Why do we train missionary interns to go to remote parts of the world with the good news of Jesus? Missionaries go to many of the 3 billion unreached and unengaged because Christ’s glory is not acknowledged among those peoples. And the Center for Pioneer Church Planting trains missionaries because Christ’s glory is not acknowledged among those peoples.
A few years ago, John Piper told a conference of pastors, scholars, and missionaries out that if we are going to spread Christ’s glory among the unreached, we must be fueled by a great desire to know and enjoy God more than anything else:
“The greatest need of the next generation of pastors and missionaries is exactly the same as the greatest need of every generation of pastors and missionaries that has ever or will ever exist. And therefore the central task of those who would train them never changes.
In fact, this great need is so central to all of life, and so definitive for all ministry, and so relevant to all cultures, and so ultimate compared to all other values, that it should be the all-absorbing passion of every Christian scholar and teacher,especially those who train pastors who shepherd the church and missionaries who plant it among the unreached peoples of the world.The need that I have in mind is the need of pastors and missionaries to know God and to find in him a Treasure more satisfying than any other person or thing or relationship or experience or accomplishment in the world…more satisfying than the publishing of articles and books, more satisfying than the preciousness of friends. The greatest need of every pastor and every missionary is to know God better than they know anything and enjoy God more than they enjoy anything.
Therefore the supreme challenge of every scholar and teacher who would prepare these pastors and missionaries is: How shall I study, how shall I teach, and how shall I write, and how shall I live—how shall I give my seminar paper in Orlando, how shall I speak of sacred things over supper tonight, what will be my vigilance regarding television in the privacy of my room, will I rise early enough to pray concerning the magnitude of truth that is at stake in the workshops of this meeting—how shall I study and teach and write and live, so as to help pastors and missionaries know God better than they know anything, and delight in God more than they delight in anything? That is the supreme challenge of your life.” – John Piper, Training the Next Generation
What is your greatest need? If 3 billion people are going to be given access to the gospel, Christ’s people must desire to know and enjoy God more than anything else.