A suggestion for this session is that this word section is followed by the worship section in order to help the group with learning to worship together.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it; love your neighbour as yourself. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22: 37-40
The focus of the small group is on these verses: our relationship with God, with each other and with our community. The aim of this session is to discover the importance of loving God with all our heart, soul and mind together as a group.
There will be a chance in later sessions to study further aspects of our worship in more detail.
- Worship is a lifestyle
- What happens when we worship together
- Discussion of ideas of how to do this in the small group
- Using a structure to worship together and a chance to worship using this structure
- Worship as part of evangelism
Which of the following restrictions could you best tolerate: leaving your home country permanently, or never leaving your home country?
For the next few weeks, we will be praying specifically for the friends who were named last week. Go round the group getting a reminder from everyone as to who their friends are and then pray for them. Encourage people to remember to pray for these people during the week.
worship and word
Discuss a life of worship and what it means for us as Christians in the student world?
Name the different areas of our lives that are to be involved in our worship of God.
What is to be learned from this as to how we worship God when we have left university?
If true worship is about our whole lives honouring God, why do we have “worship times”? What is special about coming together deliberately to worship God with music, prayer etc.?
All these passages are concerned with ongoing worship and fellowship but also with the event of being together for the purpose of worshipping God. The Hebrews and Psalm passages use imagery of the Old Testament high priest entering the presence of God. They indicate that the event of us coming together to worship is special in itself. It is a time of particular intimacy, cleansing and blessing.
Discuss ways that, as a group, you can worship together, in order that you experience the presence of God and actively give him love (singing, giving, serving, testimonies, liturgical prayers, caring, reflecting, prophesying, creating, exercising spiritual gifts etc.).
One way of looking at an act of worship would contain these three elements:
- Re-telling the story - what Jesus has done for us
- Make it real now - What Jesus is doing for us
- The future – what Jesus will do for us
Use the structure above to worship God together now.
Remind each other what Jesus has already done, by dying on the cross, rising from the dead and pouring out his Spirit on us. This could be done by looking at the gospels, or praying or singing together. You don’t need an instrument, but just be sincere in focusing on Jesus.
Share testimonies of present or recent activity of Jesus in your lives now. This could be an experience of Jesus that really changed your behaviour or thoughts. It does not have to be perfect or complete; just the fact that you know that Jesus is working in you is enough to encourage one another to worship. Look to the future. We should live in the anticipation of Christ’s return. You could pray for one another that lives are lived in this anticipation. The psalmist anticipated that the whole earth would praise God. Focus together on the possibility of this in your own situation however remote or bizarre the concept seems at present!
The verses in Psalm 133 anticipate that our unity and worship together will result in the presence of God with us which leads to his blessing of life for evermore. This blessing of fruitfulness is proclaimed all through the bible as being for all peoples and all nations. People will be drawn to this blessing through our worship. Worshipping together, then, is an important part of evangelism.
In the context of your worship, pray for the presence of God to be in your lives in such a way that those around you inherit God’s blessing.
Pray that through you choosing to love God and love one another that your friends and colleagues will be drawn supernaturally into the presence of God. Pray for an opportunity to bring friends into a worship event.