DVDQs

EXPLORING WORSHIP

Track List & Discussion Questions

Track 1.  Defining “Worship”

1. How might you define the verb “worship?”  Apart from a Christian concept, try to write a general definition.

-Would you adjust your definition if speaking to an atheist?
-To a Professor of Theology?
-To a Child?
-To a person who is dying?

2.  Where, when or how do you most often sense God’s presence?
(Ideas: Music; Scripture; Walking; Study; Prayer; Service; Nature)

3.  Do you think the desire to worship is a universal human need?
-An instinct?
-What lead you to your conclusion, i.e. why do you think this?

4.  Are there distinctly Christian reasons to worship?
-Can you name any reasons that other religions would not list?

After the Video:
1.  Take some moments and encourage people to reflect aloud God’s worth.
2.  The moon represents worship because it simply reflects the light from a
greater source.

-Stop for a moment and have people take their spiritual temperature.

-In your personal life, are you a “full moon” (fully reflecting God)?

-Are there seasons in life where your worship comes more naturally?

-What distracts you most from worshiping God?

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Track 2. The Attributes of God

1.  When you were a child, did you know about or believe in God?

-How, where, or from whom did you get your concept of God?

2.  Can you define God?  Try to write a dictionary definition of “God.”

-How would you describe God to someone who has never entertained
thoughts of Him?

3.  Name some of the ways God has described Himself in the Bible?

-Write down or share your two favorite adjectives that describe God.

After the Video:

1.  Take some silent moments to think on the various attributes of God.

2.  Share the one attribute that most astounds you.

-Share the attribute that is most:

-Comforting?  Confusing?  Awe-inspiring?  Troubling?

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Track 3.  Defining “Praise”

1.  Compose a phrase you would want people to whisper about you behind
your back.

2.  What would your friends say is your natural response to a compliment?

-Are you able to accept compliments graciously, or do you deflect the
conversation to another topic?

3.  Do you ever compliment God?

-What types of things do you credit to God?

4. -Is there an image, picture or feeling that comes into your mind when
you consider of the word “Praise?”

-How does it differ from your concept of “Worship?”
-If you think it is different, does it make a difference?
-Does it add to how you relate to God?

After the Video:
1.  “Speak some words of praise for what God has done in you that you
obviously could not do for yourself.”

Take some moments and encourage people to speak aloud the acts of God.

2.  The Turtle represents the concept that someone else has done something.
-Compile a group list comprised of the various things that God has
done in and for us that we could obviously not do for ourselves.

3.  What is the one thing God has done for which you are most grateful?

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Track 4.  Investigating “Praise”
1.  Can you share any examples of an obviously bad thing that eventually
turned out to be good?

2.  When considering the concept of “Praise,” do you think of a feeling, an
action, an obligation, or some combination therein?

3.  Do you have a special place or time during the week that makes you more
apt to praise?

4.  Do you feel that you owe God your praise?  Why or why not?

-If so, does this make praise less spontaneous?  Less heartfelt?

After the Video:

1.  Have you ever praised God in the midst of difficulties?
-Because of difficulties?  In spite of difficulties?
-Is it wrong to command your soul to praise, in spite of difficulities?

2.  Are there some difficult things you want to praise God for right now?  Invite people to, by faith, speak words of praise in spite of and in the midst of difficulties.

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Track 5.  Defining “Holy”

1.  Do you have an old trophy or other childhood memento that you plan on
keeping (or wish you had kept) for your entire life?  What is/was it?

2.  Are there certain things about which you will not joke, because of their
importance to you?
-What are those things?

3.  When I say this word, immediately write down any thoughts, images or
feelings that come to mind: . . . “HOLY.”

4.  Are there things, places or experiences that you consider holy?

5.  How might you define the word “Holy?”

-Does your definition most closely relate to special, fear or reverence?

