Worship and the Great Commission

 

The Great Commission, found in Matthew 28:18-20, commands all believers to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Song and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.” Another important command in Scripture is often referred to as the Great Commandment, found in Matthew 22:37-40, which says, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” These two passages are at the heart of evangelism and of worship.

It is easy to keep these two activities of the church separate in our minds, but they actually are not separate elements, or at least they shouldn’t be. One of the books I am reading for my Personal Evangelism class is called Worship and Witness: Becoming a Great Commission Worshiper. Our main goal as followers of Christ is to glorify God. This is done as we live lives of worship individually, and as we come together corporately on Sunday mornings. However, another way we glorify and worship God is to obey His commands and live a life of obedience. Obeying the Great Commission by making disciples brings glory to God. Also, regarding the Great Commandment, the authors of Worship and Witness say, “He called us to glorify God with unyielding allegiance, but our worship isn’t complete unless we also love our neighbor. If we fall in love with Christ and seek to glorify His name, we’ll also love others and lead them to worship with us.” (1)

Coming together on Sunday mornings to express worship together as the Body of Christ is a wonderful and necessary thing. However, our worship cannot stop there. “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” (2) found in the Great Commission. We are called to be Great Commission worshippers. We should love the Lord with all our heart, and love our neighbors enough to tell them about the love of Christ. Great Commission worshipers are those “who are so in love with Jesus, so committed to worship Him, and so devoted to obedience of all His commands that they simply cannot restrain themselves from telling others about Him.” (3) That sounds like a great goal!

1.  David Wheeler and Vernon M. Whaley, Worship and Witness: Becoming a Great Commission Worshiper (Nashville: Lifeway Press, 2012), 12.

2.  David Wheeler and Vernon M. Whaley, The Great Commission to Worship: Biblical Principles for Worship-Based Evangelism (Nashville: B&H Academic, 2011), 13.

3.  Wheeler and Whaley, The Great Commission to Worship, xi.

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