The work of missions is important because the Bible indicates that discipling the nations is the primary purpose of Christians and churches this side of heaven. Our ultimate service to God is worship, but “missions exists because worship doesn’t [in many places around the world].” (John Piper)

As such, this should direct how Christians spend their lives and make decisions about where they live, how they choose their occupation, and how they spend their time and money. While we won’t all move overseas, we all have some role to play in missions, whether through sending others to go, welcoming the nations God has sent to us, mobilizing others to be involved in missions.

The implication for churches is that they exist for the nations, and should be led and organized accordingly. “A globally-focused church utilizes every possible avenue to maximize its impact in the whole world.” (David Mays) This applies to how leaders lead and spend, how the church disciples its people, and how it strategizes for ministry. As Frank Barker, founding pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church (Birmingham, AL) led staff meetings, invariably leaders made decisions about a variety of initiatives and ministries. Barker’s bottom line question was always, “How will this ministry help our church reach the world for Christ?”