Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Exercises 16-25 for Worship Groups

Here are some more exercises groups can do that will help in cell group worship or large group worship.

16. Give an explanation of the difference between praise and worship. (Refer to Vivian Hibbert’s book Prophetic Worship.) Simply put, praise is acknowledging the aspects of God that are praiseworthy verbally. It is expressions of the greatness of God and the nothingness of me. Here is a list of sample praise statements:
Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come.
You are worthy of praise.
You are the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
You are my strong tower, my Deliverer and Redeemer
I glorify your name
Jesus is Lord
You are the Way, the Truth, and the Light. In you is life and salvation.
You are the Rock. (Gate, Door, Rose of Sharon, Bright and Morning Star, Good Shepherd, Great Physician, Creator, Author of our Salvation, Living Water, Bread of Life)
You are the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You are the God of David, Elijah, and the prophets. You are the God of the disciples and the God us today.
You never change, you are constant, everlasting, the Alpha and the Omega.
You are the God of Love, Joy, Peace, and Grace.
I am nothing and you are everything, Lord
Worship is slightly different. Worship is our response to the praiseworthy aspects of God. Worship has an aspect of soaking in the presence of God. The following are samples (not exhaustive) of worship statements:
Father, I love you, and need you in my life.
All I need is you Lord.
I receive your love, Father.
Father I want you inside of me, to change every part of me.
Father I invite your healing work inside of me.
Help me Father. I can’t live without you. I need you to work in my life.
I am your, Lord. Take me to the place you want me to be.
Father, you are better than Blue Bell ice cream.
Holy Spirit, fill me with your presence, place in me your gifts, let your light shine in me.
Thank you, Lord for.....
Jesus, fill me with your compassion and love.
Father, God of Love fill me with your love.
Spirit I ask you to fill me with Wisdom and discernment.
As a deer pants for the water, so my soul longs after you oh Lord.

17. At the beginning of each session, verbally invite the Holy Spirit to the meeting. Say something along the lines of, "Father we invite you here tonight, you are our honored guest. Father, we are here for you, to praise your name and devote ourselves to. Lord fill this room with your presence." It’s like inviting Him to the celebration where he is the guest of honor. If you start with no agenda other than allowing God to work through you, He will bless your coming together and His agenda will be done.

18. The Holy Spirit is caught, not taught. Trying to convince someone that they need something they think they already have is beating your head against a concrete wall. Instead, demonstrate the presence of the Holy Spirit to the group. Lay hands on people and pray with authority. Go ‘all out’ in praise and worship. Show people the Holy Spirit. Create teachable moments within your meetings.
Be patient. "Holy Spirit Arrogance" will make most people run screaming into the night away from the presence of God. Be gentle. Be real. Demonstrate the presence and people will be drawn to God. If you build it, people who are genuinely seeking the presence will come.

19. Every meeting, give people homework/experiments to try during the week. Most people, once they have a genuine taste of the Holy Spirit, they will want more. Have people practice at home what they have tried during the praise, worship, prayer session. Have them practice their spiritual gifts (practice makes competent) regularly. Give those on fire for Jesus and the presence of God something to do, something to risk, something to try and see how well they respond. This gives the leader a good indication of the spiritual maturity of the group and how to start slow and simple with them.

20. There are so few leaders who are willing to help people find themselves spiritually. To gently instruct on the Holy Spirit and create a safe place to practice gives people the latitude to try and fail and try again. If people know they can try and process what they experience, they will take chances and push themselves...exactly what the Lord wants from them, for him to begin his work in their lives.
The space created must allow people to take risks, make mistakes and listen for God’s direction for the meeting time at any time during the week. God gets excited when we come together to worship and praise Him with all our hearts.

21. Sing a simple tune like ‘Jesus is Lord,’ but just repeat those three words. Then, as the song is repeated several times, allow new words to be sung and new melodies to layer on top of the main melody. If you tell people what you want to do, then let an organic worship experience develop and grow.

22. During praise, worship, and prayer session, let different people lead (training others to do the leaders job) and give them feedback. Each session together should have a feedback time to find how people responded and what could be improved or done differently.

23. Scripture says that as a group comes together, that every person has a word, a tongue, a prophecy, song, hymn or spiritual song (prophetic song). Tell people that you want them to take chances and speak what is on their hearts, sing that melody that is placed in their mind, pray for individuals God lays on their hearts, read scripture or whatever God is urging them to do. The parameters are that it agrees with scripture and encourages or exhorts growth in the individuals attending.

24. During each session, after the worship period, there should be a time of quiet reflection and listening. Three to five minutes of silence feels like an eternity to a leader, but the time is necessary for God to minister to people in His way. Allow it may be OK for soft instrumental music to be played, usually silence brings a clearer "hearing" of what the Lord is saying.

25. There are percussion instruments available in each meeting we hold including tambourines, drums, shakers, bells, sticks and triangles. I think each person should be responsible for the execution of the music and singing.

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