Worship Matters

Worship Matters

In this 5 week series Ps Wayne and Libby Huirua teach from their wealth of experience on worship, unpacking why worship matters and what its role is in a Christian’s life.

Week OneWeek TwoWeek ThreeWeek FourWeek FiveWeek SixWeek Seven

Week One: Worship Equals Love

Key thought: Jesus tells us to love God with all we are. Our worship is our response to Jesus’ sacrifice for us.

Watch: Watch ‘Session One’ of the video series.

Key Verse: Deuteronomy 6:5 (MSG)

“Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got!”

OPEN

Question 1

Ps Wayne talked about how some people come to church for the worship but really they just like the music. He described people in three categories, which one do you most fit into? 

  • You go to church because you like the music.
  • You feel something in worship and are starting to understand what the whole thing is about.
  • You understand that your worship is your response to Jesus’ sacrifice and as you come you join your act of worship with the rest of the church.

Question 2

The very act of giving your life to God is your first act of worship. It’s an act of sacrifice: sacrificing your will and giving your life. What do you think of this thought?

STUDY

Read these passages:

Exodus 20:2-5 (NIV)

“‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. ‘You shall have no other gods before me. ‘You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God

Deuteronomy 6:5 (MSG)

Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got!”

Question 3

In Matthew 22 Jesus chose to quote the Deuteronomy passage where Moses paraphrases what God said in Exodus, rather than quoting God directly. What is significant about this choice of wording? What do we learn about worship as a result?

Question 4

Jesus instructs us to love God with all our heart. Clearly worship is more than just music. How do we worship God with all of our heart?

COMMIT

Question 5

The video showed a lot of ways of worshipping. Christianity is the only religion where God sacrificed for us, rather than us having to sacrifice to a god. What does this mean for us and our worship? 

Question 6

Ps Libby shared a story about someone reminding a group of worship leaders that their role is not to lead people into God’s presence, but to lead them to an awareness of God’s nearness. How do we make ourselves aware of God’s nearness?

PRAY

Pray that God will help us become aware of His nearness in every situation.

PRACTICAL

This week try to put into practice the things you’ve discussed to help you become more aware of God’s nearness. 

Week Two: Worship Equals Love

Key thought: This week looks at the story of Jesus meeting the woman at the well, and how worship isn’t about style but the heart and how open and honest we’re being with God.

Watch: Watch ‘Session Two’ of the video series.

Key Verse: John 4:23-24 (NIV)

"Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.’”

OPEN

Question 1

Was there anything that stood out to you from the video?

Question 2

There’s many ways people worship and different churches have different styles. What are some different styles of worship that you’ve experienced? Have any of these styles or experiences not been your preference, and how did you find that?

STUDY

John 4:23-24 (NIV)

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.’”

Question 3

Jesus says that where or how we worship is not as important as the heart. What does it mean to worship in Spirit and in truth?

  • In Spirit: with whole heart engaged, not ceremony but passionate encounter, complete transparency and honesty, not limited to a certain place.
  • In truth: properly informed and based in truth about God.

Question 4

Ps Wayne shared how he’s looked for the love that we should find in God in different places (music, food etc.) but it’s actually found in the water of life from Jesus. Where else have you looked for what we should find in God?

COMMIT

Question 5

Jesus is our way of understanding God’s love, and worship should be an expression of our love for Him. How did we turn worship into music and define it as the four songs we sing in a service? What’s the effect of this?

Question 6

Jesus is looking for us to worship in Spirit and truth: in transparency and honesty. When you worship are you being open, honest, and completely transparent with God? Do you worship God with your whole heart or are you just giving Him part of you?

Question 7

The woman responded to Jesus by opening up and receiving the water that Jesus had available. She lowered her defences and let Jesus into her core issues. Ps Wayne left us with this question and challenge: Have you allowed Jesus to get to your core issues?

PRAY

Ask God to help you to worship Him with your whole heart.

PRACTICAL

Try worshipping God in a different way or style to what you’re used to. It may help you to more intentionally engage your heart and be honest and open with God.

Week Three: Intimacy

Key thought: God created us for relationship and intimacy with Him. Worship is our way back to oneness with God.

Watch: Watch ‘Session Three’ of the video series.

Key Verse: John 4:23-24 (NIV)

Matthew 22:37 (TPT)
“Jesus answered him, “‘Love the Lord your God with
every passion of your heart, with all the energy of your being, and with every thought that is within you.’”

OPEN

Question 1

Was there anything that stood out to you from the video?

Question 2

Jesus commands us to love God with all your heart, and Psalm 63 (TPT) uses some quite romantic language (see below). However, some people don’t like others showing God this romantic love and don’t think it shows enough reverence.

