Hearts, Heads, and Hands- Module 3

Hearts, Heads, and Hands- Module 3

by M. David Sills



Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781433646935
Publisher: B&H Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/01/2017
Pages: 120
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 3 Months to 18 Years

About the Author

M. David Sills (DMiss, PhD; Reformed Theological Seminary) is A. P. and Faye Stone Professor of Christian Missions and Cultural Anthropology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also the founder and president of Reaching and Teaching International Ministries, which serves people around the world through evangelism, discipleship, pastoral preparation, leadership training and theological education.
Sills previously served long-term as a missionary in Ecuador. While with the International Mission Board, he served as a church planter and general evangelist among the Highland Quichua people in the Andes and as a seminary professor at the Ecuadorian Baptist Theological Seminary. He also served as rector and professor of the Baptist seminary as a missionary with Global Outreach International. He has planted and pastored churches in both the United States and Ecuador. Sills has written several books and articles in both English and Spanish, including The Missionary Call: Find Your Place in God's Plan for the World, which has been translated into Spanish, Korean, and Indonesian, Reaching and Teaching: A Call to Great Commission Obedience, and Reaching and Teaching the Highland Quichuas.
His Spanish books include Capacitación Cultural en la Cultura Quichua and Quichuas de la Sierra. In addition, he has coauthored or contributed to several books such as Introduction to Global Missions and Introducción a la Misiología. A frequent speaker at conferences internationally, Sills has spoken for the Desiring God National Conference, Urbana Missions Conference, To Every Tribe, Master's College, and the Cross Conference. He and his wife Mary have been married for over thirty years and have two grown children and four grandchildren. 

Read an Excerpt

Hearts, Heads, and Hands- Module 3

Worship Christian Doctrine Shepherding God's Flock

By M. David Sills

B&H Publishing Group

Copyright © 2017 M. David Sills
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4336-4702-4


Worship, Peace, Just Christian Doctrine Shepherding God's Flock

The Heart: Worship, Peace, Just


Christian leaders must be prepared to lead in worship, be biblically grounded in sound doctrine, and shepherd God's flock as God has instructed. It is often said, "As the pastor goes, so goes the church." A shepherd cannot lead the flock any higher than he himself has gone. It is instructive that the Holy Spirit chose the metaphor of sheep rather than goats to refer to God's people. While goats may be driven, sheep must be led. As the pastor ascends to greater heights in devotion and doctrinal purity, those who follow him may also. The responsibilities of shepherds are commanded, modeled, and informed throughout the Bible.

This module will instruct the heart in worship — not the corporate worship we are familiar with on Sundays, but the worship of God in our devotional time as a personal spiritual discipline. This practice of personal worship of God in a pastor's life will be as obvious to those who are around him as its absence would be. Profound devotion and personal worship shape and change a person for good or ill, depending on the object of worship. Dedicate and prepare yourself to have a heart that desires communion with the one true and living God more than anything else.

As noted in the Old and New Testament overviews, all the cultures of the world already embrace some religion of their own devising, which means that they already worship something. The peoples of the world must hear the truth of the gospel message and come to know the One who is the Truth, the Way, and the Life in order to truly know and worship Him. We noted that the source of the truth that they need is the Bible. Since no one could ascend into heaven to conduct research and then return to teach the rest of us, God revealed Himself to us in His Word. In the Bible we learn what we are to believe about God, what He wants us to be, and what He wants us to do.

Because many cultures around the world are saturated with false traditional religions, it is imperative that new believers receive deep discipleship, and that the leaders among them get pastoral training that includes biblical studies and theological education. Worldviews give explanation to daily events, origins of the universe, and inner workings of reality for the world's peoples. Such lifelong beliefs do not simply evaporate upon praying a prayer to receive Jesus; new believers must be retaught. Discipleship is commanded and modeled in the Bible for a reason. New understandings about God, sin, salvation, and eternal life must be grounded in the Word of God to replace previously held religious beliefs. Since some of you may be studying the Bible for the first time, learning Christian doctrine through systematic theology and biblical theology may be a wise approach.

Biblical theology and systematic theology present the same truths, but are organized differently. Biblical theology is incremental and chronological and demonstrates what God has revealed as the Bible is studied book by book, noting historical realities of the time when the doctrines were first given and the emphasis of the writer. Systematic theology essentially takes all that God has revealed everywhere and places this knowledge under headings such as the doctrines of Scripture, God, man, Christ, the Holy Spirit, sin, salvation, and so forth. Biblical theology is not more biblical than systematic theology; it primarily refers to the way the truths God has given are presented. Wayne Grudem wrote, "Systematic theology is any study that answers the question, 'What does the whole Bible teach us today?' about any given topic."

The practical training of any pastor must include how to shepherd God's people. Pastors who entered the ministry in the past would have been much more familiar with the master-apprentice model than contemporary Westerners. In this model an experienced pastor mentors a young pastor. Although the young candidate was a committed disciple, had read many books, and passed examinations, they considered that learning the practical skills to shepherd God's flock through on-the-job training was just as important.

