12: Worship in the Early Church – Teaching Plan

Key Thought: God’s Word regarding His law, our history with Him, His redeeming acts, and the future are the foundations of our worship.

1. Have a volunteer read Acts 1:8-11.

A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. Should a focus of our worship be in the second coming of Jesus in the clouds? Why or why not?
C. Personal Application: How do we know that we have received the power of the Holy Spirit? Is active witnessing a proof of that power? Can we have the power and not be actively witnessing?
D. Case Study: One of your relatives states, “One of the focuses of my church is in the rapture, when Jesus will pull the church out of the world before the time of trouble. We want to be ready and prepared for the rapture.” How would you respond to your relative?

2. Have a volunteer read Acts 2:36-41.

A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. There are different types of preaching for different people, times, and situations. What preaching do you find most effective? Informational, exortational, commitment-oriented, evangelistic, or expository? Share your thoughts.
C. Personal Application: Have you ever heard a sermon that pricked you in the heart? Did it make you want to do something, change something, or commit yourself to something?
D. Case Study : One of your friends states, ”Most of the sermons I have heard lately are more like long, dry discourses you might hear in a college classroom. They are not interesting, contemporary, or connecting with me.” How would you respond to your friend?

3. Have a volunteer read I Corinthians 13:1-3.

A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. Why doesn’t having spiritual gifts, understanding prophecy, or doing good things for others count for anything?

C. Personal Application: Do you love your enemies? Bless those who curse you? Pray for those who mistreat you? How hard is it to have agape love for everyone?.
D. Case Study: One of your neighbors states, “Why does worship have to be dull, dry, and boring? Why can’t we jazz up our worship service to be more exciting? God wants us to praise and rejoice. Why should our worship service be like a funeral?” How would you respond to your neighbor?

4. Have a volunteer read Acts 18:5-10.

A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. Is there a time when we need to give up trying to reach fellow Christians with the present truth and go to the unconverted who don’t know about God?
C. Personal Application: Have you been afraid to speak the truth of the three angels because of what others might think or how they would react? How does God’s words here to Paul help you?
D. Case Study: Think of one person who needs to hear a message from this
week’s lesson. Tell the class what you plan to do this week to share with
(Note: “Truth that is not lived, that is not imparted, loses its life-giving power, its healing virtue. Its blessings can be retained only as it is shared.” MH p. 149)

Worship in the Early Church



12: Worship in the Early Church – Teaching Plan — 5 Comments

  1. what do you think about media and worship??

    just wondering.
    here is where I'm coming from

    Worship Ministry - What is it? Can Media and Music in Worship Be 'too much'? : http://tinyurl.com/6jlacng

    • I think you are probably going to get a different answer from each person you ask.

      For me rock just doesn't do it. Perhaps it is because I see a lot of performance issues involved but I also must be truthful and say that I also see a lot of self in many classical music performances as well.

      To me the point of the matter is where the focus is. If a person is doing the music for sake of applause or appreciation then it is wrong no matter what kind of music it is.

      We need to also to note that a musician is going to relate to music differently than someone who is not musical. For me who can only make a joyful noise a good sermon rates much higher than the best music man can produce. All things being equal, it seems to boils down to personal taste and what brings you into a personal relationship with God.

      Certainly, there are other issues to consider as well but I think that focus is probably the main one.

    • I have been involved in producing media for worship for a very long time - since the days of overhead projectors (remember those?) Here are a couple of my thoughts:

      For me personally, being involved in producing visuals for church has meant that I have been involved in worship. It is not a vicarious experience. It is participatory. Typically I will spend about 4 hours in actual production of visuals for a church service and that involves creating theme slides and selecting photographic backgrounds for the hymns/songs. I do not usually use purchased or commercial materials, preferring to use my own nature photographs or graphics. It is my contribution to the worship experience of the congregation and I work hard to make worship that little bit more meaninful.

      From a congregational perspective, we need to understand that we are to a large extent visual creatures. I do not see visuals replacing sound but rather creating a memorable experience together with sound. I am very careful to ensure that the visuals I choose fit in with the theme of the songs, and church service. I am mindful of the fact that there are many creative ways that we can express our worship. When people are actively involved in creating worship together it builds up our sense of community.

      Producing visuals is hard work and sometimes Sabbath morning is somewhat frenentic as musicians change their minds and the minister arrives with last minute ideas, but the reward is that at the end of a service I feel that I have made a contribution to the worship experience of my community of believers.

      I am a keen photographer and currently have about 10,000 photographs to choose from to using in church services. Typically a church program consists of about 100 slides, and I often make up theme slide programs as fillers before and after church as well. You may like to browse some of the photographs that I use on:


      My current passion is bird photography, but if you look at some of the other sets of photgraphs, you will see some of the range of photographs that I use.

      In other posts I have written about personal worship and community worship. Some of my best personal worship experiences have been when I have been sitting waiting for nature to produce the kind of conditions that make good photographs. Nature is not in a hurry and it is in those times of quiet patience that I have time to think and contemplate. When those thoughts are punctuated with a shaft of light touching a bird on the wing, or a leaf glows in a dark forest I feel spiritual fulfilment. My photography creates the opportunity to connect my personal worship with my community worship and in that I feel especially blessed.

  2. Early church worshipers demonstrated practical religion. The was communal sharing care & nurturing came along even as they shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


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