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…The goal of missions is the gladness of the peoples in the greatness of God. “The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad (Psalm 97:1). “Let the peoples praise thee, O God; let all the peoples praise thee! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy!” (Psalm 67:3-4).
With these words, John Piper opens my favorite book dedicated to stirring up the church to have a passion for the gospel to reach the ends of the earth.
The Strengths of This Book
John Piper is a master at teaching the foundational truths of the Bible concerning evangelism. He does so by exegeting (fancy word meaning finding the interpretation from out of “ex” the text) numerous Scriptures. If you read this book, you will understand the broad, biblical scope of mission and missions for the church.
Another strength is the integration of culture and story into the fabric of missions. Piper engages the culture he is in as he writes this book. If we read carefully, we will learn how to take a text or texts and interact with our culture. The same could be said of story. He adds stories to this book that span the history of our known world. In one paragraph he shares of the conversion of Cornelius and then links it to a modern day illustration.
The Weakness of This Book
John Piper doesn’t write children’s books. This book is what you would call deep. He is writing at a collegiate level. Nothing wrong with that, but it is good to know. Most smallGroups are not looking for this level of intellectual engagement. But some are.
Who Should Use This Book?
This is a Serve Resource. It is intended for the smallGroup that wants to explore the why of serving in our Outreach Ministries. This resource will stretch all who use it. But, I do think that it is good for groups that are willing to work hard outside of the group interacting with the book.
How Do We Get This Resource?
You can order the book and DVD Study Guide at amazon.com. If you like to read this before deciding to use this in your group, stop by my office and borrow my copy.