We could say the best worshipers are those who best do missions. Or, possibly, the people who best do missions are those who worship best. If we are not worshiping Jesus Christ while we are on mission, then it is as though we are throwing out the burger and munching on a bun. If we’re not experiencing that beauty of His holiness (Psalm 96:9) individually and corporately during our mission work, then we have lost our way.
A couple weeks ago, I was leading a trip to S.E.Asia to intercede for unreached people groups. Our team met daily for worship, Bible study and prayer. That provided a strong sense of spiritual connectedness and purpose for our group. Then, about half-way through the trip, I realized that it was going to be logistically difficult to continue this daily rhythm. At the same time, I appreciated the fact that previous prayer teams had played a vital role in the emergence of new believers in the villages of various unreached people groups. One team from Singapore in the 1990s had placed a stick or a cloth in the walls of the villages they prayed for as a sign that this community had been brought before the Lord in prayer and worship. It was only several years later that the missionary realized that it had been in those ‘prayed for’ villages that the first believers in the people group had emerged. Well, we made a few adjustments and tried to ensure that prayer and worship would continue throughout the trip.
Although I am not sure we succeeded entirely, I am convinced that a vibrant worship and prayer experience during mission trips is essential to the work. The best worshipers should be those who do missions best. And, the best missionaries are those who worship best. It’s both/and, not either/or.