Worship - Lesson 6
Four Purposes of Worship - Part 3
Background Information for the Teacher
- The student can list four purposes which should characterize our worship and can cite a scripture with each. (Two previously and one more today.)
- The student can describe how each of these is achieved in such worship as singing and the Lord’s Supper.
- Each student should have access to a Bible.
- Have the quiz sheets ready for use at the first of the class.
- Each student should have access to the songs to sing.
- Have a chalk board or marker board ready for use.
- Write on a card each passage you will want someone to read and distribute them before class starts.
- Have the copies of the new “psalm” someone has written ready for all to read together.
- Have someone ready to lead a prayer of adoration to God.
- Have someone ready to lead a prayer communicating to God some of the things scriptures tell us to pray for.
Four purposes which should characterize our worship are: proclamation, adoration, communication, and edification.
Lesson Plan for Conducting the Class
Introduction: (12 minutes)
- Welcome visitors, check the roll, and make announcements.
- Give quiz over the last lesson and review the lesson briefly as you give the answers to the quiz.
- We have a new “psalm” ready to read today. Thanks to the one who prepared it. I’ll read the statements and you read the response.
- Ask all to look at “For the Beauty of the Earth.” Q: To whom is this hymn directed? Let’s read all the words aloud together and then we’ll sing the song.
- Now let’s have a prayer of adoration to God.
Learning Experiences: (33 minutes)
- Read Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16. Q: According to these verses, to whom do we direct our worship? (To God, to the Lord.) Q: From where is this worship said to come? (From our hearts.) Q: What does it mean to say worship comes from our hearts to God? (Heart is a figurative way to say “with feeling.” Even today we say “I love you with all my heart.”) Q: According to these two verses, what is a way we can express this feeling to God? (With singing.) This suggests our third purpose for worship: communication. We sing, and pray, give, and observe the Lord’s supper to communicate something to God. According to these two verses, we sing the words of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs in order to express our thoughts and feelings to God. God commands us to sing as one of the means of worshipping Him. This is a good way for everyone to be directly involved in the worship. We use the meaning of the song as a way of expressing the feeling of our hearts to God. As did the early church when they were under apostolic leadership, we sing with no instrumental accompaniment.
- We communicate our adoration to God, but there are other sentiments to communicate. Let’s think together some passages which speak of what thoughts we should communicate to God in our worship. Q: What verses do you recall that tell us things to pray for? (Teacher—let those who have such verses read them and then list on the board what the verse says we should communicate with God about. Following is a list of possible verses the class will remember. If they do not mention some of these, then ask someone to read each of them as you continue to make the list. Philippians 4:6—thanksgiving and requests. Acts 8:22—forgiveness. James 1:5-6—wisdom. James 5:14-16—healing and confession of sins.
- Let’s study “The Lord’s Prayer.” Read Matthew 6:9-13. Q: What does Jesus tell us to pray for? (Coming or spread of the kingdom and of the will of God, daily bread, forgiveness, protection from temptation and from the evil one.)
- Ask someone to lead a prayer in which we communicate to God the things listed on the board.
- Now let’s sing some songs of communication to God. (Use as many as time allows and before each song, ask the class what message we are communicating to God as we sing the song. Also ask the class what should be the mood in which we sing each song.) The hymn “I Need Thee Every Hour” was written by Annie Hawks at a time when all was going well in her life. One day she looked out the window of her home and was filled with a sense of nearness to her Master. She expressed this sense of need for nearness in the song. A few years later, when her husband died, her own words, written earlier, gave her comfort. Let’s sing this song with a sense of communicating with God.
- Edward Hopper wrote the song “Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me.” He was, at the time, serving as the minister of a mission church in New York where many sailors and their families attended. The song makes reference to the time Jesus stilled the Sea of Galilee. As you sing this song, think of the many references to the sea. Q: What is the basic message we want to communicate from our hearts to God as we sing thing song?
- The song “My Jesus I Love Thee” was written by a 16-year-old Canadian boy who sent it to a relative in America. It was later published and then read by A. J. Gordon, a Baptist minister, who wrote the music. Q: As we sing this song, what sentiments are we expressing to Jesus?
- Q: What three purposes have we learned so far which should be achieved when we worship? Q: What is a passage of scripture suggesting each of these?
- Q: What thoughts might one have during the Lord’s supper that would accomplish each of these purposes?
Assignment: Read 1 Corinthians 14:6-40.
On a quiz, the student will be asked to list the three purposes of worship studied so far and to list with each a passage that suggests this purpose. Also on the quiz, the student will be asked to link the Lord’s supper to each of these purposes.
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