Book review of When Necessary Use Words by Mike Pilavachi

October 25, 2011

Recently I finished reading the book, When Necessary Use Words by Mike Pilavachi. Here's some of my thoughts from the book and a question for you.

For me worship does not always include songs. My favorite part of worshiping God is to read my Bible in the morning by myself and learn more about the amazing God I know very little about. Pilavachi’s words are encouraging to me in worshiping God when he writes, “True worship brings us closer to the heart of God, which is why from the time of creation He laid worship at the very foundation of our life with Him” (pg 34). I am grateful that worship does not always have to be in the form of song, but it can be in the form of me reading His word and worshiping Him through it.

The concept of worshiping God in everything we do is not exactly new, but it is refreshing to have Pilavachi remind us that we “Don’t serve Him more by leading worship at church than by pouring tea and coffee in a café, or by speaking to a congregation of hundreds than by chatting to the person at the desk next to you. Everything we do, if offered to our heavenly Father and done in love, is an act of worship” (pg 57). This is good to know and be reminded that our worship to God is relevant no matter who we are or how significant or insignificant things we do are. If we do them in worship, they are pleasing to God.

One of the concepts that has been moving in me related to evangelism within my own church and what we are learning in our class is the concept that we need to help people feel that they belong before they believe or behave. This is the environment that I benefited from at my church as a non-Christian seeker, and it is what Pilavachi masterfully communicates about Jesus’ life when he writes, “Jesus . . . showed us a very different way. When He chose His disciples, He called them to follow Him way before their behavior changed. . . . They didn’t even understand who Jesus was for a long time; but right from the start, Jesus let them know that they belonged with Him, believing and behaving, or not” (pg 80). If Jesus did this, shouldn’t we?

A significant part of my journey as a leader has been learning to love and appreciate people for who they are. Pilavachi tells us that the same principle applies when it comes to evangelism when he writes, “the most effective evangelists . . . love people for who they are” (pg 89). Another concept that comes to mind when reading this is that we can never lead people when we are secretly judging them. If we are going to be effective as evangelists and disciplers in the world, we need to learn to love people for who they are and then assist their growth from there.

One statement from Pilavachi sums up his premise for the entire book: “We should be preaching the gospel at all times, speaking and acting out God’s love to a hurt and broken world” (pg 153). As evenagelists and disciplers we are always on display to others. If seekers are interested in making a decision to follow Christ, then they are secretly watching us which is why we need to always be preaching the gospel through our worship of God and our desire to show God’s love. 

Question: Do you believe it is always necessary to use words when trying to portray a message? 

Christopher L. Scott

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Christopher Scott is Small Groups Pastor at Rocky Hilly Community Church in Exeter, CA. He has more than ten years of experience leading volunteers, running nonprofit programs, and teaching the Bible in small group settings. He holds a bachelor's degree from Fresno Pacific University and master's degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

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