Wheeler and Whaley view Great Commission worship as formation, it should sculpt, form, and shape us. 3 God uses worship to change us just as much as He uses the message taught every Sunday morning. A. W. Dozer in his book The Crucified Life, writes of the great obstacle in ones walk with Christ, self- trust. Self-trust robs God of what belongs to Him. He defines self-trust as the respectability and self-assurance of self that one learns through education, friends, and experiences. Dozer explains that self-trust is wrong because it robs God; it takes away from Him what belongs to Him. It is imperative that a Christian continually learns to trust in God and not in themselves, especially leaders in the church. It is also important for a leader in the church to grow year after year instead of wandering between the Holy Land and Egypt. Dozer describes one of the greatest problems in the church is the lack of spiritual growth. He describes it as a chronic heart disease, the heart becomes harder and harder as time passes. Further, he believes the best time to plunge into a deeper spiritual life and establish good virtual practices is when one is a young Christian. In Church Is a Team Sport the author, Jim Putnam, shows that a healthy church works together. Putnam challenges churches to think strategically and cooperatively about their services and goals. When thinking strategically about a worship service he answers the following questions: Is this biblical? Will this move someone to where we want to take them next? Is this as relational as we can make it? Is this relevant and applicable to life? 6 Thinking strategically and as a team is a critical aspect of a successful church.
Team ministry can be found by looking at the biblical models such as Moses, Israel’s Elders, Paul, and Jesus himself. Teamwork in the Bible is a cooperative work. Paul consistently points out that he is working with other servants of God. 7 God gives each one of us different spiritual gifts and insights that we must choose to use together. Section Three The Power of Prayer Prayer is part of most church services in the United States and even around the world. The understanding that one is talking to God when praying is grasped by most people, yet the true power of prayer is not commonly believed and practiced.
Perhaps no one will fully comprehend the complete power of prayer, as it is part of our growing relationship with the Lord. As illustrated in The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, revival and spiritual break through happen on the foundation of prayer. 8 Christians hear about the power of prayer consistently and can become complacent. The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever personally brought the power of prayer to an impact reality through the amazing revivals that have taken place. One of the key characteristics one notices is that a prayer church started with a praying leader.
As a leader in the church, I know I have personally become complacent. Praying for revival, that the Lord takes my town by fire for His glory, without having The leader’s who prayed for and saw spiritual revival were praying with an expectation. Reading through the amazing accounts has lit a fire inside of me with a real expectation. It starts with God using me as a leader to get others to call on His name whole heartedly. What lit this fire inside of me to expect a revival? It was dwelling on history of God’s faithfulness to those who pray sincerely.
I have personally purposed to not let a month go by that I do not read and seek out a estimation to God’s faithfulness to prayer. My objective is to instill a passion for prayer upon Silver Valley Youth Group (SSW). I need to have the same objective with my ministry as I do for myself. I will be concentrating on the subject of prayer and God’s amazing faithfulness at least once a month. I currently have implemented prayer before and after almost all phases of youth group including each activity and our study. May the Spirit instill a true and real passion for prayer with SSW.
Being Prepared One of the lessons learned in The Ten Greatest Spiritual Revivals Ever is that evils and individual spiritual renewal is often instigated by a crisis or significant event, such as an economic crash or an act of war. 10 As a church we need to be prepared to act and minister to those in need following a crisis. Many pastors have experience and frequently minister to those going through a personal crisis or tragic event in their lives, but there is currently no plan established to minister to the community in the event of a tragedy in my home church.
I was at the tail end of a church plant a few miles away from the Aurora mall when the Aurora movie massacre took place. L At that time we had not had a crisis team ready for the tragic event that took place. However, an organization who had trained men who did respond was the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. 12 They had trained chaplains working with churches in a very timely fashion. They were very effective and had a positive reputation for ministering to those in need. Living now in a mining community, tragedy is not unheard of.
Mining is a dangerous occupation that supports the majority of the economy here. I have approached my pastor about sending myself and others to receive Sharing Hope In Crisis (CHIC) training from the Billy Graham Association. 13 The objective would be for us to share our training and form a local rapid response team. Effectively ministering in a great time of need could instigate the next revival even in a small mining community. The Call to Worship Music is a great tool we use to worship the Lord during Sunday service.
However, a Christians worship experience should not be limited to the service on Sundays or even music. The Great Commission to Worship translates worship into our everyday lives, living a life of obedience, particularly our call to evangelism. 4 This is not the common understanding of worship and even I didn’t really grasp the concept prior to reading The Great Commission to Worship. Wheeler tells of a story of a conference he spoke at once, where he asked if a person could be a true worshipper and not be redeemed?
