1st-Century Secrets for Church Growth - Worship
(1) God is a God who deserves our worship.
(2) Worship was a key ingredient to the growth of the early church.
I. What is worship?
A. “Worship” comes from proskuneo (“Pros” – toward; “Kuneo” – to kiss).
1. It is defined as “to kiss the hand to (towards) one; to fall upon knees and
touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound
reverence; in the N.T., by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or
make obeisance” (Thayer’s 548).
2. Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary defines it as “reverent honor and homage to God.”
B. “Worship is more than just singing a few songs, performing a few rituals, and enduring a sermon. We come to experience the presence of God, to acknowledge his authority in our lives, and to worship him as our Creator” (Bob Russell, When God Builds a Church 40).
C. In one sense, all of live is worship.
1. Rom. 12:1 – present your bodies a living sacrifice … which is your spiritual act of worship
2. 1 Cor. 10:31 – All that we do is for the glory of God
3. There are 168 hours in a week!
D. However, there is a difference between our daily service for God and our corporate worship of Him.
1. In our corporate worship, we must do such in “spirit and truth” (John 4:24).
2. We may expect 2 key ingredients in Biblical worship:
a. A sense of awe (Isa. 6:1-5)
b. A sense of joy (Psa. 100)
3. You get out of worship what you put into it … God is the audience!
II. How does worship aid in church growth?
A. Acts 16 – Worshipping God caused others to take note of Paul and Silas
- William Hendricks in his book “Exit Interviews: Revealing Stories of Why People are Leaving the Church” pointed out that a common complaint was boring worship services (the call was not for entertainment but participation)
B. Worshipping God encourages and inspires us (Heb. 10:24-25)
(1) “Better is one day in your courts, than a thousand elsewhere” (Psa. 84:10).
(2) 1 Chron. 21:24 – I’m not giving to God that which cost me nothing, I will pay top dollar