HABITS | Connection Group Discussion Guide | Week 4 “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” — John 4:24
Connect (5 to 10 minutes) Build relationships through fellowship and sharing about this week’s worship. •
Take a few minutes to share your thoughts about worship this week. – What aspects of worship did you most enjoy and why? – What story or illustration from the sermon made an impact on you?
What is your favorite song that you have heard in a worship service and why?
Context (30 to 40 minutes) Dig deeper into the videos and scripture for this week through questions and discussion. •
Take a moment to write out a definition of worship. Allow each group member to share what they have written. – What do you hear that is similar? What do you hear that is different?
Watch the video for this session on your DVD or online. •
What is your favorite way to participate in worship (singing, listening to the sermon, reading scripture with the congregation, participating in communion or baptism)? – Why is this so important to you? – How has it been transformational in your life?
Many times, we think worship is a service we attend to receive something. Listen to today’s video and hear how Taylor Davis’ understanding of worship challenges that view.
Taylor describes worship like this: “We are all the actors and God is the audience.” – How do you respond to this statement? – How does this compare to the definition of worship you wrote down earlier? – If you began to follow Taylor’s definition, would anything about your weekly worship change? Why or why not?
Taylor shared that he believes worship is the primary objective of the church because in worship we gather with people who are not all like us. – Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not? – If this is true, how should worship shape everything else that we do as a church?
– Would you consider worship to be an “anchor” in your life, as Taylor said? Why or why not? •
Have you ever said, “I didn’t get anything out of worship today,” as Taylor said? – If so, why did you say that about worship? – How does Taylor challenge this way of approaching worship? – How do you feel challenged because of his comments on this?
Read Matthew 14:22-33: Jesus Walks on Water •
Where do you see worship happening in this story? – Why did the disciples choose to worship in this instance? – When have you experienced something miraculous in your own life and responded in the same way the disciples did?
In the Old Testament, controlling the weather was an ability only God had. In this story, Jesus performs a miracle that shows the disciples his true identity: that he is the Son of God, entirely worthy of worship.
Take a moment to write down your answer to this question: “Why do you choose to worship God?” – Allow group members to share the reasons they have thought of. – What do you hear that is similar? What do you hear that is different? – Thinking about what Taylor has shared, what do you think he would say our motivation for worship should be?
Do you typically worship more when times in your life are difficult or when times are going well? – Is worship a spiritual discipline that you struggle with? Why or why not? – When is it easiest for you to worship God?
Read Matthew 18:18-20: Where Two or Three are Gathered •
How does this setting for worship that Jesus describes contrast with the story from Matthew 14? – Share about a time when you experienced worship and you were not expecting it. – How did the Holy Spirit surprise you in this experience? – Think for a moment about what is truly required for worship to happen. What do you think is essential in worship? Why?
How does this scripture relate to Taylor’s definition of worship shared in the video? – How does the description for worship in this scripture relate to your definition of worship shared earlier?
How does this scripture encourage you to think of worship as a habit or a spiritual discipline, rather than a service to attend?
In Jewish tradition, a saying has been passed down: “But when two sit together and words of Torah pass between them, the Divine Presence rests between them.” Here, Jesus shows he is the fulfillment of the Torah: where Christians gather together, he will be present – worship will take place.
Call (10 minutes) We believe that God not only shows us who God is but invites us to participate in God’s ministry by answering unique calls in our own lives. Join together in discovering how we can actively respond to scripture and God’s presence. • •
Share with the group how your spiritual habit or practice is going. How has it impacted your week? How can you start to make worship a spiritual discipline that you practice regularly in your life?
Closing (5 minutes) God calls us into community by sharing our joys and concerns together in prayer and supporting one another in our walks with Christ. As we share testimony and stories of our lives, let us listen to where God is working within our community and how we can build each other up in Christian love. • •
Share joys and concerns with one another. Close in prayer, either by inviting a group member to pray or by using the prayer provided below.
Closing Prayer Almighty God we confess to you that often times we come to worship expecting to be served, instead of coming to offer our lives to you in song, prayer, and proclaiming your word. Forgive us when we look for you in the miraculous moments and forget to find you in the simple things too, like gathering with a friend in your love and grace. Help us to practice our worship, that it can become an essential rhythm in our lives. Amen.