…and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. 2 Corinthians 5:15
My personal mission in life and the mission at Grace (the church where I serve) is simple: we exist to ignite a passion in every person to glorify and enjoy God everywhere and in everything. We believe that this is why we were created. We agree with the Westminster Shorter Catechism Question #1: What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.
But how do we do that as a church? How do we ignite a passion in every person to glorify and enjoy God everywhere and in everything? Paul Tripp captures the central way in which a church can pull this off:
Awe of God must dominate my ministry, because one of the central missional gifts of the gospel of Jesus Christ is to give people back their awe of God. A human being not living with functional awe of God is profoundly disadvantaged. He is off the rails, trying to propel the train of his life in a meadow, and he may not even know it. When awe of God is absent, it is quickly replaced by awe of ourselves. If you are not living for God the only other alternative is to live for yourself. So a church must turn people back to the one thing for which they were created: to live in a sturdy, joyful, faithful awe of God.
This means every sermon should be prepared by a person whose study is marked by awe of God. The sermon must be delivered in awe and have as its purpose to motivate awe in those who hear. Children’s ministry must have as its goal to ignite in young children a life-shaping awe of God. The youth ministry of the church must move beyond Bible entertainment and do all it can to help teens see God’s glory and name it as the thing for which they will live. Women’s ministry must do more than give women a place to fellowship with one another and do crafts. Women need to be rescued from themselves and myriad self-interests that nip at their hearts; awe of God provides that rescue. Men’s ministries need to recognize the coldness in the heart of so many men to the things of God and confront and stimulate men with their identity as those created to live and lead out of a humble zeal for God’s glory, rather than their own. Missions and evangelism, too, must be awe-driven.
Remember, Paul argues that this is the reason for the cross. He says that Jesus came so that “those who live may no longer live for themselves, but for him who loved them and gave himself for them” (2 Corinthians 5:15). Only powerful grace can keep this awe alive. Only then can we be used to ignite that awe in others. (Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry, p.119)
Praying for more awe,