Institute for Christian Teaching

Education Department of Seventh-day Adventists



















Oliver K S. Koh


Associate Director of Education

Southern Asia-Pacific Division

P. 0. Box 040

Silang, Cavite 4118









334-98 Institute for Christian Teaching

12501 Old Columbia Pike

Silver Spring, MD 20904 USA




Prepared for the

22' International Faith and learning Seminar

held at

Bogenhofen Seminary

Austria, August 9 - 21, 1998





The Adventist Church believes to have been raised and called by God to proclaim the everlasting gospel in the Three Angels' Message of Revelation 14 in the last days of this earth. The gospel proclamation focuses on the worship of the Creator God as the ultimate issue of life before the judgment of God. The Adventist Church adopts the mandate of the Three Angels' Message as its raison d'etre and mission to the world- And Adventist educational institutions invariably adopt and reflect this mandate in their institutional mission statements and educational objectives. The spiritual character of Adventist schools is further affirmed in their adoption as educational philosophy the concept of the restoration in man the image of his Maker through a holistic development of a person which integrates the work of redemption and the object of education as one great object of life.'

The spiritual character of Adventist education makes spiritual activity a natural component of school activities. Spirituality is most prominently expressed through worship activity. Biblical concept of worship, however, calls for love, gratitude and loyalty as basic response to God's initiative. Some conducts of worship activity in many Adventist schools, at least within the Southern Asia-Pacific Division, tend to create certain tensions that work to undermine rather than encourage spiritual growth and deepen worship experience in school life.[1]

There is, for instance, the tension between the evangelistic thrust and the readiness of an captured audience of a mixed multitude of students, especially in mission schools, who are required to attend religious meetings conducted as Christian worship. Such a tension is heightened in boarding schools where worship attendance frequently becomes a fertile ground for infractions, a matter of negotiation and bargain for minimum participation, a cause for some to depart from dormitory as well as the school. There is tension between worship conducted as active congregational participation and worship viewed as spectacle and entertainment. There is the tension of worship forms that can threaten to divide rather than to unite school spirit. There is tension between creeds and deeds, between believing and living, as exemplified by attitudes and conducts of Christian administrators, teachers and students that can influence spiritual growth one way or another. There is tension among worship participants on perceiving worship as an extra-curricular duty, a presentation like a lecture that requires scholarly preparation rather than as an offering of love and gratitude. Reluctance on worship appointment becomes a rule rather than an exception. It is the fear of man rather than God that is the beginning of anxiety in worship. In school evaluation through student interview, spirituality as expressed in worship activities generally receives low score. In short, many of our schools on secondary and tertiary levels are facing great difficulty, if not a crisis, in worship life.

This essay seeks first to examine the main principles of worship and life from the Scriptures, and the Spirit of Prophecy writings; second, to identify what constitutes authentic Christian worship experience; and third, to look for some principles we can use to improve worship life in school.

Principles of Worship and Life

The concept of worship permeates the Bible. The last call of God to the world in the last days centers in the call to worship Him the true God who made the heavens and earth (Rev 14: 6 - 12). Jesus makes radical statements on worship in words and actions to the Jewish nation in the midst of their worshiping life, and even to non-Jews, thus indicating the universal principle of true and pure worship (His cleansing of the Jerusalem Temple, His prophecy on the destruction of the Temple and His introduction of a new worship replacing the old Jewish economy and His interview with the Samaritan woman are all in direct relationship to His life and ministry). In the Old Testament, the Psalms and the book of Leviticus regulate worship life with Jerusalem and the temple as the center of the Jewish nation and worship life. Unfaithfulness in worship life brings challenge, warning, denunciation and appeal from successive prophetic ministries.

Faithfulness in worship life, however, is preserved through a line of godly people traceable to the beginning of humankind. And there at the creation, at the beginning of life, and through subsequent ages, basic principles of pure worship must have become discernible to become a regulator of life.