After the Video:

1. Respond to this quote: “You can not pour the fullness of God’s ocean into
the teacup of your mind.”  (Dr. Gerald Borchert)

-Is understanding that you cannot understand a freeing or frustrating
thing for you?

2. Is “fear” always a bad thing?
-What does it mean to fear God?

3.  Are “love” and “fear” mutually exclusive?
-Can you think of something that is both wonderful and terrible?
-Knowable, yet mysterious or indefinable?

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Track 6.  Discussing the Trinity

1.  Are there any new words that have been created during your lifetime?
-What are some of them?  (E.g. email; hybrid car; etc.)

2.  Can you think of any feeling, concept or emotion for which words are
inadequate?  (Sorrow; Loyalty; etc.)

3.  What kinds of groups, communities, events, or actions come to mind
when you think of “many” acting or reacting as “one?”

4.  How do you define or think about the “Trinity?”

5.  Does it bother you that the Trinity is a central Christian doctrine, but that
the word is not mentioned in the Bible?  Why or why not?

After the Video:

1.  To which analogy of the Trinity do you relate: a 3-processor computer;
a dinner party; Siamese triplets; a family; intermingling smoke?

2.  How should the truth that relationship is at the core of God’s being
influence how you live as a follower of Christ?

3.  How does the Church at worship reflect the Triune nature of God?
-Does your Church reflect these principles?

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Track 7.  Three Avenues of Worship

1.  Do you tend to divide things into categories of “sacred” and “secular?”
-If so, what kinds of things fall into each category?
-What criteria do you use in deciding what belongs in each category?

2. What do you think of the phrase “all of life is worship”?
-Do you believe this phrase?

3.  What different types, kinds or categories of worship have you observed?

4.  Can a person worship in solitude?
-If so, how do you do it, and what are the challenges?

5.  Is daily obedience the same thing as worship?

After the Video:
1.  Do you consider the Kingdom of God something you are racing towards,
or something you are enjoying now?

2.  List some of the various group actions/behaviors performed during
your Church’s corporate worship service?

3.  Are there people you serve, or could serve, that cannot possible give
anything back to you?  Why might this be worship?

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Track 8.  Embracing Sacred Time

1.  Do you think of life as a long line, or as a spiral (i.e. seasons and cycles)?

2.  Which special day is most important to you (such as a birthday; an
anniversary; or a holiday such as Veteran’s Day, etc.)?
-What about these days sets them apart from other days??

3.  Do you have a least favorite season of the year?  Why?

4.  How important are Christmas and Easter celebrations to your faith?
-Do you observe Advent?  Lent?

5.  Do you have certain routines that help build or maintain your faith?

After the Video:

1.  Brainstorm some daily habits that would help you enjoy God more
throughout the entire day.

2.  Do you consider Sunday special?  Do you relate it to resurrection or to
rest?
-Are there activities in which you engage or from which you
disengage on this day?
-Are any life-adjustments called for?

3.  At Christmas, does your personal celebration resemble a birthday party
for baby Jesus, or hushed awe at the Incarnation?

4.  Are there preparations that would enable you to celebrate Easter like a
person who has been brought from death to life?

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Track 9.  The Essentials of Christian Worship

1.  Would you rather stop and ask for directions, or wander around a bit?

2.  Robert Frost likened poetic meter to “playing tennis with a net and a
marked court,” and free verse to “playing tennis on an open field.”
-Do boundaries and guidelines seem to give or take away freedom?
-Read and respond to Psalm 119:32.

3.  What comes into your mind when you hear the word “doctrine?”
-How important is it to know what you believe?
-Can you name any Christian doctrines?

4.  What do you think distinguishes Christian worship from another
religion’s worship?

5.  What would have to happen to turn a random gathering of Christians into
Christian worship?

After the Video:

1.  Is it necessary to have boundaries on what is or is not “Christian?”

2.  Is worship an action, or an attitude of the heart?
-How do you interpret “In Spirit and Truth?”

3.  Is worship something you learn to do, do spontaneously, or a
combination of the two?

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Track 10.  Why Gather to Worship?
1.  Do you enjoy large gatherings such as sporting events or concerts?
-Do people energize or exhaust you?