A pastor is not to imitate models seen among business leaders, military sergeants, company bosses, social directors, or popular entertainers; he is to shepherd God's flock as God's Word instructs him to do. The core essentials for training hearts, heads, and hands in this module are personal worship, Christian doctrine, and shepherding God's flock God's way.

John Bunyan's classic allegory entitled The Pilgrim's Progress describes the journey of Christian on his way to the Celestial City. Bunyan portrays the path that we all must walk and warns us of dangers we will face along the way. One goal of each of these student modules is to help you grow in sanctification and discipleship as you walk your own journey Home. Not surprisingly, there is an applicable passage for each aspect of the heart formation as you grow. It is my prayer that these short snippets from The Pilgrim's Progress will spark your interest and spur you on to read it in its entirety. In the following passage Christian's traveling companion, Faithful, is defending himself and the Christianity he holds.

FAITHFUL. May I speak a few words in my own defence?

JUDGE. Sirrah, sirrah, thou deservest to live no longer, but to be slain immediately upon the place; yet, that all men may see our gentleness towards thee, let us hear what thou, vile runagate, hast to say.

FAITHFUL. 1. I say, then, in answer to what Mr. Envy hath spoken, I never said aught but this, that what rule, or laws, or custom, or people, were flat against the word of God, are diametrically opposite to Christianity. If I have said amiss in this, convince me of my error, and I am ready here before you to make my recantation. 2. As to the second, to wit, Mr. Superstition, and his charge against me, I said only this, that in the worship of God there is required a divine faith; but there can be no divine faith without a divine revelation of the will of God. Therefore, whatever is thrust into the worship of God that is not agreeable to divine revelation, cannot be done but by a human faith; which faith will not be profitable to eternal life. 3. As to what Mr. Pickthank hath said, I say, (avoiding terms, as that I am said to rail, and the like,) that the prince of this town, with all the rabblement, his attendants, by this gentleman named, are more fit for a being in hell than in this town and country. And so the Lord have mercy upon me.

Personal Spiritual Discipleship: Worship

Worship is the heartfelt expression of love, adoration, honor, veneration, and reverence toward God. Wayne Grudem defined worship as "the activity of glorifying God in His presence with our voices and hearts." It is giving God all we are — hearts, heads, and hands — every day until He returns or calls us home (Rom. 12:1). Even mute creation declares God's glory: everything He has made proclaims it. The unavoidable contrast of the omnipotent, infinite God with our own weak and temporal selves should lead us to fall before Him in worship. Indeed, a cursory glance at the cultures of the world reveals that while they have a religion of some kind and worship something, their expression will never be biblical worship of the true God without hearing gospel proclamation and teaching. We live in a worshipping world that is lost and hell-bound unless it hears the good news of the gospel. God's self-revelation is what they need to hear.

The Bible is our textbook for worship. From as early as the time that Adam and Eve had Seth, who fathered Enosh, men began to call on Yahweh. Noah built an altar and worshipped God with a burnt offering after the floodwaters receded. Abram built an altar to the Lord in Bethel and called on the name of the Lord. He declared to the servants when he intended to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, "Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there to worship; then we'll come back to you" (Gen. 22:5, emphasis added). Moses worshipped God and received God's specific requirements for Israel to guide them in their worship of Him. In the Ten Commandments, God forbade us to worship other gods (Exod. 20:3–6). He established the tabernacle, and eventually the temple in Jerusalem, as the place of worship and sacrifice, giving His people guidelines for how to worship Him rightly. God warned them of the great sin of worshipping other gods, promised judgment if they did, and followed through on that promise by punishing them when they rebelled against Him. God also blessed those who refused to worship other gods. The story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is a powerful narrative demonstration of the honor that God gives to those who remain faithful worshippers of a faithful God.

The book of Psalms was the hymnal and worship guide for Israel and has served as such for the church. David and the other psalmists sing hymns of praise, thanksgiving, and prayers of petition. The psalms serve as a guide for all who want to know the heart of worship, whether in corporate expression of the temple or the personal worship from a shepherd boy giving thanks to the Almighty for deliverance from danger.

In the New Testament we see that the devil tempted Jesus to sin by promising Him the world if He would just worship him. Jesus reminded him, and every reader of the Gospels since, that God's people are to worship God and God alone. Jesus also taught at length to correct the Pharisees' false worship. They had replaced God as the object and recipient of their worship by giving honor to one another. They prayed to themselves and kept rules of their own making to achieve self-righteousness, and they created a religion that worshipped and honored its creators. Perhaps many of the Pharisees were good men blinded by the accepted system of the day and were unintentionally deceived into thinking that their efforts were genuine worship of God; after all, that is what the religious rulers required. Sadly, by very definition, anyone who is deceived doesn't know that they are. Paul declared that worship was not just the offering of a portion of our goods; it is heartfelt devotion of our entire lives to God. "Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship" (Rom. 12:1).

