Summary: Discussions about parts of a worship service
Sermon for 10/27/2002
A. Pavlov’s Dog experiment. Worship becomes that way sometimes.
B. People who go to worship services that are liturgical. Don’t ours get that way from time to time?
C. (Mat 6:7 NIV) And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
D. Greg Cummings- People haven’t lost interest in God. They have just given up on churches that have lost touch with the real world and that merely go through the motions of worship.
E. The same old routine can become mundane. Mindlessly go through the motions. Mix it up the next several weeks.
F. In the Bible there is no one set way of doing things in a worship service; praise, prayer, Lord’s Supper, Offering, special music, invitation, etc. No formulas. Elders have to be here and deacons have to be there, people have to be sitting or standing, preacher must wear robes or must wear a suit, etc. As a matter of fact Jesus spoke about how the Pharisees set up certain ways of doing things and made those ways law.
G. In the Old Testament there were ways of worship that were very outlined, in books like Leviticus. In the New Testament there are certain things we do to worship but none of these are given great detail. Just do them.
H. Many times we are consumed by our idea of what church should be. Not always interested in what God wants or how we can worship better. Let’s walk through the parts of our service and see what we find and how we can improve our worship.
A. Three boys in the schoolyard were bragging about who had the better father. The first boy says, “My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a poem, and they give him $100.” The second boy says, “That’s nothing. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a song, and they give him $1000.” The third boy says, “My Dad is ever better than that. He scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, calls it a sermon, and it takes (6 or 8) men just to collect all the money!”
B. Yes, the sermon is today’s topic.
C. Why preach? Why have sermons?
D. The church was started with a sermon on the day of Pentecost.
E. The Jerusalem church devoted themselves to the apostles’s doctrine. Apostles preached.
F. The first threat to the growth of Christianity was the command to quit preaching. After that threat, the church met to pray. The people prayed that God would indeed consider the threats and that He would enable His servants to continue to speak His word with all confidence.
G. Everywhere the disciples went they preached and taught about Christ.
H. Did Jesus believe in preaching? He surely did! When He got back to His hometown synagogue after His baptism, he declared: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.” Jesus main concern was to teach and preach.
I. Many ways to proclaim the message, but preaching most clearly presents the message and then demands a response.
Thesis: To have an effective sermon it must be full of words, full of power, full of conviction, full of life.
I. Full of words.
A. Basic, it must have words to be communicated. (1 Thessalonians 1:5)
B. Full of understandable words.
1. Must use the language of the crowd.
2. Some people love to be heard for their much speaking. Use such high scholarship that the ordinary man cannot understand it.
3. If we talk about words like propitatiation, sanctification, or eschatology we need to be able to explain these words and concepts in ordinary terms.
4. Some people like to be known as educated. Look at me, not look at Christ.
5. The world does not understand our terms.
6. Called a person for technical support.
C. Full of meaningful words.
1. (Prov 25:11 NIV) A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
E. Full of understandable words and full of meaningful words. What are meaningful words? Can have a lot of words but mean very little without these next points.
II. Full of power (1 Thessalonians 1:5)
A. Full of Scripture.
1. (Isa 55:10 NIV) As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, (Isa 55:11 NIV) so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.