1.         Foundation of Worship and Life in the Creation Record of Genesis

Definition of worship abounds in books on worship. A simple working definition is provided by Ronald Allen: Worship is an active response to God whereby we declare His worth.[2] Biblical worship involves an understanding of the nature of God, the nature of man and their relationship. These ingredients of worship are discernible in the beginning chapters of the Creation record of Genesis.

The nature of God. God is real and good as His creation is real and good (Gen 1: 3 1).

God is sovereign and transcendent as He causes creation and condescends to enter into the created world but is above creation. God is immanent and loving as He condescends to create with love (Gen 2: 16- 18; 3: 8; cf I John 4: 8- 10). God is personal. The same love, sovereignty and reality of God provide the eternal covenant of redemption by His divine sacrifice (Gen 3 3:15). God is worthy of worship who is Creator and Redeemer, the only true object of worship.

The nature of man. Man who is made in God's image comes from a divinely and intentionally created origin and maintains a distinct relationship with the Creator God (1: 26-27). Outside of this relationship humanity would cease to be.[3] Man's spirituality, the capacity to think thoughts after his God, as Kepler said, and hold communion with Him, thus crowns his distinct nature. William Dyrness speaks of man created in God's image having a "capacity and appetite for God".[4]

Man's stewardship of life mandates his responsible existence to God and his environment. Responsible existence is lived through an exercise of love and power of choice. Knowledge of responsible existence and meaning of life must of necessity come from a faith and love encounter through revealed truth.

The relation between God and man. God is love (Cf 1 John 4: 8). His creation is based on love. God is the source of life. He is the Life ( Gen 2: 17; Cf John 1: 1 – 3; John 14: 6). He gives life to man out of love. God's creation of man is based on His sovereignty, free and uncoerced. The heart of man's relationship with God is based on love, free and uncoerced. The fruit of man's love is obedience. The life of man is contingent on obedience to the God of love and life. The life giving God is jealous in having man maintain life out of love and obedience to Him Who is the life ( Cf Deut 6:15). Hence God's command to love and obey Him is not for His sake, but for ours ( Gen 2: 16 -17; cf Deut 6: 4-6). Man's response to God's creation and redemption would have to be a love expressed through his choice, faith and obedience. This constitutes the life renewal process. The same principle of love expressed through faith and obedience in life was given to the first parents as it was to all mankind (Gen 2: 16-17; cf, Ex 20: 2 -17; John 14:15; Heb 11: 1 John 4:8).

The distinction between God as God and man as man is etched in the creation of the Sabbath as the memorial of God's creation and as a reminder of man's responsible existence in Him. Man's spiritual nature finds his highest expression and experience through a faith and love encounter with God that leads to a worship of Him as Creator and Redeemer. The Sabbath is a sanctuary in time and space for this encounter of life with the Creator God.

Summary. The Genesis account thus provides a basic theological foundation for the Biblical concept of worship and life. The issue of worship indeed lies at the center of human history. The worship of the Creator God begins human history. The worship of Satan ushers in sin and a system of false worship and life. The restored worship of the true God through faith in the Divine sacrifice begins the process of restoration and redemption. The call to worship the Creator God in the last days of the world constitutes the ultimate issue of life facing its finality and eternal consequence in the light of the final judgment. Pure worship that began and disrupted at the creation shall resume in the new earth where God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple (Rev 21: 22).

2.         The Principle of Whole-Life Worship

The Bible views worship as a way of life rather than as a segment of life.[5] Compartmentalizing worship as an event in time and space away from the rest of life activities disintegrates life. It leads to idolizing worship as an event controlled by man rather than as God's means for regulating all of life. It leads to a diminutive and localized God whose influence on man's worship and life lasts only as long as the time and the placeman provides.

