Thegreat commission is one of the most important aspects ofChristianity. All Christian should worship and evangelize with theaim of fulfilling the great commission. While the question of whetherevangelism is more important to a Christian life compared to worshiphas bothered many Christian, the lessons have expanded my view aboutthe two important aspects of Christianity1.The Christian activities throughout the day or week are considered tobe a form of worship. These activities include praying and listeningor singing songs of praise and hymns. According to Psalms 117:1,Christians are commanded by the scriptures to “Praise the Lord,(all nations)”. On the other hand, evangelism is the most vitalaspect of Christianity. It is an act through which Christians areable to fulfil the great commission. The idea of Christian outreachis important for the spread of the gospel. This is why Christians arecalled to invite all people to the church and participate directly orindirectly in mission trips and gospel proclamation in differentparts of the world. Initially, I was for the view that evangelism isthe primary purpose of Christian life. However, after the lesson, Ihave been able to understand why evangelism and worship areinterrelated and cannot be separated. The two aspect of Christianityare unified expression of a Christian commitment and obedience to theHoly Scriptures or the will of God2.
Thereare many misconception about witnessing Christ and worship amongChristians. This is due to the perceived separation between worshipand evangelism. The false view as well as disconnect between thebiblical meanings and the related activities carried out byChristians is very evident. For example, the general view has beenthat worship constitutes the emotionally high Sunday morning servicesonly. However, according to Mathew 28:19, Jesus commanded hisfollowers, who are the modern day Christians, to “go and makedisciples of all nations”. Although majority of Christiansappreciate the command to bring people to Jesus, their efforts aregrounded because winning convert should be accompanied by making thenew converts Disciples of Christ. This can only be achieved through acombination of both witnessing Christ to the nonbelievers andworship. What I have learned has helped me realize that worship inthe modern church is not perfect. While a large number ofnonbelievers are being converted to Christianity, majority of them donot turn into Disciples of Christ. The church is doing well inevangelization through missions, but due to disconnect betweenevangelism and worship, “making disciples of all nations” is animportant challenge3.
Frombasic theological definition, worship and witnessing Christ are anexpression of the commitment of the church to Jesus Christ. This isan important lesson after reading the semester materials.Evangelization and worship allows Christian to exercise the primaryrole of a disciple. The early Christian church considered bothworship and evangelism as some of the basic aspects of Christianlife. According to the scriptures, the primary purpose of life is toglorify God. This is the reasons created human beings and theinstitution of the church. Through worship, God is exalted amongnations. On the other hand, through evangelism, the entire worldknows God. Therefore, invitation of people to worship cannot beseparated from the worship itself. This means that evangelizing andworshiping are distinctively related. They are the foundations of aholistic lifestyle and discipleship4.
Inthe great commission, Jesus instructed his disciple to “Go,therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in thename of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teachingthem to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I amwith you always, to the end of the age” (Mathew 28:18-20). This wasthe final command when Jesus was ascending into heaven. In additionto commanding his disciples to make disciples of all nations, heassured them his presence. By baptizing people and bringing them tothe church, God is glorified. This is a biblical evidence of thelinkage between worship and evangelism. Jesus also instructed hisdisciples on how to live the great commission worship. In Matthew22:37-40, Jesus instructed his followers to "love the Lord yourGod with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind."He also told them "Love your neighbor as yourself." Thismeans worship and evangelism as well as the church is founded on thelove of God and the neighbors. Worship is incomplete without theloving God and the neighbors. Therefore, if a Christian is able tolove Jesus Christ, he is motivated to glorify him and call others tolove and worship him. Also, if one loves his or her neighbors, hewill reach to them to share the joy of being a follower of Christ.From the scripture point of view, worship refers to passionateobedient and devotion to the word of God and the fulfilment of thegreat commission5.
