A Review of The Great Commission to Worship and how it impacts the Egg Angels MInistry

Abstract

The Great Commission to Worship by David Wheeler and Vernon M. Whaley calls all Christian believers to be living examples of worship that is powered by evangelism.  Wheeler and Whaley present a poignant argument for the symbiotic relationship that exists between worship and evangelism.  The current practice in many churches has separated both of these constructs into two separate entities.  The authors define worship as, “a lifestyle of walking in submission to and with God”.[1] However, that lifestyle is incomplete if worship does not involve participation in The Great Commission.  The authors declared, “But a lifestyle of worship cannot be complete without a life of sharing— sharing the good news.”[2]   The authors referenced The Great Command of loving the Lord with all our heart, soul mind and strength (Deut. 6:5; Matt. 22:37-39 New International Version (NIV).[3]  The Great Commission is the second command that God delivered to man.  The expectation for the believer is that they live these two commands. The authors defined this command from God for all believers to make disciples of all men (Matt. 28:19-20).  Wheeler and Whaley identified a Great Commission worshipper as an individual who is formational, transformational, relational, missional, and reproducible.  Acquisition of these skills enables the believer to impact mankind “for the glory of Christ and the testimony of Jesus Christ.”[4]  They must be the earmarks of the Christian life.  The authors make application of the processes realistic for Christians.

Concrete Response

             While reading this book I thought about a major turning point in my spiritual life.  I was a member of the Worldwide Church of God from 1971 until 2002.  I felt that I was fulfilling my responsibilities Matthew 28:19 by sending in my tithes to the headquarters church and supporting the worldwide mission of the church.  At no time, did I feel that Joyce Gerald needed to evangelize personally and bring people to Jesus Christ.

However, when the church went through its doctrinal changes that all changed.  The need to evangelize nagged at me on a daily basis. Being a worship leader for fifteen years made musical evangelism easier for me.  However, God placed a deep desire in my heart to reach the nations for the Kingdom of God.   That is why I began the Egg Angels ministry. I knew that God was calling me to reach out to the world through social media and the internet.  I had the technology skills, and after four years of bible based leadership training at Liberty University, I certainly knew how to use my number one spiritual gift-leadership.

I am taking care of my sick cousin whom the doctors say is dying from pancreatic cancer. However, I am also significantly physically limited. Even with these limitations I will teach about discipleship, worship, and evangelism on the URNOT blog.  It will equip the individuals from places like the United Arab Emirates who may not have access to this teaching. I will plant and water into the lives of all who come to the site.  I believe that God will give the increase. I believe that sharing what I am learning, and continuing to reach out to the unchurched in social media will bridge a gap that has existed in my life even though I have significant physical challenges. I am growing as a Great Commission worshipper, and I desire to be obedient to God.

Reflection

No specific questions “popped up” into the mind of the reader of this work.  However, Dave Wheeler and Vernon Whaley may have presented a misconception about the relationship between discipleship and Great to Commission Worship (GTC) by not providing a more detail explanation of the symbiotic relationship between both constructs.  The writer took discipleship class before reading this book; therefore, it was easier to connect the dots so to speak. However, by not building a framework that demonstrated the interrelated connections that GTC and discipleship the authors may have left some readers to think that the concepts are connected. There should have been more of a correlation between discipleship and GTC.  The authors should have stressed the duplication/reproduction process and explain its connection to discipleship and GTC in a more detailed manner.

The section on “Hindrances to Becoming Great Commission Worshippers” discusses discipleship, but the discussion was in a negative light.[5] Although the authors do proffer this statement, “The truth is, evangelism and discipleship are uniquely dependent on each other” it does not expand the explanation of that dependency enough to clarify its importance.[6] The term discipleship is much more personal to most Christians than “evangelism”; therefore, weaving that specific construct throughout the book would have made it easier for the lay person to connect with the concept a book like this should not be the purview of mainly theologians or aspiring theologians. This book should be in the hands of every believer because it speaks to our most important calling as believers.   The book speaks to the Great Command and the Great Commission.  Therefore, clarity is crucial to understanding the importance of its message.

Application of the Book

The other members of the Oakhill community whom the writer will share her story with includes her two granddaughters.  She has already begun the process of sharing worship music with them.  They are speaking about God as a real person who can help them and who loves them. They now have a personal children’s bible story book.  While the writer is not at home with her grandchildren at this time; however Skyping with them at least on Sunday evenings will help to share the gospel with them.  The writer will read stories from a children’s bible story book to them.  It may incite their father, but the writer believes that it is essential that the flames that are currently burning in their hearts toward the Lord must be fanned in order for them to realize the importance of them developing a relationship with God.

Action Steps 

Action Step One: By the end of the EVAN 525 the writer will meet at least three unbelievers in the local community and share her story with them. She will also invite them to her local congregation for worship services. Are you prepared to go into your current neighborhood and meet unbelievers with whom you will share Jesus?

This action step is going to require the writer to figure out how she can get out into the community where she is currently residing.  The home help who stays with her cousin is only at the home for a limited time while the writer goes to the prescribed daily therapy sessions.  The therapy sessions occur five days per week.  On Saturdays and Sundays, if there isn’t someone who is a member of Phyllis’ (the writer’s cousin) at the home, then the writer cannot leave the home.

A plan is already in place to visit with the next door neighbor to share the writer’s personal story.  Both of the neighbor’s sons are in the home with him.  The neighbors to the right are not at home – they are military persons.  The writer has no friends in this community.   None of her friends in her home state were un-churched persons.