The Bible, however, views worship as broad as life. Worship is to life as the mainspring to a watch, or the engine to a car, the very core, and the most essential element of a Christian life. Worship is the way of Christian life. True worship demands and impacts all of life. Worship is life. Christians are asked to present life as a living sacrifice (Roman 12:1-2), as a spiritual sacrifice acceptable to God (I Peter 1: 2-5), as an acceptable service with reverence and awe (Hebrews 12: 28-29). Isaiah's denunciation of the sacrificial worship of Israel in his days revealed the disintegration of worship and life in a worshiping nation (Isa 1). God rejected Israel's observance of religious festivals and the system of sacrificial worship because in their life Israel had rebelled Him (Isa 1: 2), and had loaded herself with guilt (Isa 1: 4). What was lacking of a truthful worship life in Israel was doing right and seeking justice (Isa 1: 17). Without an integration of worship and life, either one will lead to idolatry.

3.         The Principle of Communication in Worship

Worship is communication. This is true in understanding worship as a way of life where a living communion with God regulates life activities. This is also true in worship as an event in time and place. Communication in Biblical worship consists of a two way movement of God's initiative and man's response.

In the movement of God taking an initiative to move toward man in worship, He communicates in terms of commands, promises, blessings, proclamation, using both words (thoughts, expectations, promises and warnings) as well as symbols (imageries of throne, smoke, fire, sounds, winds, etc.). And man in response communicates with God in worship in terms of sacrifices, confessions, prayer, praise, communion bread and wine and offerings. Ralph Martin describes this two way momentum as "worship as dialogue ... Worship pulsates with a two-beat rhythm expressed simply as 'we come to God' and 'God comes to us"'..[6] William Nicholls points out that in this worship as dialogue Jesus Christ stands at the center, for "In Him is embodied the downward movement of God's love and grace, as He reveals Himself to man, and reconciles man to Himself, and also the upward movement of man's response, perfectly dependent upon that love, and drawing from all the resources of strength which are needed to make that response in all the circumstances of life, and even in death itself "[7] Christian worship is centered in Christ, the essence of worship. The reconciliatory work of God through Christ's redemption makes the reading of Holy Scriptures an essential part of Biblical worship. For in the recounting of God's great redemption, as Ralph Martin points out, "the genius of Biblical worship spelled out in terms of recollecting the past, rehearsing God's mighty deeds so that they 'live again,' and entering in a most realistic way into their dynamic meaning for the present generation."[8]The quality of worship as well. as the effectiveness in meeting the needs of the worshipers largely depend on how the movement and the important elements are engaged in worship.[9]

The movement of man to God in worship consists of three dimensions. The upward dimension points to a God-directed, Christ-centered and Spirit-controlled worship and life. Views of God shapes attitude and manner of worship and life. The God-focused worship demands a vision of what God is like in all His Godness-- His righteousness that expels all that are ungodly, and His love that draws the ungodly to Him (Moses removing shoes before Burning Bush; Isaiah's cry for mercy in his vision of the holy God).

The most sublime demonstration takes place at the Cross-where righteousness and peace kiss each other (Ps 85:10). In between creation and recreation of the world stands the Cross-in, which God in Christ reconciles, the world unto Himself Jesus says, "God is spirit, and His worshipers shall worship Him in. spirit and truth" (John 4: 24). The Spirit that brought order out of chaos at creation (Gen 1) comes as Christ's representative to lead life in truth seeking (John 16), to lead life to true worship (John 4: 24), and to lead life to repentance and salvation (Rev 22:17). Worship is Trinitarian (Col 3:3; 2 Cor 5:17; Rom 8:9; John 14: 23; Gal 2:20; John 14:16f).

The inward dimension points to a responsible existence in personal behavior. The children of light who walk in the light is pleasing to God (Eph 5:8-10). Worship internalizes life, integrating belief and heart and life. We are saved to worship, and we worship to live out a life of salvation.

The outward dimension points to a responsible existence to others. Human actions follow divine actions. The ministry of reconciliation of Christ is given to God's children as ambassadorship (2 Cor 5: 18- 20). Worship is essential service to God and to man. Service at Divine worship continues to service in life activities. Sharing God's eternal gospel of love lies at the heart of worship and life (Rev 14:6-7).

