Consider, for a moment, that the salvation of sinners—with all the beauty, joy, and wonder that is wrapped up in seeing sinners saved—is but one of the very important means by which we pursue the great goal of ministry: that God be glorified.

It is crucial that we develop a theology of evangelism and missions that centers on the glory of God. Whatever theology one has of evangelism will always influence his methodology. If the passion of the evangelist or missionary is driven by a desire that God be glorified, then his ministry will aim toward that end, and he will adopt the methodology that will accomplish it. And the only methodology for missions and evangelism that gives glory to God is the faithful preaching of the gospel that brings salvation to sinners by the power of God.

Put another way, the emphasis of the evangelist or missionary is not to gain decisions from people by means of activities. Rather, it is to communicate the gospel with faithfulness so that the saving grace of God reaches many people, and thereby see lives full of gratitude that will result in giving glory to God. The evangelist longs for God being glorified by people that He has sovereignly and graciously saved.

When this is the method, and when people are saved by the power of God, it doesn’t result in the praise of the rhetoric of the evangelist, but in praise of the grace of God who saves. The only joy of the true evangelist is that he is able to be used by God as an instrument and voice of the gospel of God to this end.

In 2 Corinthians 4:16 we read:

“For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.”

What is amazing in this passage is that the grace of God extends from us to others. The grace of God is His unmerited favor toward sinners, which is manifested in the salvation and redemption of their lives. When more and more people are brought to the feet of Christ, there will be more and more new believers expressing their eternal gratefulness to our God for their salvation, to His glory. Therefore, the missionary’s goal is that more and more thanks abound throughout the entire world. This is the supreme motivation for world missions: the glory of God.