The Worship-Discipleship Nexus: Integrating Worship Practice and a Discipleship Pathway
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The intent of this study is to learn from exemplar church leaders who recognize significant convergence between the biblical aims of corporate worship and Christian discipleship. By observing the planning practices of these leaders, my desire is to ascertain practical aspects of worship design that positively impact and inform the disciple-making process. In chapter 2, four relevant areas of literature are reviewed. The first is work in biblical theology of corporate worship. The second involves biblical theology of Christian discipleship. Significant scholarship exists for each of these areas, and there are key points of convergence between the two. The third includes literature regarding the function of liturgy in corporate worship throughout church history for purposes and goals related to Christian discipleship. The fourth involves any precedent studies of the intersection of these larger categories. Chapter 3 articulates the methodology. The first phase of research is the enlistment of experts for recommendations of exemplar churches. The second phase involves interviews with worship leaders, planners, and pastors who have been recommended by the experts as well as observations of the exemplar churches’ worship services. Chapter 4 displays the content of the interviews and observations from the worship services. Chapter 5 combines data from interviews and worship service analyses to be displayed in two ways: (1) a matrix showing how worship service elements are connected to one another and serve larger goals and (2) a rubric outlining some key principles to consider as well as guiding questions to ask when planning a worship service with these goals in mind.