This weekend we are very excited about our Missions Conference. We have missionaries in our church this weekend from all over the world. We have given this year’s conference the theme of “Striving Together for the Gospel.” This phrase comes from Philippians 1:27-30. Here is what the verses say:
“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.”
We chose these verses because they serve as a great reminder of the call that each of us, as Christians, have to work together to tell the world about the good news of Jesus. While this is a call that each individual Christian has, we are by no means in it alone. In the Father’s infinite wisdom and mercy he has given us the gift of the church to support, encourage, and admonish one another. As our missionaries share with us over the weekend, we want this to be a time of mutual encouragement and refreshment as we together remember our call to go and make disciples of all nations.
Most importantly, we want this weekend to be a time where we understand that the ultimate end of the Great Commission is that more and more people become worshippers of the one, true, living God. John Piper has made this poignant statement about missions:
“The ultimate goal of the church is worship. The only reason missions exists is because worship doesn’t. Worship is the ultimate and missions is the penultimate. Because God is ultimate, and man is penultimate. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of the God and of the Lamb, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever.”
This quote is a wonderful reminder of why missions is so important in the life of EVERY Christian. Because of this truth, one of the most imperative parts of our Missions Conference this weekend will be the corporate worship service tomorrow morning. This will be a reminder, as it is every week, of what our ultimate priority is as Christians – to worship the Savior of the world. It will once again serve as a foretaste of what we will do for eternity as every tribe, tongue, nation gathers around the throne of God to worship him forever.
For this Sunday:
As you prepare for tomorrow’s worship service, here are the songs that we will be singing together:
O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing
He Will Hold Me Fast
For the Cause
Be Thou My Vision
All to Us
Tomorrow’s service will be filled with many great elements. We will begin the service with the choir and orchestra presenting Let the Nations Be Glad with Siyahamba. During this time we will have a flag ceremony where all of our missionaries will be carrying the flags of their respective countries and ministries. We will be playing a video from our Baptism at the Bay service. We will also be baptizing James Simerson. For the offertory the choir and orchestra will be presenting Redemption Story. Dr. Jim O’Neill who is the Associate General Director for Frontier Ventures in Leadership and Mobilization will be preaching. His focus will be on our conference theme verses, Philippians 1:27-30.
As always we ask you to take out some time to ask God to prepare yours and your families’ hearts for worship. Let us use this time of preparation to consider, once again, how to stir up one another to love and good works.
See you Sunday!