I was surprised that Wheeler and Whaley did not initially define the difference between Great Commission worship and traditional worship. I see traditional worship more in line with the worship that was described within the Old Testament where Israel simply worshipped God and did not attempt to witness to non-Jews and bring them to know God. Once we study the New Testament it is clear that Jesus commands us to continue to worship but to also evangelize the world. What I think is lost on many is that evangelizing is a form of worship that brings great glory to God as we endeavor to help expand His kingdom.
On the Sunday, the 20th of September I went to St. George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church located in 4335 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20011. The church rents out the National Theater for service every Sunday. This church is a non-denominational church and it is not at all traditional. The Pastor is Brandon Samuel, a middle-aged man with a wife and kids. The service was from 10:00 am to about 12:00 pm. I am a Christian so this church experience was not new to me, but it was quite different from my church at home as the church I attend back home is a Pentecostal church.
Rochelle Vann, I generally agree with your assessment of how many churches have “commercialized” their worship services in an attempt to fill the pews. I wonder how much of this is simply due to the fact that the church – in many places - has conformed to the culture rather than the church impacting the culture? Pettit (2008) says that “Since salvation is holistic, one possibly obvious implication of the spiritual formation process is that the believer's life should ultimately affect the culture” (p. 48).
When we think of evangelism, we tend to have a few big names, like Billy Graham, D L Moody, George Whitefield, and John Sung. Our mindset immediately goes to “They are powerful Christians used by God, but I am just a common believer”. Later we will arrive at a conclusion: I can never be good at evangelism. Gradually, we lost the courage to even trying evangelism.
In conclusion, the interpretation of the Great Commission in the Christian context is to share the word of God through evangelism as defined outside the walls of the church and best understood before by discussing the nature of evangelism in Christianity. Building solid relational bridges based on trust and mutual respect will allow me to speak with love the truth of God in the life of a person without damaging the friendship. Relational evangelism begins with seeing people as Jesus does, spending time with them, having attitudes similar to Christ, and learning to communicate for people to understand. In the context of the authentic Christian community, everyday Christians experience the power of the Holy Spirit and bear fruit for the kingdom.
The question may be asked, “what is the essence of being a Great Commission Worshipper?” David Wheeler and Vernon Whaley provides subtle element of what the significance is to being a Great Commission Worshipper – a man absolutely and similarly dedicated to evangelism and worship – and an otherworldly procedure that is formational, transformational, social, missional, and reproducible. The postulation/thesis of the book is outlined in section two when the writers doubtlessly express "
Consequently, I started to actually enjoy and treasure Christianity. Church services weren’t just a tradition or duty anymore, but something to eagerly look for. Writing my diaries and the messages I receive from God and reading the holy bible had become an integral part of my daily routine. It is immensely important for me to attend a spiritual revival camp at least once in each quarter
Just recently within the last two years I have grown closer to God as well. Although not all people believe in the religion I believe in I have found when I dedicated my life to Jesus I have seen many changes in my life. Going to church and reading the bible has impacted my life in a major way I find myself calmer, happier and even positive. It has giving me a better lookout in life and helped me through a lot of troubled times.
Ironically, the impetus for worship reform must originate from inside the Church, be directed by a priest, and percolate toward the mission constituency; however, the likelihood of this occurring is faint if love focuses
This past Sunday, Pastor Rich Wilkerson kicked off a collection of talks entitled, "The Church." He focused on our identity as a church, not just Vous Church, but “The Church.” We were urged not to get caught up “doing” church but instead to “be” the church. A timeless assembly of people gathering together under the name of Jesus, is the meaning of church or “Ekklesia” in Greek. Church is not a location, church is who we are and the way in which we will reach a lost and dying world.
How is a community formed? I have attended many churches and it can be difficult at times to be included as the rest of the congregation already has latent knowledge about each other which puts you on the outside. It can be difficult traversing the multitude of societal rules in order to become part of the community. Although the early church was encouraged to continue to meet together as, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (New International Version 2011, Hebrews 10:25). However, it can be difficult to make those personal and deeper connections in order for members of the church to encourage one another. Over a period of seven weeks spanning the months of August to October, I undertook an ethnographic study of the evening meal called ‘dinner’ which took place before the Eventide service at St. Elphaba’s of the Vale. My ethnographic research was completed using the participant observation method during a Sunday evening from 6-6.30pm. By using this specific methodology I was able to engage in all the rituals involved with participating in the meal as well as observe the interactions of my informants around me. Each week I primarily studied one specific aspect of the meal service ritual, therefore, I have decided to write one account which is a combination of all of my weeks of participant observation. The primary theories which I will be using to interpret my observations are Bronislaw Malinowski and Marcel Mauss’ theories of exchange, specifically concerning the Kula ring as well as Emilie Durkheim's theory of the sacred-profane dichotomy.
When worship centers on style and experience driven practices, worship orders tend to focus on personal needs and wants. Consequently, the worship service will thrive not on God and the Gospel message, but on the trends and “novelties” of the time.
Not too long ago, a Catholic lay minister, “John,” approached me to discuss a concern he has with his parish’s lay evangelization ministry. In addition to their parish’s weekly prayer service of fifty participants, this ministry organizes and facilitates a quarterly Catholic Evangelization Congress for their deanery that gathers between three to five hundred people. Consequently, some lay ministers have given greater importance to the major quarterly religious services they organize for their deanery than to their parish’s weekly prayer service, going to tremendous lengths to bring renowned speakers that would draw the greatest number of participants. This is frustrating to John because these lay ministers have expressed minimal interest in discovering how to engage many of these participants more effectively. Unfortunately, many of them do not attend the prayer services—and seldom attend the Sunday Mass as well—unless a popular Catholic (ordained) minister is participating. John wonders if the ministry is providing a disservice by ignoring this issue.
Reflecting upon the readings of Torrance’s Worship, Community, and the Triune God of Grace and White’s Introduction to Christian Worship will deeply shape how I look at worship in the churches I now order worship for the congregations. I used one of the churches in which I serve to do the Order of Worship assignment. It is a blue collar, small membership church located in a rural, retirement/ vacation area of North Carolina, Lake Gaston. It is also predominately Caucasian. Torrance’s focus is on trinitarian worship, participating in Christ’s communion with God, the Father and Christ’s life, death, and resurrection through the power of the Holy Spirit. And White’s focus is to look at how the forms used in worship give worship its meaning. These forms include but are not exclusive of, time, space, music and art. There are implications for both focuses in the order of worship for the congregation used for my order of worship.
When it comes to anything that has to do with my relationship with God and my love, worship, and praise for Him, I always take my direction from the Word which has all authority in my life and the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit. Some refer to this as “Experiential Worship.” Experiential worship in not just another ministry trend, not just another clever skill: it is nothing less than discovering again the “biblical worship,” worship according to the Greatest Commandment of Jesus (Rognlien, 2005).