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GNCC Equipping Class: Worship (4 of 5)

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Worship in Community (part 2) …

Worship in Community (part 2)
Good News Community Church
June 22, 2008
Timothy Chan

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  • 1. Worship (4) Worship in Community (part 2) Good News Community Church June 22, 2008 Timothy Chan
  • 2. Class Outline
    • ❖ 6/1 - God: The Author of Worship ❖ 6/8 - Act of Worship: Biblical Models ❖ 6/15 - Worship in Community (part 1) ❖ 6/22 - Worship in Community (part 2) ❖ 6/29 - Worship "outside the camp"
  • 3. Review
      • Why do we worship together?
      • How to "evaluate" a church service
      • Identity of the church
        • Temple of God - God's dwelling place
        • God's Building - Christ's foundation and work
        • Body of Christ - unity & diversity
        • God's Priest - everyone is a minister
      • Elements of corporate worship service
        • We Remember - "anamnesis" of God's work
        • We Anticipate - renew eschatological hope
        • We Celebrate - corporate expressions of praise
        • We Serve - minister horizontally
  • 4. Tales of "Worship Wars"
      • "Worship wars" = fights within a church over how to conduct corporate worship, usually concerning conflicting personal style preferences
    Source: http://asbojesus.wordpress.com/2008/03/20/415/
  • 5. Tales of "Worship Wars"
      • From a comment by "anonymous" on a blog post about worship wars :
        • "I lead worship in a church of about 800. For years we had two identical ‘blended’ style worship services on Sundays, which occasionally drew fire from those who prefer things to stay very traditional. ...... The comments and criticism got quite personal, so steps were taken to have open conversation between the staff involved (including me) and the people generating the criticism. Our senior pastor and a gentleman serving as a mediator have done a phenomenal job of leading through those conversations. Most people acknowledge that they have opinions and strong preferences, but a few use scripture, etc to make a case for contemporary worship being wrong and sinful , which is very sad to me. Again, our pastor very firmly but gently has let these individuals know that he disagrees with their interpretation of scripture, and then the choice falls to these people as to whether they can, in good conscience, stay at a church where the lead pastor fundamentally disagrees with their theology on this issue. We haven’t had anyone leave over this, largely because our pastor manages to say all of this and still love the people! I’ve learned a lot from these interactions. But I continue to struggle every week with the planning of the blended services, as I know that there are people attending who cannot stop ‘counting’ and keeping track of how many songs fall in which category . I am encouraged by staff and other leaders to not allow the interactions we’ve had to affect how I work, but it bothers me deeply to know that there are people who basically have no chance of actually worshiping, as they walk into the room expecting to be frustrated. "
  • 6. Your Tales of Worship Wars
      • Share your experience of past worship wars (please keep church names and people names anonymous)
        • What happened?
        • What was the point of conflict?
        • How did it resolve (if already resolved)?
  • 7. Dimensions Of Worship Planning
      • Robert Webber lists three dimensions to planning corporate worship that are distinct:
        • Content
        • Structure
        • Style
      • Congregation feedbacks about worship are too often overly concerned with style, examples:
        • "Too many new songs"
        • "Musicians should wear more decent clothes"
        • "Let's make the communion go faster by passing out the bread and juice together"
      • I wish churches pay more attention dealing with the content and structure issues of worship
  • 8. Content Of Corporate Worship
      • Content must be centered around the story of God's redemptive acts
        • God's initiating of relationship with humanity
        • Birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension, and imminent return of Jesus Christ
        • Founding of church and Spirit's work in us
      • Without these it is no longer Christian worship
      • Content is non-negotiable and should not be compromised by the tides of the culture
      • "Judgment about a particular style of worship must be concerned chiefly with the content of the worship." -- Robert Webber, "Worship Old & New" (1994), p. 149
  • 9. Structure Of Corporate Worship
      • The intentional ordering of corporate acts of worship (preaching, communion, singing, creeds, benedictions, prophecies, ministry, etc.)
      • Webber recommends this structure:
        • Gathering - the ascent into the presence of God
        • Word - God speaks through the Word and we respond
        • Thanksgiving - we draw near to the throne of God and join the communion of saints
        • Dismissal - we're sent forth to love and serve the Lord
