Sermon:  Make the Most of Your Worship Assemblies


Summary:  When we assemble together, we have the privilege of encouraging one another and worshipping God with one voice and heart.  Because this is important, we need to seek to maximize and make the most of this.


Text:  Various


Scripture Reading:  Ps 104:31-34



1.  Do you remember your first worship experience?

          a.  My parents were new Christians in Korea at small American church

          b.  Only 20-30 people, there, but assemblies were enjoyable

                    - Lessons by the men were motivational, meaningful prayers,

                    - Raised the roof when we sang - Sang with all our might

          c.  Always felt glad that we went

2.  But have you ever came away thinking, "I didn't get much from worship"

          a.  Reality is that this sometime happens, we just didn't connect

          b.  Hopefully . . .

                    - The part I play uplifts, encourages, and motivates you to love God

                        and to love others

                    - The part our worship leaders play helps to motivate and uplift

                    - The part everyone plays is your best effort to motivate and uplift

3.  I know none of us wants this time to become a time to just punch your time card and merely say you have put in your time and did your duty

          a.  We want our assemblies to be meaningful

          b.  We want to be encouraged and built up

          c.  We want to honor God in what we do

          d.  We want to make the best of it

4.  Hopefully, what I share with you will help, will motivate, will build you up

          a.  Will share some things that might give some guidance in this

          b.  How do you make the most of our assemblies?


I.  Understand the purpose of the assembly

          A.  What is the purpose of the assembly?

                    1.  Is it to worship God? 

                    2.  Some say, "I don't have to go to church to worship God!"

                              a.  True statement?

                              b.  (Jn 4:21-24) Place does not matter for worship

                    3.  Scripture never says, "Thou shalt go to church in order to


                              a.  You can worship anywhere anytime

                              b  Worship is not confined to a place or a time

                    4.  Worship is not the unique, primary purpose of assembling

          B.  Some passages about our assembly

                    1.  (Heb 10:24-25) No forsake assembling as habit of some

                              a.  Not say, "but worshipping together all the more . . . "
                              b.  Says, "but encouraging one another all the more . . . "

                              c.  Says, "consider how to stimulate one another . . . "

                                        - How do you do this?

                                        - First, you need to get together with brethren

                                        - Needs to be a habit

                              d.  We come together to encourage one another

                    2.  (1 Cor 14:26) All things are to be for edification

                              a.  Context: v.14-17 - What is the problem with tongues?  No

                                   understanding and therefore no edification

                              b.  Both mind and spirit need to be engaged

                                        - Not have just emotion, it is empty

                                        - Not have just intellect, it is lifeless

                                        - Both are engaged and we are edified and built up

                              c.  What edifies?

                                        - Decently in order, and in turn, so not chaos

                                        - A psalm, a teaching, etc.

                              d.  v.24-25 - Look at result of participating with spirit and


                                        - You are edified

                                        - Visitors are moved toward God

                    3.  Primary, unique purpose of assembly - to Encourage and edify

                              a.  Worshipping together edifies

                              b.  We consider how to stimulate to love and good deeds

                              c.  We don't just worship, we edify and encourage

                                        - That's why we have a sermon

                                        - That's why we have announcements

                                        - That's why we share prayer requests

                                        - That's why we talk afterwards

          D.  How can we make the most of the assembly?

                    1.  Show up

                              a.  You can worship God anywhere, but you can't encourage

                                    your brethren unless you show up

                              b.  ILL: I remember showing up at a workshop

                                        - There were over 1000 people there

                                        - Singing was out of this world!

                                        - What if only 10 people showed up, not same effect

                                        - Just being here encourages others

                              c.  ILL:  Friend of mine, Matt, often not show up for services

                                        - I asked him - He said his heart not in it, and he not

                                          want to fake it and go through motions

                                        - I suggested to him that it was better to go through

                                           the motions anyway, rather than do nothing at all

                                        - He discovered truth of that age old saying - You

                                           become what you repeatedly do

                                        - When he not show up, he got a little weaker and

                                           weaker, but when he made himself go, got stronger

                              d.  Most basic thing more making the most of it - show up

                    2.  Go to bed earlier

                              a.  Prepare Saturday night for Sunday morning

                              b.  If out all night, will be exhausted, tired, lethargic

                              c.  Tempted to sleep through services

                    3.  Sit closer together

                              a.  We tried it a few times, and the difference was huge

                              b.  More like family when sit together

                    4.  Hang around

                              a.  Don't make a bee line for the door, stick around and visit

                              b.  Some are here an hour later, can't get enough of each

                                   other, and that's okay

                    5.  *Worship with all your heart together . . .


II.  Come to Participate

          A.  Edification and participation go hand in hand

                    1.  1 Cor 14:26 - All things done for edification

                    2.  Each one participates, and all are edified

                    3.  Heb 10:24-25 - Consider how to stimulate "one another" to love

                          and good deeds

                              a.  One another is reciprocal

                              b.  Means all participate

          B.  What do we participate in?  A major activity is worship to encourage

                    1.  Realize that worship is not a spectator activity

                              a.  Worship is intensely participatory and active

                              b.  Whether worshipping in closet, or together as a group

                    2.  What is worship?  Bible not give a definition of worship

                              a.  New Testament not give detailed in instructions for

                                   worship service, not like O.T.

                              b.  Not remember any commands that say, "Thou shalt

                                   worship the Lord or else!"