Thelessons and knowledge acquired throughout the semester will have animpact on my view and vision about evangelism. It will also endeavorto share and use the knowledge acquired to promote the true meaningof the great commission and its purpose in the modern Christiansociety. My new view of worship consists of three main aspects whichincludes offering to God, communion with other members of the churchas well as Christ, and appreciation. On the other hand, evangelism isa process through which people learn about Christianity andfellowship with Christ. While it is important to base worship andevangelism on the bible, mainly the teaching of Jesus Christ on thegreat commission, the approach should be relevant to the needs of themodern Christian society. Worshipers should be able to understand thechallenges facing the church in the modern society to effectivelydeal fulfil the great commission6.
Inorder to effectively be a true great commission worshiper andintegrate evangelization in all aspects of life, it is important tomake the Christian faith in the immediate society. It is important tonote that the context of the great commission and the early church inthe Acts of Apostles was significantly different from the modernchurch. This can be an important impediment to the achievement of thetrue meaning of evangelistic worship. Secondly, other than trueworship, there is no other factor that can drive an individualtowards serving Jesus Christ7.To incorporate the different aspects of evangelistic worship andfulfil the great commission, commitment is very essential. Commitmentis associated with loyalty. Loyalty to the Lord Jesus Christ is veryessential, but also loyalty to the structures of the church andChristian faith is important. This includes loyalty to the churchministers and instructors as well as the church itself. Commitment toGod and the church is the inward conviction that drives individual toserve God and be true Christians. The commitment to serving God andevangelism are also interrelated because the inner conviction resultsfrom spiritual grown which is natured by evangelism. The commitmentand loyalty to God and his work creates a personal relationshipbetween God and a Christian8.
Encounterwith God is the most significant aspect of great commission worship.However, this has a lot of humanly significance because it impacts onall aspects of the earthly life. It affects the way one relates withtheir family as well as friends. To fulfil the purpose of greatcommission worship, there are numerous changes that take place. Thereare specific examples from the Bible on how discipleship andevangelistic worship can change the life of an individual9.An obvious example is the transformation of Saul to Paul on the wayto Damascus. The main challenge in the early Christian church was thepersecution of the apostles. That was the work of Paul before hisconversion. After the direct encounter with God on his was toDamascus, his life was changed permanently. Paul commitment to Godafter the encounter was final and outright. The same encounter andcommitment can be said of other apostles of Christ who left theirearthly wealth, families and chores to follow Christ. Therefore,commitment means paying the ultimate price to follow Christ. As atrue great commission worshiper is should be ready to pay the pricewhich may include the earthly pleasures to attain full commitment toworship and evangelism10.For example, I should be willing to sacrifice some of the time spentwith my family or resources in order to evangelize. Although this mayresult into conflict of interest, but at the end, the rewards areenormous. Also in adopting to the new approach, it is important toprepare on how to handle misunderstanding with other ministers withinthe church. The general approach to Christian ministry is alwaysleading a congregation to worship. However, as an evangelist guidedby the great commission, the main responsibility to guide theaudience towards comprehending God. Introducing this differentapproach to Christian ministry may result into conflicts.
Ienvision myself being a better evangelist, minister, and worshipleader due to the knowledge I have acquired. Since I am personateabout making disciples of all men and spreading the good news, theknowledge acquired will make me a perfect youth minister as well as achurch member. There are several plans that I believe are necessaryto make my life as a minister of the church a better great commissionworshiper. First, I will consider friendship as a keystone on whichmy ministry will be founded. Being friendly is one of the mosteffective tactics of winning convert since it entice people to listento you. Jesus Christ himself established friendship as the principleon which his work on earth was founded. His disciples were his bestfriends, without whom he could have found it difficult to carry outhis mission. In the great commission worship, loving God and one’sneighbor is a basic requirement11.Through friendship, I will be able to foster love, whether it isamong the members of the church or masses to which I will be requiredto evangelize.
