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Essentials of Worship
Dr. Gary Parrett shows us that worship is the process of God's revelation and our appropriate, faithful response. We invite you to listen to this series of lessons to learn more about what worship truly is and how we might implement his practical suggestions in our own churches.
About this Class
These days much of the church is embroiled in the "Worship Wars." Hymns or choruses? Loud or soft? Dancing or sitting still? Perpetual music or periods of silence? The War will never be settled as long as it is about personal musical tastes. Dr. Gary Parrett shows us that worship is the process of God's revelation and our appropriate, faithful response. We invite you to listen to this series of lessons to learn more about what worship truly is and how we might implement his practical suggestions in our own churches.
If you want to learn more about worship, watch the Institute class Worship.
We strongly recommend that you attend this seminar in conjunction with the Worship Pastors and their Teams seminar by Carl Cartee. Gary will give you the theoretical basis for worship, and Carl will give the practical applications.
Dr. Parrett discusses the ministry of worship in the local church context, looking at critical issues about the biblical understanding of worship, and also its practice in the contemporary Christian context. In this lesson he takes on two common misconceptions about worship, and then looks at key biblical terms that describe worship. Dr. Parrett also offers an initial definition for worship.
With the misconceptions and basic terms as background, Dr. Parrett turns to a number of key biblical principles concerning the practice of worship. The first principle is that all worship involves these two things in a dynamic relationship, revelation and response.
Worship is something we do both individual and in community, in both habitual and intentional actions. Habitual, lifestyle worship is more important than our intentional actions of worship in religious settings. Individual worship and congregational worship should inform and strengthen one another.
When we gather together for worship, our worship requires participation. Worship requires participation; it is not a spectator sport. This is true about all worship, but Dr. Parrett’s particular focus now and in the rest of this discussion is going to be on our worship as a community when we gather together.
Principle 6 is that worship requires or involves participation of our entire being. Not just part of my being responds, but all of my being responds. Sometimes we reduce our involvement as worshipers to one part of our being. Principle 7 says the substance of our worship is more important than the style or form of our worship. There are numerous and various styles of worship, but God looks first to the heart of the worshipper.
Principle 8 is another application of Paul’s language to the Corinthians “when you come together.” When we come together as a community for worship, we are participating in something much larger than ourselves.
In the last three principles (9 – 11), Dr. Parrett challenges us that when we worship as a community, our concerns for individual freedom must be balanced with the need to consider and prefer others first. Worship is first and foremost about God and for God. He is also the subject and object of our worship.
In this lesson, we consider a number of key passages that will make a contribution to our understanding of worship. Dr. Parrett gives just a brief summary of these passages and then looks at implications for designing and leading worship experiences in the church in the next lesson.
Dr. Parrett now turns to give a few thoughts about implications from these principles we have been identifying and some of these key texts, implications for those of us who design and lead the public worship or the congregational or corporate worship of the churches.
Finally, we end with some thoughts about the format and style of worship. How do we organize worship and arrange worship.
You can download these lectures with our app and listen to them offline (more information).
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the programs intended for?
The Foundations program is intended for everyone, regardless of biblical knowledge. The Academy program is intended for those who would like more advanced studies. And the Institute program is intended for those who want to study seminary-level classes.
Do I need to take the classes in a specific order?
In the Foundations and Academy programs, we recommend taking the classes in the order presented, as each subsequent class will build on material from previous classes. In the Institute program, the first 11 classes are foundational. Beginning with Psalms, the classes are on specific books of the Bible or various topics.
Do you offer transfer credit for completing a certificate program?
At this time, we offer certificates only for the classes on the Certificates page. While we do not offer transfer credit for completing a certificate program, you will be better equipped to study the Bible and apply its teachings to your life.