Financial and physical limitations prevent the writer from extensive activities outside of the home.   When Phyllis is either healed in the flesh by the Lord or is taken home by him, the current situation will change.[7] Intentional personal evangelism requires the writer to visit public places, such as a waffle houses, where she will be able to meet people in her current community.   These actions are dependent on her staying in this area.

Action Step two:  By the end of the spring semester the writer will develop at least three relationships with unbelievers in the Oakhill Community.  She will share her story with these three people and invite them to participate in worship services in her local congregation. Have you identified a specific community or people group with whom you intend to share the Gospel?  Have you set a date and or time for that event to occur?  What specific things can you do in your personal community that will give you an opportunity to be Jesus to your neighbors?

If she moves back to her daughter’s home then she will use the local library, which is right down the road, as a means of developing relationships with people in the community. Talking to people about their favorite books is a possible opening remark.  Personal evangelism is completely out of the writer’s comfort zone.  However, this statement from the Wheeler and Whaley reminded the writer of her Great Commission to Worship responsibilities,

Therefore, understanding the concept of worship as living an obedient life is essential to grasping the connection between worship and its relationship to evangelism and the Great Commission. If the heartbeat of worship is obedience, then it is impossible to be a true worshipper without being directly involved in the command of evangelism as expressed in Acts 1: 8.[8]

Another venue for meeting unsaved persons would be the local public school.  At least one day per week, the writer will participate at the local public school.  Public schools are always looking for front office “greeters” whom they do not have to pay.  This plan will afford the writer several opportunities to speak to people on common ground.  It will also give the writer an opportunity to meet the parents of children who live in the community where her daughter lives.  Accompanying her granddaughter on proposed play dates will make the play date opportunity safe for her granddaughter, and it will also open up opportunities for the writer to meet other people.

Action Step Three: By the end of February 2015, The Egg Angels Ministry will begin a training program, for personnel involved in the ministry. The training will involve how to share their story with the unbelievers whom they are currently developing relationships.  The team members will report the results of their activities on the ministry blog.[9] [This action step is dependant on how many new servant evangelists are added to the team.]

Members of the ministry team received the template for writing their conversion story.[10]  Each member of the team will have a week to complete their story.  They will share their story on the team’s private blog.  We will all provide support for each person who has shared their story.  The writer will begin the process by sharing her story when she receives it back from Dr. Bishop. Team members will share their story with at least three unbelievers by the end of March 2015.  They will report their efforts on the Your Are Not the Only One Blog.[11]  The form for reporting their efforts is on the same blog.[12] All results from this form are accessible on the ministry’s Google drive.

Team members now have access to the http://www.sharejesuswithoutfear.com/ resources.  They have also been apprised of the availability of the “Share Jesus Without Fear” app.[13] The other resource that team members will have access to is the “I Am Second” webpage.[14] This resource will prepare them for the writing of their won recovery story.  Wheeler’s recovery story was impressive and made his experiences personal and realistic to the reader.  The team members’ recovery story will lend credence to their conversion as they share with numerous people.  The ministry was started to help individuals “recover” from incidences in their lives that they were not willing to share with the world, as well as discipleship outreach.[15]

The team will meet weekly to discuss how the process is developing and also to provide spiritual mentorship.  These meetings will occur on Sunday evenings.  They will be brief enough to ensure that they do not interfere with family obligations or local congregational obligations.  A team of five individuals will be assigned to a specific mentor; it is the recommended ratio by Wheeler and Whaley.[16]

This process will be a daunting one for the members of the team who are Catholics.  However, they have received so much training in the oneness of the Godhead, and The Great Command as well as discipleship that they are prepared to go the next step.  Going to the next step will be a journey that everyone in the ministry will participate in at the same time.  Each team member will participate in face to face personal evangelism as well as online evangelism using social media.  Finally, the journey has begun, and there is no turning back.

Application:

  1. As a child of the king have you written your conversion story?
  2. Are you prepared to share that story with an unbeliever?
  3. Are you willing to be transparent and allow the Holy Spirit to use you to change lives for the Kingdom of God?

If you are let us know how we can help you.

Bibliography

Wheeler, David and Vernon M. Whaley. The Great Commission to Worship: Biblical Principles for Worship-based Evangelism. Nashville, TN: B & H Academic, 2011.

[1] David A. Wheeler and Vernon M. Whaley, The Great Commission to Worship: Biblical Principles for Worship-based Evangelism (Nashville, TN: B & H Academic, 2011), Location 70, Kindle.

[2] Wheeler and Whaley, The Great Commission, Location 80.

[3] Unless otherwise noted, all biblical passages referenced are in the New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009).

[4] Wheeler and Whaley, The Great Commission, Location 3091.

[5]  David A. Wheeler and Vernon M. Whaley, The Great Commission to Worship: Biblical Principles for Worship-based Evangelism (Nashville, TN: B & H Academic, 2011), Location 2217, Kindle.

[6] Wheeler and Whaley, The Great Commission, Location 2274, Kindle.

[7] Isa. 53:5 But he was pierced) for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

[8] Wheeler and Whaley, The Great Commission, Locations 311-314, Kindle.

[9] https://urnottheonlyone.com/.

[10] http://bit.ly/ConversionStoryOutline

[11] Ibid.

[12] http://bit.ly/ISharedForm

[13] https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/share-jesus-without-fear/id783990937?mt=8

[14] http://www.iamsecond.com/

[15] https://urnottheonlyone.com/category/flip-flips-story/

[16] Wheeler and Whaley, The Great, Location 2745, Kindle.

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You’re Not the Only One

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