      • Structure can be informed by studying church tradition and any lessons learned from history
      • Evaluation of structure: Meaningful? Practical? Relevant? Fresh? Clear to congregation?
  • 10. Style Of Corporate Worship
      • Style should be considered last
      • The ideal style should be an expression of the unique characteristics of the worshiping community and be relevant to cultural context
      • Some example styles:
        • Formal/Liturgical vs. "Traditional" vs. Charismatic vs. "Contemporary" vs. Blended vs. Emergent
        • Oral vs. Audiovisual vs. Multisensory
        • Diverse use of worship arts
      • Style should be flexible/adaptive to a changing context while keeping the integrity of worship
      • We should value history and make new history
  • 11. Audio
      • We now listen to a talk entitled "Meeting God In The Worship Event" by Alan Yu (July 1, 2007) from [5:41] to [25:03] at afcspeaks.blogspot.com
        • Based on Robert Webber's "Worship Old & New" (1994), p. 20-21
      • You'll learn about:
        • Content & Structure of a model of corporate worship in Exodus 24
        • Expectations and roles of congregation in corporate worship
  • 12. An Anglican Prayer
    • Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love You, and worthily magnify Your holy name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
  • 13. Exodus 24:1-8
    • Ex 24:1 耶和華對摩西 說:“你要上到耶和華這裡來。你自己、亞倫、拿答、亞比戶和以色列長老中的七十人都要上來,你們要遠遠下拜。 24:2 只有摩西一人可以走近耶和華,他們卻不可以親近;人民也不可和摩西一同上來。” 24:3 摩西下來,把耶和華的一切話和一切典章都向人民講述;人民都同聲回答, 說:“耶和華吩咐的一切話,我們都必遵行。”
  • 14. Exodus 24:1-8
    • 24:4 摩西把耶和華的一切話都記下了;清早起來,在山下築了一座祭壇,按著以色列十二支派立了十二根柱子。 24:5 又派了以色列人中的青年人去獻燔祭,又向耶和華殺牛獻為平安祭。 24:6 摩西取了一半的血,盛在盆中;又取了另一半的血,灑在祭壇上。
  • 15. Exodus 24:1-8
    • 24:7 他又把約書拿過來,念給人民聽;他們 說:“耶和華吩咐的一切話,我們都必遵行和聽從。” 24:8 摩西就取了血來,灑在人民的身上, 說:“看哪,這是立約的血,這約是耶和華按著這一切話與你們立的。”
  • 16. 1. We Are Convened By God
      • In Exodus 24, it was God who called the people out of Egypt and brought them to Mount Sinai to worship Him
      • We are able to worship God because He assembled us, and we need to respond to His call
  • 17. 2. Each Of Us Has A Role
      • In Exodus 24:
        • Moses - leader of the Israelites
        • Aaron, Nadab, Abihu - priests, worship leaders
        • Seventy elders - leaders among the people
        • Young men - administer offerings
        • Israelites - congregation
      • A worship service that is pleasing to God involves the full participation of the people of God
  • 18. 3. We Proclaim God's Word
      • Our God is a God of words
      • How important is God's Word in your life?
      • What's your attitude when you hear God's Word proclaimed?
      • Is God's Word the authority of your living or just a bunch of suggestions?
  • 19. 4. We Offer Our Lives To God
      • Ex 24:11b 他們看見 神,並且又吃又喝。 (covenant meal)
      • Every worship service is an opportunity for us to continuously renew our commitment to God with our whole lives
      • "Discipleship is a long obedience in the same direction." -- Eugene Peterson
  • 20. 5. Symbol Of Ratification
      • Blood of the covenant, in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, signifies the sealing of a relationship between God and God's people
      • We are reminded that we have a covenant with God
      • 1 Pet 2:9 然而你們是蒙揀選的族類,是君尊的祭司,是聖潔的國民,是屬 神的子民,為要叫你們 宣揚 那召你們出黑暗入奇妙光明者的 美德 。
      • Our most basic duty is to declare God's praise
  • 21. Questions For The Congregant
      • Do I come to each church service "already worshiping" ?
        • "We will fail miserably if we wait until a church service to focus on God. Our praise to God should be continual (Heb 13:15). The psalmist proclaims, 'I will extol the Lord at all times' (Ps 34:1). Corporate worship should be the gathering of believers who are already involved in the practice of praise." -- Vernon M. Whaley, "The Dynamics of Corporate Worship" (2001), p. 22
  • 22. Questions For The Congregant
      • Do I come to each church service expecting to give rather than to receive ?
        • The "service" in "church service" means we're to serve, not be served
        • The "I hope I'm getting fed today" attitude is spiritual laziness
        • We need to come and bring our whole being as offering to God
        • Look for ways to exercise faith , hope , and love with fellow believers (The three "Let us" in Heb 10:21-25)
  • 23. "Let us" in Hebrews 10:21-25
    • Heb 10:21 我們既然有一位偉大的祭司治理 神的家, 10:22 我們良心的邪惡既然被灑淨,身體也用清水洗淨了,那麼,我們就 應該 懷著真誠的心和完備的 信 ,進到 神面前; (draw near ... in faith ) 10:23 又 應該 堅持我們所宣認的 盼望 ,毫不動搖,因為那應許我們的是信實的。 (confession of our hope ) 10:24 我們又 應該 彼此關心,激發 愛 心,勉勵行善。 (stimulate one another to love ) 10:25 我們不可放棄聚會,好像有些人的習慣一樣;卻要互相勸勉。你們既然知道那日子臨近,就更應該這樣。
  • 24. Questions For The Congregant
      • Do I come to each church service expecting to be transformed and be a transformer ?
        • "Often, Christians say things such as 'Sunday worship helps me get through the week' or 'Sundays are where I get my batteries recharged.' While worship does benefit the believer, those who make such statements have missed half the point of worship. It is intended to transform both the Christian and the world." -- J. Michael Walters, "Can't Wait For Sunday" (2006), p. 199