“I’m lovesick for you”

“I thirst with the deepest longings to love you more”

“cravings in my heart that can’t be described”

“your tender mercies mean more to me than life itself.”

“Daily I will worship you passionately and with all my heart.”

What do you think about this? Do you think this level of intimacy is even appropriate with God?

Question 3

Our inclination is to see God as distant and sometimes even uncaring. However, we see all through the Bible that God’s desire is for intimate love relationship with us. Do you see God as distant or intimate?

STUDY

Matthew 22:37-39 (TPT)

“Jesus answered him, “‘Love the Lord your God with every passion of your heart, with all the energy of your being, and with every thought that is within you.’ This is the great and supreme commandment. And the second is like it in importance: ‘You must love your friend in the same way you love yourself.’”

Question 4

Matthew 22 says “Love the Lord your God with every passion of your heart, with all the energy of your being, and with every thought that is within you”. What’s included in this and what can this look like?

Question 5

Ps Libby said that worship changes us. When we understand God’s desire for close relationship with us, then loving God helps us to love people and it changes how we live, our actions and responses. As a result we become more like Jesus. How have you seen this in your life?

COMMIT

Question 6

Ps Wayne said that we are not designed for worship, we are designed for oneness. God created us with a breath, not simply a word. What does true intimacy with God look like to you?

Question 7

Sin separated us from God but Jesus has made oneness with God possible again. Worship is our way back to this oneness and intimacy. How can intimacy with God (as you’ve described it) show in your worship? What do we need to do now with what we’ve talked about?

PRAY

Thank Jesus that His sacrifice has made it possible for us to be one with God again. Ask Him to help you draw close and become more like Him.

PRACTICAL

Take some time this week to worship God and focus on doing it with every passion of your heart, with all the energy of your being, and with every thought that is within you (Matthew 22).

Week Four: Everyday Worship

Key Thought: We live a life of worship through our actions everyday by obeying God. Our obedience leads to God’s presence being with us. Singing on a Sunday is the overflow of a life lived for God through the week.

Watch: Watch ‘Session Four’ of the video series.

Key Verse: 

Romans 12:1 (MSG)

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.”

OPEN

Question 1

Was there anything that stood out to you from the video?

Question 2

What is a living sacrifice?

STUDY

Romans 12:1 (NIV)
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”

Romans 12:1 (MSG)
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.”

Question 3

Ps Wayne and Libby said that our song on a Sunday is the “icing on the cake” and the overflow of our worship during the week. Romans 12:1 puts this as placing our everyday, ordinary life before God as an offering. What does worship look like to you through the week?

Question 4

The Message version mentions eating and Ps Wayne and Libby talked about drinking coffee as worship. How do you sleep, eat, and go to work as an act of worship?

COMMIT

Question 5

How do we live a life of worship everyday?

Question 6

Is your song on a Sunday the “icing on the cake” for your worship during the week? If not, what do you need to change during the week to be able to bring an overflow on a Sunday?

PRAY

Ask God to help you live a life of worship everyday.

PRACTICAL

Like Ps Bill Johnson did before entering the shop, practice making yourself aware of God’s presence with you in different moments.

Week Five: Praise

Key Thought: Praise is not just the warm up for worship, but when we praise and lift up God it shifts something. When we praise we put faith over feelings and our perspective changes.

Watch: Watch ‘Session Five’ of the video series.

Key Verse: 

Psalm 100:4 (TPT)

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”

OPEN

Question 1

Was there anything that stood out to you from the video?

Question 2

What is praise? And how do we praise?

Question 3

Equippers is big on praise. Why is it so important to praise? What’s the power of praise and its benefit for us?

STUDY

Isaiah 61:3 (NKJV)

“To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The
garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;”

Question 4

We don’t always feel like praising. Isaiah 61 says God gives us a garment of praise, but we must choose whether to put it on. What are you like when your feelings are not there but you know you need to praise and worship God?

Question 5

People say that if we praise when we don’t feel like it then we’re putting it on. But that’s the point, we put faith over feelings and praise because God is good and worthy of it regardless. We hype ourselves in most areas of life and it’s considered to be ok, but in church people say we can’t because it’s fake. Why is this, and should it be this way?

COMMIT

Question 6

What does your praise look like?

Question 7

Discuss what an attitude of faith that results in praise throughout your week could look like. What could you do to exercise your faith and praise Him throughout this week?

PRAY

Ask God to help you choose faith, and to praise even when you don’t feel like it.

PRACTICAL

The next time you’re in praise and worship and don’t feel like praising God, make a decision to put on the garment of praise and praise Him despite how you feel.