Photo by Cameron Baptist Church

This past weekend, the staff of Global Training Network traveled from across the country and around the world to gather together in the heart of Phoenix for three days of worship, prayer, teaching, collaboration and strategic planning for greater ministry effectiveness in the months and years to come. I’ve never felt more privileged to work with such a humble, gracious, godly, passionate-for-Jesus group of people in my life.

On Sunday evening after everyone had left and traveled back home, our daughter, Carrisa (who serves on staff, along with her husband Josh) wrote in her Journal these words (I asked for her permission to share this)…

“I was reminded yesterday morning that I have such a privilege to work with this amazing group of people. In our world that is obsessed with celebrity, fame and success, it is so refreshing to spend time with this team. They may not stand out in a crowd, and you wouldn’t hear anything about them in the media, but what Christ has done in them is spiritually ‘glorious’ – like the beings in C.S. Lewis’  book The Great Divorce who are finally the physical manifestation of their spiritual selves. Resilient, free, joyful, centered, running the ultra-marathon of life. They are running with eyes on the prize, casting aside the weights and burdens of this life. They are hard core, steadfast, “good soldiers” of Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2:3). Yes, they bear scars from life, but it has not crushed them or made them small in soul or spirit. They are large-hearted and unafraid to love.”

On Saturday morning I shared with our staff several thoughts that are central to who we are and why we exist as a ministry organization. At the heart of why we exist is summed up in the famous Latin phrase, Soli Deo Gloria (glory to God alone). John Piper’s words are so fitting:

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. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever.

Worship, therefore, is the fuel and goal of missions. It’s the goal of missions because in missions we simply aim to bring the nations into the white-hot enjoyment of God’s glory. The goal of missions is the gladness of the peoples in the greatness of God…Missions begins and ends with worship!

“I am not pleading for a diminishing of missions but for a magnifying of God. When the flame of worship burns with the heat of God’s true worth, the light of missions will shine to the darkest peoples on earth. Where passion for God is weak, zeal for missions will be weak. “All of history is moving toward one great goal, the white-hot worship of God and his Son among all the peoples of the earth. Missions is not that goal. It is the means. And for that reason it is the second greatest human activity in the world.”

(John PiperLet the Nations be Glad)

And finally, this passage from Revelation 7 is what keeps all of us moving forward with passion and conviction…

“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:

Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”

All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying:

Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.

(Revelation 7:9-12 NIV)