In short, the response to a God-focused worship comes with obedience as in Abel's obedience through bringing an animal sacrifice, faith as in Abraham's offering of Isaac, love offering as in the widow's mites, repentance as in David's confession of sin, service as in Isaiah's commitment to serve the people, praise and petition as 'in Daniel's prayer. All these responses implied an understanding and awareness of the sinful nature of man and the infinite greatness of a holy, gracious and forgiving God. The attitude, gesture and the frame of mind with which a worshiper brings with him to worship must reflect true nature of God and man.

4.          The Principle of Form in Worship

The principle of whole-life worship finds its parallel in the liturgy of worship. Just as worship renews life as life finds completeness in worship, even so does truth inform liturgy as liturgy reflect truth. The sacrificial system of the Hebrew worship from its primitive form in the Patriarchal age to the grand worship in Solomon temple effects an integration of a belief 'in God's covenant of redemption through divine sacrifice and a liturgy of animal sacrifice that testifies to God's revealed truth.

The transition from the Old Testament sacrificial worship to the New Testament worship as installed by Christ still follows the principle of an integration of theology and liturgy. The ordinance of the Lord's Supper as a memorial of Divine Sacrifice and a reminder of Christ's Second Coming is incorporated into Christian worship as a declaration of faith. The foot washing ceremony as part of Christian worship testifies to Christ's service to the world and the Christians' commitment to divine service in worship and life. Christian churches of the Post-Testamental traditions continue their attempts to integrate belief and liturgy.[10]The free church tradition in their attempt to avoid the pitfall of formalism tend to disregard the proper role of form in worship and thus miss the great opportunity of enhancing worship through integrating the form (liturgy) and the truth (theology) of worship. In most free church traditions the whole worship service seems to stand or fall in the sermon and relegates the rest of worship activities as peripherals.

The point here is that worship can be made more effective and meaningful by integrating a church's understanding of its mission and belief into its worship. The principle requires a faithful conformity to Biblical teachings.[11]

5.         The Principle of Variety of Forms in Meeting Diversity of Human Needs

Biblical sources make mention of the different formats of worship at different times and places. There are the family worship modeled by the Patriarchs, the symbolism and liturgy type of Tabernacle-Temple worship, the reading and preaching of Word type of synagogue worship, the agape feast type of New Testament worship, and the heavenly court type of glorious worship by the cosmic congregation as glimpsed from Rev 5:11-14. A great variety of worship experiences, each distinctive if not radically different, is seen as acceptable worship. They are acceptable because the variety, though different, shares a unity of purpose of worshiping the same Creator God. Human creativity can enrich worship experience as long as the focus of worship is God-directed, belief Christ-centered, attitude Spirit-controlled, and in 0, the worship resources that are Bible-based.

Isaiah's worship in his vision of the holy God in the temple should further place human creativity under the judgment of the nature of God and of man (Isa 6: 1- 8). Creativity must know where to take off its sandals when it treads on holy ground on approaching the holy and infinitely great God. The external manifestation of emotion, sound and sight and movement in worship have its pure and acceptable type in the Bible. Miriam danced "to the Lord" in celebration of the crossing the Red Sea ( Ex 15: 20-2 1). King David leaped and danced "before the Lord" in the procession leading the ark into Jerusalem (2 Sam 6: 14- 16). The Psalmists engaged in a worship with joyful noise and dancing (Cf 149:3- 4; 150:4- 6).[12] Old Testament dance is associated with joy in worship and life. That dancing associated with joy and celebration continues to the New Testament time and life is evident in the celebration with "music and dancing" of the returning of the prodigal son in the parable. The Bible. however, also mentions spurious and disruptive movement in worship in some type of undesirable charismatic manifestation such as those found in the Corinthian church (2 Cor 11). Movement in worship and life as expressed in dance is very much related to the culture of the people of the time.

Since corporate worship is communal in nature, creativity and variety in worship must of necessity submit to common understanding and acceptance of the community if corporate worship is to become an effective and meaningful experience for all. One is free to be creative, but one is not free when the focus turns away from God to self, and when a common understanding of the community is ignored. Responsible human existence is in force in life as in worship.

