Welcome to the first of our group study of the book, The Worship Architect. It’s not too late to get in on the study – even if you’re reading this weeks after it was published!
Foundations are important. That picture at the top of the page is from about ten years ago when the church I was serving decided to build a building for our youth ministry. Since I was in youth ministry at the time, I was part of the construction from beginning to end. We spent weeks digging, measuring, digging, measuring again and then digging some more. It felt like we were never going to actually build anything – just keep digging and measuring.
Then, when we got down to the level we needed to get to, we staked out a string-line to mark where the foundation needed to start. That would guide us as we got ready to pour the concrete to build the base of the foundation. But did I mention that this was youth ministry and there were youth helping? At some point, someone must have knocked one of the stakes over and put it back where they thought it went. We kept on following the line – even after we poured the initial concrete for the footers. It wasn’t until we were ready to pour the rest of the foundation that we realized that it was off (kind of sad, really, because it wasn’t just off by a couple inches). If we hadn’t realized that until after we were done with the foundation, the whole building would have been misshapen. All that digging and measuring would have been for nothing.
Phase 1: Laying the Foundations for Worship
The foundation for our worship is just as important. And just like our youth building, it can be easy to misplace the string-line and not realize it. As we read these two chapters, we’ll talk about some important Biblical principles for worship that are foundational to Christ-centered, God honoring worship.
Before we begin reading, the book lists several questions to think about at the beginning of each chapter. Let’s discuss those in the comments below:
- What do you think is meant by the phrase “biblical worship”?
- Do you think that we should do only what is commanded in Scripture when it comes to ordering worship?
- If the Bible does not forbid something, may it be done in worship?
- If you had to name only one thing that would make worship truly Christian, what would it be? Why?
Look at your last six worship services as you think about and discuss these questions:
- How many songs mentioned Jesus Christ by name?
- How many references seem to be made explicitly to Jesus?
- Does the service begin with references to the presence of Christ?
- Going by the order of service alone, complete this sentence: On the basis of our order and content of worship, our worship seems to emphasize ____________________ above all else.
Throughout the next week, read the two chapters in Phase 1 of the book (And maybe read them again, since foundations are so very important!). Then, in the comments below, let’s discuss and share about these questions and others things that we’re learning.
As you’re reading through Phase 1, consider writing a mission statement or philosophy of worship for your church. What are the Biblical non-negotiables when it comes to worship and what are the implications when it comes to the way your church worships?
Let’s start laying the foundation.