I try to take stock of my own ministry in this way. Every year at our church we have a “Missions Week.” I preach on missions; we have guest speakers. The challenge is given. People move toward missions, make commitments, and join the pre-missions nurture program. And every year I reexamine my life as a pastor at this church. I look at what I am doing in the light of God’s global purpose, and in view of the incredible spiritual darkness and misery of the unreached peoples of this earth. I ask myself, Is this the most strategic investment of my life for the sake of God’s purpose to make the nations glad in him? I ask my wife, “Noël, are you sensing any tugs to move closer to the front lines of the unreached peoples?”

Our church mission statement puts the world “spread” in the dominant position: “We exist to spread a passion for God’s supremacy in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ.” So I ask, Am I fulfilling this mission best in the role I now have? When the Lord calls me to give an account of my ministry in the last day, will I be able to say, “Lord, I stayed at Bethlehem because I believed I could be most instrumental there in accomplishing your purpose to make a name for yourself among the nations, and to gather your sheep from all the peoples of the earth”? When I can no longer say yes to that question, then my leadership here will be finished.

– John Piper (Don’t Waste Your Life)

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