6.         Principles of Worship Gleaned from the Spirit of Prophecy

The Spirit of Prophecy, like the Bible, does not provide a systemic treatment of worship as an activity nor recommend a worship order that can be modeled- However, Ellen White's writings provide 3552 entries on worship, amply indicative of the importance of worship in life. Her comments, however, deal largely with the internal force of worship--man's interiority that needs be set right with God before worship can become a life force that brings blessing to self and others.

One can arrange her comments on worship on at least three main emphases: the presence of God in worship, the attitude of the worshipers and other concerns. With regard to God's presence in worship Ellen White says that worship is designed to be a blessed experience. Heaven is bent on blessing God's people in worship, and God expects to fill hearts with joy. And it should be a pleasure to worship God. The stamp of God's Creatorship is His holy Sabbath, which lies at the very foundation of divine worship.

On attitude of worship she reflects the feelings of one who has beheld the awesome glory of God, in her case, through visions, which occurred many times in life. Her concept is abundantly reflected in her many emphases on reverence and awe in the worship of God. God, to her, is most real in the assembly of worship; He is there. Hence she appeals for worshipers to "come on bended knee", with great reverential awe before God, in prayer, in the preaching of the Word, in the hearing of the truth, and in the service of the Sanctuary. Such reverential awe can be induced only by a genuine awareness and acknowledgment of the "infinite greatness" of the God Who is mankind's "Creator ... and rightful Sovereign". Before -the holy God, man is to approach with humility, contrite spirit and gratitude. In our worship of God He is "to be the subject of thought, the object of worship and anything that attracts the mind from the solemn, sacred service is an offence to Him." The vanishing distinction of sacred and common hinders the sense of reverence. Worship calls for active participation to make the Sabbath meeting interesting.

On a number of places she characterizes the nature of true worship. True worship gives impetus to evangelism, maintains spirit of worship in all stations of life, comes from a true knowledge of Christ, requires obedience to God's commandments, works with Christ in good works. Worship is viewed as a way of life.

To the worshipers, "the house of God on earth is the gate to heaven." Christian worship Is to be pervaded with the very atmosphere of heaven. Characteristic of this is orderliness and rules with regard to time, place and manner of worshiping. Rules and order, however, must never lead to a formalism of worship. Instead, Christian worship must be skillfully studied, planned, and conducted to make it intensely interesting and attractive.

Ellen White warns that an enemy is out to destroy true worship. Satan is bent on destroying true worship. School administrators should be wide-awake at the corrupting influence in worship life. The Bible does give command to worship the true God. But God does force anyone to worship Him Worship, even of the true God, cannot be forced. The power of personal influence can be properly utilized as seen in Abraham who with love and devotion led his big household in the worship of God. Schoolteachers can also exert positive influence if they would themselves have experiential knowledge of the way of holiness. She comments how the French Revolution has so glorified reason and liberty as to deify reason. Likewise by exalting men in their learning and achievement one is in danger of idolatry.

In her Special Testimony to the Teachers on May 15, 1896 she wrote, " The true teacher will try by precept and example to win souls to Christ. He must receive the truth in the love of it, and let it cleanse his heart, and mold his life. Every teacher should be under the full control of the Holy Spirit. Then Christ can speak to the heart, and his voice is the voice of love. And the love of God, received into the heart, is an active power for good, quickening and enlarging the mind and soul. With his own heart warm with divine love, the teacher will lift up the Man of Calvary, not to give the students a casual glance, but to hasten their attention until Jesus shall seem to them the "Chiefest among ten thousand," and the One "altogether lovely".... The Holy Spirit has often come to our schools, and has not been recognized, but has been treated as a stranger, perhaps even as an intruder. Every teacher should know and welcome this heavenly guest. If the teachers will open their own hearts to receive the Spirit, they will be prepared to cooperate with it in working for their students; and when it is given free course, it will effect wonderful transformations. It will work in each heart correcting selfishness, molding and refining the character, and bringing even the thoughts into captivity to Christ" Students should be taught that worship is no hindrance to their progress of knowledge.[13]