                              c.  Why?  Worship is to be a natural response to God

                                        - Cain and Abel both brought offerings to God

                                        - Israel worshipped in song after the Exodus

                    3.  Instead of detailed instructions, we have principles and

                          examples of worship to God

                              a.  It involves various types of activities directed to God

                                        - Praise and thanksgiving

                                        - Laments and requests to God

                                        - Remembrance of what God has done

                                        - Sacrifice, offering, giving, confession

                              b.  Also involves various forms

                                        - Prayer - Someone can lead prayer, silent prayer

                                        - Singing - Songs to praise God, encourage others

                                        - Communion - Remember the central part of faith

                                        - Meditating on God's word - Listen to and apply it

                              c.  Various worship postures

                                        - Bow head, kneel, raise hands, stand sit

                                        - Some in Bible leap with joy, beat their breast in

                                           confession, etc. - These are unusual though

                              d.  Most important - It involves the heart

                    4.  In assembly, we all to participate

                              a.  Eph 5:18-20 - Speak to one another in Psalms, hymns….

                                        - We are not listeners, but participants

                                        - God is the one who listens

                              b.  Col 3:12-16 - Has a bunch of one another sayings

                                        - Compassion, forgiving, and loving one another

                                        - Teach and admonish one another in song

                              c.  Singing and worshipping together is intensely a one

                                   another activity

          C.  ILL:  How many of you have heard the Hallelujah Chorus live?

                    1.  First time I heard it live was York College

                              a.  Was an awesome experience

                              b.  Song intended to magnify the name of Jesus

                    2.  When I joined the chorus, we sang it

                              a.  Even more awesome to sing it

                              b.  I remember chills going down my spine

                              c.  No comparison between listening and participating

                    3.  I remember and interview with a song leader at an annual

                         singing called, "Sing a Rama"

                              a.  I believe it was a leader from the Harlem Church of Christ

                              b.  Said - Bible says sing with the spirit and understanding

                                   and to make melody in your heart

                              c.  Believe this means to sing with all you got

                    4.  Everyone participates with all they got - How uplifting is that?

          D.  How do you make the most of worship?

                    1.  Focus on giving rather than just receiving 

                              a.  Worship is primarily about giving

                              b.  Israel offered up sacrifices, offerings, gifts

                              c.  Today, we bring a sacrifice of praise to God

                    2.  Engage both your heart and mind

                              a.  Worship with both the spirit and the understanding

                              b.  We often downplay any expression of emotion

                                        - I submit to you that it is okay, and to be encouraged

                                        - Read the Psalms, its all in there - joy, sorrow, anger,

                                           love, gratefulness, etc.

                                        - Acts 2 - They heard the word, pricked in their heart

                                           and responded

                                        - Responding to God's word, his actions, etc. with all

                                          our heart pleases God

                              c.  ILL:  When Dad sings, he sing with all his heart

                                        - I still remember him sitting on front pew as worship


                                        - Always knew which he was, head was bobbing as

                                           we sang

                                        - Sings LOUD, not pretty, but very uplifting for him

                                           AND for everyone else

                              d.  So, if want to make most of it, engage heart and mind

                                        -  Sing with all your heart, soul, and mind

                                                  = Don't have to sing pretty

                                                  = Just sing with all you got

                                        - Commune with the Lord will all heart, soul, mind

                                                  = Really consider

                                        -  Listen to God's word with all heart, soul, and mind

                                                  = Some places will verbally agree and

                                                     encourage the preacher while preaching

                                                  = Jimmy Allen said saying "Amen" to a

                                                     preacher is like saying "sick-em" to a bull dog

                    3.  Worship all the time

                              a.  Don't limit worship to what you do here

                              b.  Some, even when getting together informally with

                                    brethren will have a scripture and a song or two

                              c.  Make worship something fami


III.  Leave to Love and Serve

          A.  Worship and service go hand in hand

          B.  (Rom 12:1) Offer ourselves a living sacrifice

                    1.  It is your "spiritual service of worship"

                              a.  Latreiva - Service or worship to God

                                        - Latreia is service you do in formal worship setting

                                        - If incense, sacrifice, offerings, sacred music,

                                           cleaning the holy object, etc.

                                        - This is worship/service you do "at church"

                              b.  Passage is saying our religious service is not limited to

                                   what you do at church, but is everyday

                    2.  Then passage goes on to give examples of this worship/service

                              a.  v.7 -

                                        - Serve others - Some have the gift of service

                                        - Teaching

                              b.  v.8 -

                                        - Exhortation - Some have ministry of encouragement

                                        - Giving - Some have gift of making money

                                        - Leadership - Some natural leaders, people look to

                                        - Mercy - Ministries of mercy, helping those in dire

                                          straight and in need

                    3.  Worship without service is incomplete

                              a.  Spiritual service of worship is everyday, not just at church

                              b.  In fact, worship while refusing to serve may be repugnant

                              c.  Bible not say worship is fulfillment of the law, but love is

          C.  ILL:  Remember signs at door of auditorium at a church I visited

                    1.  Enter to worship, leave to serve

                    2.  That should be our mindset

          D.  So, how do we make the most of our service?

                    1.  Decide to love your neighbor as yourself

                              a.  Jesus told story to illustrate love neighbor as self, Lk 10

                              b.  Priest & Levite passed by, but Samaritan stopped to help

                              c.  Which was neighbor?  The one who showed mercy

                              d.  This is part of our reasonable service of worship

                    2.  Express love not only in word, but also in deed

                    3.  Glorify God when you are able to serve

                    4.  Encourage brethren with story of how God worked in your life



1.  How has God worked in your life?  (inv)

2.  Make the most of your worship assembly

          a.  Remember purpose of assembly - show up, sit together, hand around

          b.  Come to participate - Focus on giving, engage heart and mind

          c.  Leave to serve - Worship/service to God continues all week