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SONICFLOOd's Jeff Deyo on Worship Evangelism

  • 1999 11 Nov
SONICFLOOd's Jeff Deyo on Worship Evangelism
We in {{SONICFLOOd}} get many questions concerning our desire to only do worship music. People seem to think that we don't have a heart for evangelism. They assume, like we used to, that worship music is irrelevant to the unsaved person. Hence, it troubles them that we don't do music that is more palatable to the world for the purpose of evangelism. I assure you, these worries are unfounded, for our heart for the "lost" is as big as ever!!!! Here are a few thoughts we have concerning this topic and some things God has been challenging us with.

Have you heard the term "worship evangelism?" That is what we are involved with. Now, when we say the term "worship," we are referring to a lifestyle NOT to a music style. God has been showing us many scriptures that have led us to believe that a lifestyle of worship is the best form of evangelism. John 12:32 simply says that Jesus will draw all men unto Himself as He is lifted up from the earth. Psalm 40 quotes David saying, "God gave me a new song, a hymn of praise to our God, SO THAT many would fear and put their trust in the Lord." Acts 15:16-17 refer to God's desire to restore the Tabernacle of David (intense worship in the church) SO THAT all men might find the Lord.

You may be thinking, well, what about The Great Commission to "go into all the world?" It seems clear to us that this verse calls us to go and make "disciples." The word "disciple" requires that the verb "go" be defined by a long-term commitment or relationship, not just by the converting of an unbeliever. So, to base a ministry on simply converting the unsaved would not allow for the fulfillment of The Great Commission (to make disciples), since making disciples would require a greater investment of time to allow for the building of relationships. Even in Acts, when the Lord added daily to the church those who were being saved, He was doing so to a church that was built on relationships, and on the meeting of people's basic needs. The church at that time was a strong community of believers all united with one purpose, one goal and with one Lord.

You may also wonder, "What about Jesus? Surely He preached mostly to the lost." Yes, Jesus did preach to the lost, but His first priority was those closest to Him. He was committed first to James, John and Peter, then His disciples, then His family and friends, Mary, Martha, Lazarus and others, then the church where He was found each Sabbath and on many other occasions, and finely to those lost who gathered on the hillsides and lakesides. Somehow, in our passion to win the lost, we have seemingly forgotten what 1 Timothy 3:4-5 says concerning leaders in the church and the need for them to manage their families properly as a prerequisite to leading in the church. Surely, the same would go for the rest of us, and surely the same should be expected of us in the handling of our church "family" before we "go" into the world.

Furthermore, it is clear that the world today has a picture in their mind of who God is. That picture is ALWAYS based on what the church looks like. Therefore, if the church looks like division and dissention, that is exactly what people think of when they think of God. They feel, and rightly so, that if God can't take care of His own people's problems, how would He be able to take care of theirs? What we are suggesting is that the only hope of reaching the world with Jesus is if we, the church, will truly follow the path of 1 Chronicles 7:14, humbling ourselves, praying, seeking His face, and turning from our wicked ways. Then, just as always before, all nations will turn and see that the Lord is the on true God, and our nations will be "healed."

All these thoughts center around the fact that God has given {{SONICFLOOd}} a renewed heart for His church. He is making it clear to us that He wants to win the lost through His church - more specifically through you and me - and not so much though BIG evangelistic events as through one on one relationships. Think about it. If I go into a bar or club and sing "Christian" songs and then share my testimony, some will get saved. The question then comes, "who will follow up and help these baby Christians to stay strong?" If there are no relationships established with those people, the seed will most likely be snatched up and they will fall away. We call that "Lone Ranger Evangelism." I used to think since the church wasn't doing its job to evangelize, that I would go out and do it myself - "lone rangering it." But, that is not God's heart. Then I thought that at least the church needed to be having BIG evangelistic services. But that is not the key either. I do believe there should be some specific outreach events in the church, but the primary reason for the church's existence is to worship the Lord and to love one another. That is what we were created for, and it is "by our love for one another" that "they" will know that we are His!!!!

What God is helping us {{SONICFLOOd}} to see is that if we will come together in the church and pray and worship Him in unity, (very rare with denominations and huge divisions) then He will heal our land. As we, His people, worship Jesus as with ONE VOICE, His Holy Spirit will convict hearts without us having to say but a few words. This will NOT happen if we try to convince people with our neat songs and clever preaching (1 Corinthians 1:17). It will though, as we come together, seeking God's heart (VERY IMPORTANT). Then He will show us His heart, which is to love and save the lost.

But, to reach out to the lost is NOT to have a BIG outreach service or concert - that is HYPE! To reach out to the lost is to live a lifestyle of worship in our neighborhoods, our grocery stores and at our places of work and to live the lifestyle of abundant life and unity the world so longs to be a part of. This is the hardest thing and yet the most important!!!! I used to think that being in ministry full time exempted me from ministering to my next door neighbor. I am still working on this, but have realized that this is the most vital part. It is where REAL ministry takes place - through RELATIONSHIPS and ONE ON ONE.

{{SONICFLOOd}}'s vision is to help the church get back to its original focus - worshiping God. Through worshiping God, we will get closer to God. By getting closer to God, we will see His heart. By seeing His heart, we will want to be like Him. Being like Him is living as Jesus did. Jesus walked in holiness in His life, and He loved and healed people, taking away their brokenness. In the same way, He has anointed us to preach good news to the poor, freedom to the captives, sight for the blind, and liberty for the oppressed (Luke 4:18-19). When we share this good news with people AND put it into action by loving and healing them, they will want to know where that love and healing comes from. Then we can introduce them to the source, the one true God, His wonderful Son, Jesus, and His powerful counselor, the Holy Spirit. Then they will do the same for someone else, plus we will have a new, loyal friend. SIDE NOTE: Loving people is not something we must do, it is something that must come natural. We must pray that God will cause us to grow in our compassion, seeing the lost as He so often did. He will then help us to see angry and "evil" people as the hurting, pain-filled people they really are. Then we will be moved with His compassion, and we will WANT to love them, not have to TRY to love them. This does not come easy.

Remember: God wants to reach the lost through HIS PEOPLE. That's it. If He wanted to reach people through TV, He would have already done it. TV's can't touch and they can't love. Only people can. Love is the greatest commandment. Love God and love others (Matthew 22:37-39). Period. Love covers sin and love builds bridges instead of walls. The biggest problem with technology is that people can now work, shop, and communicate without ever being face to face - that's called separation, and that is why Jesus died - because you and I were separated from our awesome God through sin. Jesus didn't die to take away our sins. He died to bring us back to God. Sin just stands in the way of that. God wants to BE WITH us (Zephaniah 3:17). This verse is the greatest picture of God in the entire Bible. It shows us He didn't send Jesus because of His hatred for sin but because of His absolute crazy LOVE for us!!!! See, God loved us FIRST that is why we are compelled to LOVE Him. It is this love that will draw others to Jesus, just as it did us.

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