Some Approaches to Integrating Worship and School Life

Spirituality as expressed in worship and life has not been an area of life commonly and easily subject to evaluation. Some doubt it can be. However, if one can sense spirituality and worship life are on a decline with tale-tell signs such as regular absence from personal devotion and corporate worship, or finding worship a drudgery, or harboring a distaste or undue anxiety for worship appointment in religious assembly, then the challenge is there to find ways to assess the situation and with the help of the Spirit to set new direction toward a reversal of a spiritual malaise. There is no quick fix for a healthy, authentic spiritual worship and life. Deterioration of the quality of worship life is often a symptom of a larger problem. The way for an authentic worship life involves a process. Here are several broad but radical approaches, dealing with root problem.

I .         A basic approach-An understanding of the whole-life worship concept. Biblical worship involves and demands the whole of life. Worship is to be a way of life as worship is life. Corporate worship as an event is a culmination of a Christian life's activities, and such a worship experience in turn provides new energy to take on life's activities. No man can accomplish this on his own strength. The Holy Spirit, however, is present to work with willing hearts to start or restart the basic disciplines of life through Bible study, reflection and prayer. We should want to give the Holy Spirit the best time of the day in personal communion when the heart is most impressionable to the Spirit's influence. No one can truly know our interiority better save the Spirit. Face reality honestly. Claim the Spirit's help to break the inertia that immobilizes life. Claim the Spirit's help to stay on with Him. This will present a better chance for a change for the better when corporate worship life thus begins with personal life. And a life that is at peace with God and self can become a leavening force for the community. Actively encourage personal religion through personal devotion and sharing.

Schoolteachers should be encouraged to initiate short courses on the nature of the work of the Holy Spirit and the basic attitudes a worshiper should assume in order to fully engage in the worship of our God. And students should be actively encouraged to participate in them. Franklin M. Segler in his book, Christian Worship, lists the following basic attitudes for worshipers: adoration as expressed in the spirit of reverence and awe; gratitude in response to God's redemptive love; humility and penitence as integral to fellowship and reconciliation with God; a sense of deep dependence on God for His supply of our needs; submission without which worship is incomplete; and a commitment that brings to climax the whole worship experience.[14]

Students must also be led to understand the power of habit formation and that worship should-be and can be cultivated as a consistent habit. Worship is a divine injunction; there is no evasion escape.  It should be considered the primary event of the week or day because it is one of the relationships with an obligation to God. Certain traditions have a powerful influence in leading and uniting the whole school community in preparing for the hour of worship, especially the ushering in of the holy Sabbath on Friday evening. Students should be encouraged to prepare for the Sabbath by doing all washing and ironing of Sabbath clothes before the arrival of the Sabbath and dress the best to welcome the Sabbath in the vesper service. Certainly our Lord deserves to have us at our best physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually at the hour of worship.

2.         A comprehensive curriculum plan that intentionally incorporates the principles of integration of faith and learning into classrooms and school life from elementary to college level. This is a corollary application to the whole-life worship. As worship generates life force to regulate life activities which in turn provides reasons and needs to return to worship, likewise should active integration of faith and learning in the classroom better prepare for spiritual expression and experience in the chapel.

Addressing beyond the needs of a particular school, Raquel I. Komiejczuk has suggested a wider system, with a Division or Union level of leadership and resources, that works toward a comprehensive curriculum master plan for elementary and secondary schools that incorporates principles of integration of faith and learning/life as the fabric in character development in Adventist schools.[15]  One would expect that students from church operated schools of the elementary and secondary levels who have gone through effective implementation of faith and learning in schools should have a firmer foundation in spirituality and worship life that better prepares them to continue through college life. In this juncture, tertiary institutions should also consider offering courses on integration of faith and learning as a required course particularly in teacher training programs

3.         Every school should have a spiritual master plan. School administrators, teachers and students within an Adventist institution should take seriously the school's philosophy and mission, which in essence mandates a spiritual growth and commitment in character development. How the mission of the school is carried out depends largely on an understanding, commitment and integration of school mission into classroom learning and life. As much as the knowledge of content is requisite to professional qualification for teaching, even more should evidence of a teacher's knowledge and skills in integration be considered high in importance in teacher's selection and commendation in teachers' evaluation.

