to inspire worship in the body. The body needs to join in worship with you for what God has done in the field and in your individual lives. God has moved in the mission field and you’ve come back contagious. True worship is contagious. Opportunity has to be made upon returning to give God His due.
“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exist 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. It's the goal of missions because in missions we simply aim to bring the nations into the white hot enjoyment of God's glory.” (John Piper)
John Piper quotes taken from “Let the nations be glad”