The audience responded that one could not. Therefore, one must be “evangelize” before they can be a biblical “worshipper. ” Thus, evangelism and worship have a unique relationship. 15 Many Christians and even church leaders believe a misconception about reproducing and practical knowledge before they evangelize. I personally believed this misconception. While believing I have personally reached this level of maturity and knowledge to evangelize, I have been hesitant to stress evangelism to new and young believers in ministry.
Change starts with the leadership, as a leader my view of worship in light of obedience and evangelism has certainly changed. I will no longer hesitate to stress evangelism with new and young believers, Just as Jesus sent the disciples out in Matthew six he told them not to worry about how or what they should speak. However, knowledge and training can certainly help us share our faith. A Great Commission Worshipper pursues education and manipulation simultaneously. 16 I have suggested that church leadership read The Great Commission to Worship.
I pray that motivates a common vision within the leadership. I also feel it is important to cast the vision to the church in a way that educates and mobiles at the same time. I prepared a two part series for both the SSW and the church. The first part summarizes our call to be a great commission worshipper. The second part of the series summarizes an excellent resource for effective evangelism, Sharing Jesus Without Fear by William Fay. I pray the church and youth group are spiritually renewed in their calling to evangelism through this series and our leadership.
Personal Growth I have always been one to have a plan A, B, and C. To be honest, I stress about and over think difficult decisions. I love to trust in God when the worst thing that could happen is not that bad. I was deeply moved when Dozer claimed self-trust was the great obstacle, particularly that self-trust robs God of what belongs to Him. Dozer defines self-trust as the respectability and self-assurance of self that one learns through education, friends, and experiences. 7 Dozer explains that self-trust is wrong because it robs God; it takes away from Him what belongs to Him.
This is an aspect that needs to change, and needs to change sooner rather than later. 18 The spiritual man is the man that grows year after year instead of wandering between the Holy Land and Egypt. One of the greatest problems in the church is the lack of spiritual growth. It is a chronic heart disease, the heart becomes harder and harder as time passes. This moves me to put an end to my bad practice of self-trust sooner rather than later. I do not believe any man rids himself of all self-trust while on earth. However, I can certainly improve from my current state.
The first step forward is to sit down with my wife and explain my weakness, that I am prone to relying on my own plans and not acting unless I have a security blanket. I need her to pray with me and I need her to hold me accountable, so I have an extra barrier between me and that temptation. My wife knows more of the decisions I make daily than anyone, and the decisions I make effect her more than anyone. The Lord’s will, even when I don’t see the In Psalm 139 we see David asking God to search him, to look to the deepest art of what he is, his own heart. The reason for this is simple.
God knows our own hearts better than we do. 19 1 need to sincerely pray the prayer of David frequently. To have the Lord reveal to me the self-trust issues that I am blind to, that by His power I can remove them and draw closer to Jesus. Through improving this heart issue and establishing good spiritual decision making, I will not only spiritually renew Strategically Church Is a Team Sport by Jim Putnam has motivated me to start thinking more strategically concerning youth group, and include the help of others. When thinking tragically about a worship service Putnam answers the following questions: Is this biblical?
Will this move someone to where we want to take them next? Is this as relational as we can make it? Is this relevant and applicable to life? 20 1 need to translate these questions to the youth group. Silver Valley Youth Group (SSW) is not associated with any specific church, it is an independent youth group with various pastors in the local area on the board. This makes it challenging to establish and work as a team. The questions I have set out to answer are: What is the current interest of youth today? What are the popular misconceptions of the Bible?
Is youth group as influential as we can make it? To answer these questions, the primary team I need to work with are the youth. Popular interest among youth change yearly, some aspects change monthly, yet some never change. At the first meeting with select youth, we discussed an event we could hold as a youth group to spread our name and minister to others. The answer we concluded was surprising, the youth believed a valley wide dodge ball tournament would have a lot of interest. Dodge ball has been a popular activity for as long as I can remember.
I am currently looking into the possibilities from an insurance and cost standpoint of hosting this event. Continuing to meet to strategically think about how we are operating the youth group and frequently re-examining foundational questions will lead to a spiritually guided and alive youth group. As the youth group grows, more members will be able to work as a team to grow and edify each other. I cannot assume answers and must maintain a biblically based and Spirit guided foundation. I am excited to see how the Lord uses each of our gifts to build Silver Valley Youth Group.