Lesson 3: Worship
1. To help students understand worship as a discipline
2. To inspire students to engage in the discipline of worship more consistently and meaningfully
3. To give students a chance to practice the discipline individually
Discipline, Praise, Relationships, Worship
OPENING PRAYER (5 to 10 minutes)
GROUP BUILDING (10 Minutes)
Let's Party (Activity/Icebreaker) Click here
(Optional) As everyone arrives, give them a party hat and/or a noise maker. You can also use simple decorations to create an environment of celebration. As the questions pour in, just let everyone know that today is a time to celebrate.
GETTING STARTED (10 minutes)
Today, the spiritual discipline we’re talking about is worship.
• Do you tend to think of worship as a celebration? Why or why not?
• Do you ever think of worship as a discipline? Why or why not?
Well it is a discipline. It’s a corporate discipline, one we perform with others. And the Bible has a lot to say about worship. To frame our study today, we’re going to take a look at the Old Testament book of Exodus.
DIGGING IN (25 minutes)
In the book of Exodus, the word worship is used 20 times. The theme is often thought to be the exodus, but it seems like the theme may be worship. Let’s look at 3 passages to see if that is true, as we also discover what worship is.
Read Exodus 3:9-12
Remember the burning bush experience, when God called Moses to go to Egypt? He gives Moses a reason for going to Egypt.
1. Why is Moses supposed to go to Egypt? (The people are oppressed.)
2. How would Moses know that it was Yahweh (YHWH) who is sending him? (He will worship God on the same mountain on which he is being called. YHWH is Hebrew and translates as "I am")
When God sees His people hurting, His reaction is to save them. This is what the very call of God is about. We are His children. He is our God. We are supposed to be in a relationship with Him.
• Worship is: An Expression of Relationship
Read Exodus 7:16, 8:1, 8:20, 9:1, 9:13, 10:3, 10:7 (Pick several different people to read these verses)
1. What is the common theme in these verses? (God didn't want His people to live in captivity.)
2. Why does God want His people to be released? (The whole point of the Exodus is to have His people worship Him.)
Is it possible that the reason God saved you is not so you’ll avoid hell, but so you’ll worship Him? With that in mind...
• Worship is: An Expression of Appreciation
Read Exodus 26ff, 40:34,35
The first text, which encompasses much of the second half of the book of Exodus, is all about the setting up of the tabernacle. This was to be the place where the wandering Israelites would worship. But then look what happens at the very end of Exodus, (40:34,35) another clue that the theme of the book is worship.
1. Imagine that scene for a moment, what do you think it looked like?
2. If you were an eyewitness to what happened right then, what would you have said/done/felt?
What they witnessed was amazing. Moses could not even enter the tent because the presence of God filled the space. The presence of God was near. That sets up the most important point…
• Worship is: An Expression of Awe.
Read Exodus 14, 15
We also see worship as the theme elsewhere in Exodus, for example in Exodus 15 after crossing the Red Sea, and in Exodus 34, with Moses’ radiant face. In a sense...
• Worship is: Being Blown Away by God
1. How often do you feel that way during worship?
2. Why do you feel we don’t have this type of experience more often? Is it God’s fault or ours?
3. What is your attitude when you are worshipping?
4. How Do You Worship?
Obviously, there’s no “right” way to worship. There are lots of ways to express relationship, appreciation, and awe. Most of you when you think of worship you think of music, but that’s such a small piece.
Read Romans 12:1-2
1. What does this passage say worship is? (To present your body as a living sacrifice.)
2. How might transformation take discipline that singing does not?
MAKING IT REAL (10 minutes)
(To begin this activity, give each student a piece of paper and an envelope.)
I want everyone to spread out. I'm passing out a slip of paper and an envelope. On the top of the paper I want you to write, “I Want to Worship.” Then below that, I want you to write a resolution of sorts, telling God what you are going to do, starting today, that honors Him. This is to be an expression of how you want to be transformed in order to worship Him more fully.
When you’re finished, I want you to fold it up and put it in the envelope. On the envelope, I want you to write your home address as if you were mailing it to yourself, and give it to me as you leave today.
In a few months, after you’ve forgotten that you’ve done this, you will receive this letter as a reminder that worshipping God is what life is all about.
Spread out and get busy. I’ll close us in prayer in a few minutes.