The most crucial issue in missions is the centrality of God in the life of the church. How can people who are not stunned by the greatness of God be sent with the ringing message, “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods” (Ps. 96:4)? Missions is not first and ultimate; God is.
All of history is moving toward one great goal, the white-hot worship of God and his Son among all the peoples of the earth. Missions is not that goal. It is the means. And for that reason it is the second greatest human activity in the world.
Source: John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad (Grand Rapids, MI, Baker Academic, 2011) Kindle location 600