This Guide provides a brief summary introduction to using the weekly HCO Bible Teaching and Worship Guides. Copy the content and make it available to every potential leader who may lead one or more of the session parts.
The Bible Teaching and Worship Guide provides a lay led home-based church with a basic resource for weekly Bible teaching and worship over a period of several years. It allows for shared servant leadership – remembering that spiritual gifts are most often discovered and developed by attempt and practice. The small, sympathetic home church family offers the perfect opportunity to “test the waters” of servant leadership. Share the load, the learning, and the leadership. God will surely bless. A worthy goal is to experience worship as a church without sensing effort or disjointedness. The “Guide” will aid in this by suggesting smooth transitions from one facet of worship to the next. On the other hand, your small congregation forms a family. Natural disruptions that a family may experience when worshipping create opportunities, not problems. Children moving around, tea kettles whistling, items dropped – these form the natural sounds of the family. They become the comforting signals that the family is healthy, happy, and together. Wise leaders learn to use these signals to encourage worship. They do not resent them or allow them to detract from the worship. God understands.
1. Look at “How to Download and Distribute the Weekly Guide” for guidance on receiving the needed information for leading the weekly Bible study and worship time.
2. Each Guide consists of three basic components or sections. They are labelled (1), (2), and (3).
3. Combined, the sections make up a unified session of Bible study and worship all formed under a single theme and set of scriptures. If available, three members of the congregation will guide the congregation through the week’s Bible study and worship.
A. The Gathering Time Leader will gather all of the people together and help them prepare their minds and hearts for a wonderful worship experience before God. His/her responsibility is to introduce the congregation to the theme (content) and the Scripture that will be central to their worship experience for the day. It opens the time together and lasts from 12 to 15 minutes, or so.
B. The Bible Study Leader will then help the people understand what the Scriptures have to say and teach us about the content of the study for the day. He/she will guide the people to make a general application of the study (ie: How does this Bible study apply to people today?) It lasts about 35 or 40 minutes.
C. The Worship Time Leader has the responsibility to use the theme and Scriptures to guide the congregation to make personal commitments to God’s will for each one present in regard to the study for the day. He/she will use others to lead in the music, taking the offering, ministry moment comments, and other activities and parts of the Worship Time that can aid in participatory worship. The church will usually complete this time in 30 minutes or less.
4. Ultimately, worship expresses itself in the life of the disciple as he/she lives out the Great Commission throughout the week. The Guide is nothing more than an aid to help each worshipper to begin their week sensing God’s guidance in his or her life.
5. Read carefully the “How To:” instructions for each of the three leaders mentioned above.