Worship 1

This course is designed to evaluate the student’s current worship service and try to determine what works and what may work better if changed.

The first class focuses on preparation for worship and worship styles.  Because the nature of this course is more evaluation than instruction, there are no right or wrong answers and there is no “answer key.”  You are encouraged to answer each question as accurately as possible regarding your worship service.  Many questions are simple yes or no questions.

Worship Preparation

 

The following questions regard what kind of preparation is taken before the worship service

Does your church pray for the upcoming worship service as a group?

If yes, when does this occur? (Wednesday pray meeting, Sunday before the service, small group during the service, etc.)

Do you (personally) spend time praying for the worship service?

Do you spend time preparing yourself for the service?  (reading the passage ahead of time, focusing on God, etc.)

 

How much time do you spend spend preparing for the service (prayer and focusing on God)?

What role, if any, does prayer take in your worship service?  Is there a prayer for the service or is it for many things?  Is there more than one prayer?

Preparation is an often overlooked part of worship.  Many people believe that it is something only for the pastor, worship leader, and choir to do.  You’re not out of the ordinary if you don’t pray for the service or prepare for it in some way.

Just as a student prepares for a test or an athlete trains for an event, we should be ready for worship.  In the Old Testament, the priests had numerous things to do before they could approach God.  On the Day of Atonement, the one day a year when the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies, if he hadn’t prepared properly, he would be struck dead when he entered.

We obviously will not be struck dead when we enter the church and we have not prepared ourselves but the principle is still the same.  We will get out of worship what we put into it.  If we bring a bad attitude or all the baggage the we picked up from a week at work into the service, we probably won’t get much from it.  While it’s true that worshipping God will help lift us up from our problems, imagine what it will do when we are already in a good mood and ready to meet God when we enter the church!

Worship Styles

 

There are no right or wrong worship styles because anything that brings glory to God can’t be considered wrong.  However, sometimes tradition, a desire to keep up with pop culture, or even plain ignorance can cause a church to use a worship style that is not as effective as it could be for those who worship.

On Sunday morning we attend a worship service.  The goal is to worship God during that time period.  However, worship is defined many ways and worship to one person is mindless repetition or meaningless tradition to others.  How do you define worship?

 

Almost all services contain singing, a sermon, and an offering.  What other elements occur in your worship service? (a drama, choir song, soloist, praise band, testimony etc.)

Do you (or members of the congregation) raise their hands during singing or clap during songs?  Possibly even dance?

Are hymns, choruses or both used during the service?  Who leads them?

There are five main styles of worship services

Liturgical – Several scriptures read.  Sermons follow a predetermined calendar.  Choir often sings a classical song.

Traditional – Probably only one scripture read.  Hymns are used.  Choir often sings a hymn.

Revivalist – Preaching is powerful and emotional.  Emphasis is on conversion and repentance.  Altar calls are given most weeks.

Praise and Worship – Numerous choruses used.  Service often emotional, coming from singing, dancing, clapping, raising hands.  Sermon often takes a back seat to singing.  Charismatic churches include speaking in tongues, may include miraculous healings, being slain in the spirit, etc.

Seeker (Seeker sensitive or Seeker driven) – Service is packaged to draw in the unsaved and the emphasis is on exposing them to the gospel.  Few Christian references are made so that the feel isn’t “churchy”.  A seeker driven service is not an actual worship service as worship by the Christians will occur during a Wednesday service or some other time.  A seeker sensitive service will have some elements designed especially for non-Christians but will also have some things for Christians.

Based on these definitions, how would you best define your worship service?

Liturgical
Traditional
Revivalist
Praise and Worship (charismatic)
Praise and Worship (non-charismatic)
Seeker (sensitive or driven)
Blended (contains some aspects from more than one style, most likely traditional and praise and worship)

Are there any aspects of your service that do not fall into the category you chose?  (If your service is blended, explain what parts from each style your church contains)

All of this is a survey of our worship styles.  It is necessary to identify what our worship style is however before we go any further.  In the next class, we’ll discuss the effectiveness of our worship services and whether our style of worship is the most appropriate for our congregation.  We’ll also look at some of the tension between contemporary worship and more traditional styles.

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