I know I’ve written on this type of topic before, but I was thinking about it this morning.
Too often worship and mission are pitted against each other, either by the person who says "We ought to be spending more time on the ‘streets’ and not so much time in fussy church services," or by the person who says, "We ought to be going deeper with God and not worrying so much about the poor."
But worship and mission are two halves of an integrated whole. We cannot engage in mission unless we have been empowered in worship, and true worship always propels us into mission. We cannot do anything for God until we have received in worship (especially the Eucharist) what God in Christ has done for us. Worship keeps us in childlike wonder when we are tempted to pose as the world’s saviors. We are reminded that only God saves. We just participate gladly in his salvation. And mission reminds us that there’s more to worship than just receiving from God; we are driven into full partnership and participation in what God is doing. And what God is doing is saving, bringing people into the childlike wonder of worship, forgiving sin, restoring broken relationships, healing wounds… bringing sin-suffocated, cramped and broken people into a wide, expansive life of God-worship.
Worship fuels that task, and mission’s ultimate goal is worship, for it is only in a life of God-worship that we find out what it means to be truly human. So to quote Matt Redman, my prayer is this:
"Let worship be the fuel for mission’s flame…" and
"Let worship be the heart of mission’s aim."