SecondlyI will consider all activities that will enhance my faith. Throughtestifying my faith and witnessing Christ through worship andevangelism, I will be able to strengthen my faith. Since faith isconsidered to be contiguous if my faith is strong, I will be able tostrengthen the faith of my fellow ministers, the church congregationas well as the masses. Arousing all the spiritual energy towardsspreading the gospel of the load will surely earn fruits. As Jesussaid in the great commission, while the disciples do all what he hascommanded them, he will be them, there is no doubt that Jesus Christwill soften the heart of the masses and open up their minds. Thirdly,every task an individual needs to accomplish requires some skills.Converting the masses and leading them to eternal life requires someskills. The skills are also required to deal with the challenges fromwithin the congregation and from external forces. I will thereforeendeavor to sharpen my skills, every day of my worship andevangelism. The skills will be essential in identification of thepoints of need and the basic points in the task at hand. To become aneffective worship leader and evangelism it is essential to be alistener and an observer12.For example, some experienced pastors prefer giving their sermonsoutside the pulpit. This allows them to listen to themselves and letthe story of their experience and how they relate the word of God tothe contemporary life come out freely.
Earley,David and David Wheeler. EvangelismIs–How to Share Jesus with Passion and Confidence.Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2010.
Fay,William. ShareJesus without Fear.Nashville, TN: B and H Publishing Group, 1999.
Norman,L Geisler and David Geisler. Conversationalevangelism,Eugene, OR. : Harvest House Publishers, 2009.
McRaney,William. TheArt of Personal Evangelism,Nashville, TN: B and H Publishing Group, 2003.
Paul,Wesley Chilcote and Laceye C Warner. Thestudy of evangelism: exploring a missional practice of the church,GrandRapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2008.
Pipes,Jerry andVictorLee.Family to family: families making a difference,Alpharetta, GA: North American Mission Board of the Southern BaptistConvention, 1999.
Raymond,F Culpepper. TheGreat commission connection,Cleveland, Tenn: Pathway Press, 2011.
Rebecca,Manley Pippert and Ruth Siemens. Evangelism:a way of life: 12 studies for individuals or groups,Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press, 2000.
Ronnie,W Floyd. Ourlast great hope: awakening the great commission,Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2011.
Whaley,Vernon and David Wheeler. TheGreat Commission to Worship.Nashville, TN: B and H Publishing Group, 2011.
1Raymond, F Culpepper. The Great commission connection, Cleveland, Tenn: Pathway Press, 2011.
2 Whaley, Vernon and David Wheeler. The Great Commission to Worship. Nashville, TN: B and H Publishing Group, 2011. ISBN: 9781433672378
3Norman, L Geisler and David Geisler. Conversational evangelism, Eugene, OR. : Harvest House Publishers, 2009.
4 Whaley, Vernon and David Wheeler. The Great Commission to Worship. Nashville, TN: B and H Publishing Group, 2011. ISBN: 9781433672378
5 McRaney, William. The Art of Personal Evangelism, Nashville, TN: B and H Publishing Group, 2003. ISBN: 0805426248.
6Ronnie, W Floyd. Our last great hope: awakening the great commission, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2011.
7Pipes, Jerry and Victor Lee. Family to family: families making a difference, Alpharetta, GA: North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, 1999.
8 Earley, David and David Wheeler. Evangelism Is–How to Share Jesus with Passion and Confidence. Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2010. ISBN: 9780805449594.
9Rebecca, Manley Pippert and Ruth Siemens. Evangelism : a way of life : 12 studies for individuals or groups, Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press, 2000.
10 Fay, William. Share Jesus without Fear. Nashville, TN: B and H Publishing Group, 1999. ISBN: 0805418383.
11 McRaney, William. The Art of Personal Evangelism, Nashville, TN: B and H Publishing Group, 2003. ISBN: 0805426248.
12Paul, Wesley Chilcote and Laceye C Warner. The study of evangelism : exploring a missional practice of the church, Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2008.