By Cameron Silsbee 

Begin with prayer

Gather together as a Community in a comfortable setting. Take a moment to silence in the presence of Jesus and each other. Have one person read over the group 1 Corinthians 14v1-5 and then pray to ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your time together. 

Debrief the teaching 

  1. At what point of the Gathering do you often hear from God (e.g., during the teaching, worship, response time, communion, etc.)?
  2. Do you usually feel as if worshipping God through singing songs is a way you hear from him? If so, what’s that experience like? If not, what do you find meaningful about worship?

Read this overview

When a person says “worship” in a church context, various things can come to mind. It can refer to singing songs directed at God during the Sunday gathering. It can mean a genre of music dominated by a handful of large church-affiliated bands. It can mean the playlist that you listen to but rarely sing along with. 

Worship can refer to much more than singing songs directed toward God. It typically does mean more than that. When worship refers to singing songs, they aren’t simply directed toward God but are a relational means of interacting with God. We sing toward God, and he responds. Sometimes this experience is deeply meaningful and moving, and sometimes it’s subtle, hardly noticeable. But, if we don’t expect God to respond to our worship, we’ll likely miss out on experiencing and hearing God through worship.

Discuss the following prompts.

  1. Take a moment to reflect on your experiences with God through worship music. Share with the group about a meaningful time you had with God through worship music. 
  2. Regarding your worship music preferences, how much do you feel hindered from hearing from God if they aren’t met? Why do you think that is?
  3. How much pressure do you feel when singing songs of worship at church? (e.g., feeling self-conscious if you raise your hands, embarrassed if you get too emotional, the need to judge your time of worship based on your emotional experience, a push to be expressive to fit in with those around you, etc.)

Talk through this week’s Practice.

For this week’s Practice, take an opportunity to worship God through singing to interact with and hear from him. 

Feel free to be as creative as you’d like for this Practice. The encouragement would be to sing and not just listen to worship songs. Some ideas that you could consider:

  • If your Community has some musically inclined people, plan on singing a couple of worship songs together the next time you meet as a group.
  • Find a time of solitude and sing along with some worship songs as you turn your attention to God.
  • Show up to the Sunday Gathering intentionally to hear from God through the worship music. 

Take a moment to discuss what you’d like to do for this Practice. Try to articulate a plan by the end of your meeting.

Close in prayer

End your time together by having one person read Psalm 147v1-7 to pray over the group.