Worship - Lesson 4

Four Purposes of Worship—Part 1

Background Information for the Teacher


  1. The student can list four purposes which should characterize our worship and can cite a scripture with each. (One today and the other three in coming lessons.)
  2. The student can describe how each of these is achieved in the worship we do for the Lord.


  1. Each student should have access to a Bible.
  2. Each student should have access to the songs to sing, particularly “He Leadeth Me.”
  3. Have a blackboard or chalkboard ready for use.
  4. Write on a card each passage you will want someone to read and distribute them before class starts.
  5. Have copies of the song “O Worship the King” for people to take home for study.


Four purposes which should characterize our worship are: proclamation, adoration, communication, and edification. (Reveal only the first one to the class today.)

Lesson Plan for Conducting the Class

Introduction: (about 10 minutes)

  1. Welcome visitors and check the roll. Make any necessary announcements.
  2. Ask questions about the song “He Leadeth Me.” Ask such questions as “Who is speaking and who is being addressed? What does “Eden’s bowers” mean? What does the word “fraught” mean? What does “still waters” suggest? After some discussion, sing the song thoughtfully.
  3. To review the last class meeting, ask the following questions. Q: What passage in the Bible describes a scene of worship in heaven? Q: What do the cherubim cry continually? Q: What is the mood of the scene in heaven? (Deepest respect, honor, joy.)

Learning Experiences: (about 35 minutes.)

  1. Today we will discuss the first of four words which suggest the four purposes which should characterize our worship. We should remember these terms and think of how each act of worship we do is fulfilling one or more of these purposes.
  2. Someone please read 1 Corinthians 11:26. Q: What purpose for worship is suggested here? (Proclaim—write on board) Q: What does it mean that we “proclaim” the body and blood of Christ until He comes? (By our participation in this service, we tell the world around as well as our fellow Christians, that we believe in and are committed to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.) Q: Are there those in our services to whom we want to make this proclamation? Q: Who are they and what do we want to tell them? (May be unbelievers or other believers.) Q: Are there those outside of our services to whom we want to issue our proclamation? Q: How do we do this if they are not attending our worship? Q: Give a few examples of how we can proclaim in worship? Q: What do you want them to know? Read 1 Corinthians 14:22-25. Q: To whom was a proclamation to be made, by whom and how?
  3. In preparation for singing “How Firm a Foundation,” read the words of the song. Note particularly the quotation marks. Q: Who is the speaker and to whom is he speaking? (Note how this changes throughout the song). Q: To whom do we proclaim what as we sing this song? Now let us sing this song of proclamation.
  4. Turn to the song “It is No Secret What God Can Do.” To understand more of this song, let’s review the story of its writing as recorded in the book by Robert Taylor. Stewart Hamblen came from near Abilene, Texas. His father was a Methodist preacher. In 1929, when he was only 21, Stuart moved to Hollywood to become an actor and singer. He appeared in movies with Gene Autry, John Wayne, Roy Rodgers and others. He also wrote several popular western songs and was DJ for several country and western radio programs. He gave little place, however, to thoughts of religion. When Billy Graham came to Los Angeles for a crusade, Stuart reluctantly went with his wife but after going and after a private discussion with Billy Graham, he decided he would give Jesus a place in his heart. Because of his new convictions, he refused any more to advertise beer on his radio program and so lost his job. Because of this decision, he got into financial difficulty. He was about to lose his house. One evening he was visiting with his friend and neighbor, John Wayne who said to him, “I hear you’ve gone 30 days without a drink.” Hamblen said, “That’s right. It’s no secret what God can do.” Two hours later, when he was leaving the party, John Wayne said to him, “Stuart, that comment you made earlier about it’s no secret what God can do, you ought to write a song about that. That’s a beautiful thought.” As Stuart walked to his home, it was nearly midnight but he kept thinking about what John Wayne had said. He sat down at a little organ and began strumming the keys. About that time, the clock struck midnight and he grabbed a pencil and began to write. He finished the words and music and looked at the clock which showed only 12:17. The original manuscript of this song is buried in a time capsule in a corner of the Library of Congress. Let’s sing this song as a song of proclamation.
  5. Read Psalm 100. Q: To whom is the psalm directed? Q: What reasons are given for worshipping God? (He is God, He made us, we belong to Him, He is good, His love endures forever, His faithfulness continues.) The author is issuing a proclamation for all to worship God. Q: What similarities do you see between the psalm and the song? Let us sing this proclamation: “Praise God, from Whom All Blessing Flow.”


  1. Q: What purpose for worship have we learned so far? Q: What passage do we want to recall that tells us of this purpose? (1 Corinthians 11:26.)
  2. Let’s practice this purpose of worship as we engage in our worship in church and at home, proclaiming our faith to others.


  1. Be able to write the first purpose of worship and put with it a passage that teaches it.
  2. As you worship between now and next week, see how much of it is proclamation and share an example with class next week.
  3. Study the song “O Worship the King” and be prepared to discuss how it is a proclamation.


  1. A quiz over the first purpose at the beginning of our next class meeting.
  2. Discuss this purpose as seen in the song “O Worship the King.”

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