Sunday – May 31, 2020
Word On Worship – Sunday – May 31, 2020
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
Some years ago, an article in the Harvard Business Review called “Market Myopia” talked about how some people didn’t understand what business they were in. For example, the railroad people didn’t understand that they were in the transportation business. Had they realized it, they would have invested in the airplane. The telegraph people thought that they were in the telegraph business. They failed to realize that they were in the communications business. In 1886 or so, they could have bought all of the telephone patents for about $40,000. But they didn’t know what business they were in.
What is the main business of the church? Some would say that it is to care of its members. The church is here to visit the sick and pray with them, to take care of people at important transitions in life, such as marriage, childbirth, and death. It’s here to provide guidance and comfort for people at important times. But I would argue that these functions are not the main business of the church, and if we start acting as if they were, we will miss our main business. We are always in danger of slipping into a maintenance mentality, where we focus on maintaining our religious club and preserving its sacred traditions, and we forget about the lost. Erwin McManus said, “We somehow think that the Church is here for us; we forget that we are the Church, and we’re here for the world.”
The book of Acts is a constant indictment of maintenance Christianity. It’s a constant goad and encouragement and stimulation to fan the flame of Advent—‘The Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost”. The main goal of evangelism and missions is not just to reach the lost, but to glorify God. The glory of God is the supreme goal of history. He saves sinners “to the praise of the glory of His grace” (Eph. 1:6, 12). In Revelation 5:9-10, John hears the heavenly chorus singing, “Worthy are You to take the book, and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”
When the church preaches the gospel to all the nations, God will use it to save His elect to the glory of His name. Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. The glory of God is the ultimate goal of the church—because it’s the ultimate goal of God. Let’s keep our main business in focus: To obey the Holy Spirit in promoting God’s glory among the nations by sending out workers called by God to preach the gospel. As Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest” (Matt. 9:37-38).