To guard against demonic deception as seen in false religions and cults, we must worship according to what God has revealed in the Bible. Constant vigilance is required, evaluating our worship by what we find in the Word, being careful not to simply worship Him as we imagine or as false, traditional religions guided us in the past. To truly worship God we must know Him, and to truly know Him we must know His Word, being guided by the Holy Spirit to understand it. That means that to know and worship Him truly, we must be born again and be filled with His Spirit.

Jesus taught the Samaritan woman at the well whom we should worship and how.

Jesus told her, "Believe Me, woman, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship Him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:21–24) In the New Testament we learn that Jesus is the true Temple, the true Sacrifice, and the Object of true worship. True worship of the Father must be done according to His Word, in the Spirit, and in Truth. All who claim to be worshipping God the Father, but who do not worship the Son and the Spirit as God, are not worshipping the God of the Bible. The true and living God has revealed Himself as the Triune God.

The book of Revelation also gives great insight into true worship. Such worship should flow freely from the hearts and minds of God's people. True worship there is contrasted with the false worship of false deities and demons, which will always exist in the absence of true worship of the one true God.

Worship that flows from a heart after God's own heart, with the mind of Christ, and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit does not have to be forced or faked; indeed it cannot. Rather, it is the natural outflow of living in love with God. Don Whitney wrote, "Worship often includes words and actions, but it goes beyond them to the focus of the mind and heart." As we practice God's presence, worship is the expression of emotions that flood our hearts and minds, not just the logical consequence of what such a Savior deserves, although both are involved in balanced biblical worship.

Public worship is essential in the life of a Christian (Heb. 10:25), but it can never be the only time that we worship God. If the only time that the pastor worships God is in church on Sunday, the public worship that he leads will be weak. Certainly public worship is modeled and commanded in the Bible, but it was never to be the only time we worship. Daily worship at a personal level should be evident in a Christian's life.

Walking in communion with God daily, living in love with Jesus, and abiding in His Word result in a lifestyle of prayer. Such a person worships God continually, not just on Sunday mornings in public or corporate worship. While a godly man leads his family in daily prayer and family worship, he also practices private worship. During his devotional time with the Lord each day reading his Bible and praying, the pastor should focus his heart and mind on God and enter into a time of private worship.

Spending time with those we love is an expression of our love. We share with them our deepest fears, greatest joys, and even the mundane details of everyday life. In this way we come to know them, and they come to know us; in fact, the more time we spend with them, we even tend to take on personality traits, share values, and embrace similar ideas about life. Such blessings attend the spending of focused time in worship of God as well. Wayne Grudem listed some results and blessings of genuine worship: we delight in God, we draw near to God, He draws near to us, we sense His ministry to us, and we see His enemies flee. As we share life together with loved ones, we grow in depth of fellowship through communion, causing our love and appreciation for them to grow. This same principle is true in our time with God, but it is much richer. With God, we add the growing dimension of recognizing His worth and telling Him of our love and thankfulness, confessing our need for Him, and meditating on His attributes.

Declaring to Him the worth at which we value Him is a vital component of worship. We will always be growing in our appreciation of Him and His worth because He is infinite, eternal, and well ... God. Worship is ascribing worth to Him, hence the Old English word woerthship, or "worth-ship." In other words, one way to measure the depth of worship you give to God daily is to consider the question, What is God worth to me? Imagine a pair of old-fashioned balancing scales, the kind used by merchants to measure out everything from grain to gold. If God were placed on one side of the scale of your values, importance, and worth, what would you have to place on the other side to balance Him out? All of the universe placed on the other side should not be able to lift God from the weight of glory that you see in Him. God's proper value or worth is infinite.

When challenged by friends and family not to give up his future, fame, and wealth to go to the mission field, reasoning that God would surely not expect so much, C. T. Studd responded, "If Jesus be God and He died for my sin, no sacrifice I could make would be too great." What is God worth to you? As you express to Him the value that He has in your life, you are worshipping Him.

Certainly God has a place of great worth in your life and in the lives of those you teach and disciple. As true believers we love Him and want to grow in our relationship with Him. So why spend time teaching Christians that this should be a fundamental component of their lives? Unfortunately, we cannot assume any level of spiritual formation; rather, we must model, mentor, and mold others to value daily worship of the Lord. The "shoulds and oughts" are not automatic in a fallen world. Personal worship is a discipline, and just like any healthy discipline, we must train ourselves until it becomes habit and then continue to discipline ourselves as an ingrained pattern of life. We must strive to keep the world from forcing us into its mold and instead earnestly seek to become like Jesus, becoming conformed to His image. Don Whitney wrote that worship is a spiritual discipline that is both "an end and a means. The worship of God is an end in itself because to worship, as we've defined it, is to focus on and respond to God. ... But worship is also a means in the sense that it is a means to godliness." We must strive after worship. God deserves it; He demands it; He forbids granting it to another. Moreover, He knows that our sincere, single-minded focus on Him enables us to worship in a way that becomes a pathway to peace and joy for us.


Excerpted from Hearts, Heads, and Hands- Module 3 by M. David Sills. Copyright © 2017 M. David Sills. Excerpted by permission of B&H Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Module 3 Learning Objectives,
Worship, Peace, Just Christian Doctrine Shepherding God's Flock,

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