2.  Do you believe you have to attend Church to be a “good” Christian?
-Is gathering together for worship a biblical requirement?

3.  Since you can see and hear great sermons on the Internet, why do you go
to Church: to see and be with others, or for another reason?

4.  Are there any responsibilities that a Christian cannot achieve in solitude?
-If so, what are they?

After the Video:

1. Why do you think Jesus specifically promised to be present when people
gather in His name?
-Do you think Jesus reveals himself differently to groups than to individuals?
-Is Jesus’ presence different when an individual is worshiping
compared to when a group is worshiping?

2.  Does your worship service accomplish the purposes for gathering
presented in the video?
-Are these purposes actually possible in a large gathering?

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Track 11.  Sacred Actions
1.  What actions and terms used in your Church worship service would need
to be explained to a space alien?

2.  Is there any part of your life or Church celebration that feels mysterious
or other-worldly?

3.  Were you baptized as a baby, a child or an adult?
-Were you immersed into the water, sprinkled with water, or did you
have water poured onto you?
-What, if anything, does your baptism mean to you today?

4.  How is Communion most often observed in your Church?
-Did you go forward, or was it distributed to you?
-Did you kneel, sit or stand?

5. In your tradition or denomination, is a lay-person allowed to baptize
another?
-Can Communion be served in homes without a pastor present?

After the Video:

1. Describe your most memorable time of Communion.
-Explain the significance of the bread and wine.

2.  Do you believe Baptism and Communion are sacraments, dispensing
grace, or ordinances, remembering and reenacting grace?

3. Speculate as to the results of belief without action.

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Track 12.  The Lexicon of Sin
1.  Should confession be a response, a habit, or both?
-What might daily confession yield in a person’s life?
-Is confession the same thing as repentance?

2.  Does confession mean you don’t believe God has forgiven your sins?
-Does confession maintain salvation, or one’s relationship with God?

3.  Why does James encourage Christians to confess to one another
(James 5:15)?
-If someone were to confess their sins in your hearing, how would it
make you feel?
-Do you confess your sins to anyone?  How does it feel?

After the Video:

1.  Which category of sins do you gravitate towards?

2.  Lead a time of corporate confession, encouraging people to steer clear of
individual acts and instead to confess attitudes (selfish; greedy;
angry; jealous; fearful; arrogant; obsessive; driven; unforgiving; etc.)

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Bonus Track 13.  Welcome to Worship
Read the back-story to this video. The author writes:

A very prominent national politician was stumping in my part of the U.S., and wanted to go to Church on Sunday.  He chose mine.  This was not someone who had endeared himself to the Christian Right; many people of Faith were less than fond of him.  Nevertheless, he wanted to go to Church: not speak; not pray; not be acknowledged in any way; just go to Church.

That Sunday, many in the local Faith community turned out to protest, complete with signs and screams.  They protested not only his presence, but also my Church’s willingness to allow ‘such a Man’ to enter our doors.  I was incensed, and wrote the “Welcome To Worship” piece to remind anyone who would listen of just who was welcome in our Church to worship God.  To his credit, my senior pastor allowed me to start the service the following week with this as our call to worship.

After the Video:

1.  Could this be read in your Church?  Why, or why not?

2.  Are most Churches as welcoming as is Jesus?  Should they be?

3.  If you have a mental checklist of acceptable church people, what are your
unspoken requirements?

4.  Why do some Christians hesitate to care for or associate with the
unlovely?

5.  If you had to err on the side of too much truth or too much grace, which
do you choose?  Do you ever have to choose?

6.  Are we meant to enjoy life?
-Are there any qualifications you might add if you answered “yes?”

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