We’re in a new series called “Foundations” which builds off of Jesus’ metaphor in Matt 7: “A house built on sand will never be able to stand BUT a house that’s built on the rock will never be able to fall.”
Practice #1: Worship
Worship is at the beginning of what God calls us to do, not only because He’s worthy, but because faith is built and spread through personal and corporate worship. From Adam, to Moses, to Jesus, the Biblical examples of worship are almost as diverse in manner as the worshippers themselves, nevertheless, when worship is primary, people flourish and God is glorified from one generation to the next.
For Group Leaders
- Begin in prayer. Welcome the Holy Spirit to the group and invite Him to lead, guide, and convict your group as you meet together.
- Reflect on the sermon this morning as a group. What were some highlights? Was anything particularly helpful, convicting, or confusing?
- Consider the following questions and pick a few to focus your discussion.
Questions to Consider
- Re-read Ezra 3:1-11; Exodus 20:1-6
- Why do you think worship is such a high priority for Israel as they rebuild?
- Why is it a high priority for God? Does God really need our worship?
- What happens if you (or ‘the church’) don’t enter into worship?
- When you hear the word “worship” what typically comes to mind?
- How do you define worship biblically? What’s the difference between worship and any other religious practice?
Discussion: individual practice of worship
- Talk about the first time you remember understanding the worthiness of God. How did you react? What was it about Him that clicked?
- Think of a personal worship experiences that has been personally meaningful. What was the experience like? What does it have in common with other times?
- To what degree does the status of our hearts matter in worship? How do you prepare your heart for worship?
Discussion: group worship (“Church”)
- Talk about a time when God met you while at “church.” What was it that connected that day?
- Is corporate worship important? Why? What metaphors does the Bible use to describe our fellowship?
- Thinking back on your past experiences, what baggage (negative experiences) gets in the way of embracing worship more regularly?
- Why do you think the Sunday morning worship gathering is minimized today?
- Is there a difference between worshipping together as a body and worshipping alone as an individual? How might one be different from the other?
- How do the different elements of a Sunday morning worship service — contribute to worship? (music, giving, announcements, communion, baptism, prayers & readings, preaching, response) — What do you connect with most?
- Talk about “online church”. What is the cost of it long-term? What is the benefit?
- Read Isaiah 1:1-17
- What are your initial thoughts on this passage upon the first reading?
Anything surprising or confusing in the text?
- What does God have to say in this text about the nature of worship and obedience?
- Examine yourself. Are there any attitudes or practices you’re currently engaging in that might inhibit the acceptability of your worship before God (If you want to go deep as a community, this could be a great time to confess sin to one another)?
- When we read this passage, we see God speaking to a distinct people group rather than separate individuals. With this in mind, what might be God’s message to the American church as a whole about worship right now?
Things to Try Together
- Commit to worship on a daily, personal basis & a weekly basis with the church.
- Sing a song together as a group. This might be… awkward. But the awkwardness might be honoring to God. Try stepping out of your comfort zone.
- Be intentional with praise. Set a timer for 10 minutes on your phone and try to list as many things as you can, that you are thankful for. Think about the character of God. Think about His obvious provision (housing, food, and family). Think about what God provides that brings joy to your life (art, creation, family, food, people in your life). After making your lists personally, share them with the group at some point in the future.
Published on 09-05-2021 @ 12:58 PM CDT