The hidden curriculum should become an open forum, a war room if we would consider Christian life as warfare, among Christian teachers to constantly and carefully plan for bold strategy to allow Christ to claim His rightful place in the classroom and campus life in the light of Satan's open war with God and His children, no less, if not even more so, in school life. School administration that takes institutional mission seriously should, with the whole faculty, devise a spiritual master plan for the whole school using the Total Commitment document as recommended by the 1996 General Conference Annual Council. Faculty meeting, faculty retreat, small and nuclear group of like minded Christian teachers and students, weeks of spiritual emphasis, can all be utilized to discuss and share religious experience in the light of school's mission.

4.          Spirituality is more easily caught than taught. This is meant to remind us that action speaks louder than word, and that modeling and mentoring touch a soul faster and deeper than a mere dispensing of words. This may appear simplistic. But in reality people will commonly find in a coherence of word and action a more believable and desirable an approach to meeting life's needs than a mere declaration of truth- Administrators and faculty should be aware of the power of personal influence for good or for bad.[16]  The power of influence can also extend to a wrong end when instructors in their teaching on historical characters or events glorify human achievements that approach human worship. The reality is that human worship often infiltrates the souls more easily and prevalently than we cue to think and admit. The classroom is a fertile ground for human worship, and the Christian classroom is no exemption from it. Life in the room needs be as intentional and God-focused as life in the chapel.

Matured Christian students can also be a powerful influence factor to other students. Such positive influence is a counter force to negative peer pressure. The spirituality of matured Christian teachers and students expressed in their worship life, both in worship activity and in a life of care and concern, exerts an influence that affects life and conduct. By precepts and examples teachers and matured Christian students should earnestly encourage students, Christian or non-Christian, to participate in worship activities. The act of participating allows the Holy Spirit to impress more deeply the meaning of worship.

The effectiveness of small group meeting should be employed to achieve maximum results. Faculty and matured students should recognize their positive influence as a gift and use it prayerfully and consistently to lead souls to the Master Teacher. However, such a gift of influence should bring humility lest it be perverted into a personality cult.

5.         Freedom is responsibility. Biblical worship allows a variety of worship forms with the change of time, place and environment Human being created in the image of God is endowed with gift of making choices in life. A person is also endowed with two hemispheres of brain, the left-brain and the right brain both of which mirror each other physiologically, yet differ in structure and function.[17]  The left-brain controls the intellectual and the verbal skills while the right brain controls the emotion, feeling, and the non-verbal expressions. Saustin Sampson Mfune noted that the Adventist worship services "tend to appeal to the left-brained thinkers, leaving the right-brained out in the cold- If we designed them for both, everyone would be happier."[18]

Human creativity allows for variety of worship expressions and experiences. Although Biblical worship allows a variety in forms, forms are circumscribed by faithfulness to revealed truth. While God's immanence and love is being more easily related to, His infinite and awesome greatness must also be factored in the light of man's consciousness of his creatureliness and wretchedness. The experience of Moses before the Burning Bush, Isaiah's worship encounter in the Temple, and Daniel and the apostle John in their visions of God's awesome glory and holiness (Cf- Dan 7 ; Rev 4 and 5) should compel man to take his sandals in the presence of God in designing worship formats that meets the various needs in a school community. Thus, while variety may be encouraged to meet different needs, the tension between nature of God and of man must be spiritually balanced. And the tension between creativity and freedom must also be spiritually balanced with responsibility to community.

An unnamed Puritan worshiper wrote the following words that sum up the spirit and essence of pure worship:


It is the flame of my life to worship thee,

the crown and glory of my soul to adore thee,

heavenly pleasure to approach thee.

Give me power by thy Spirit to help me worship now,

that I may forget the world,

be brought into fullness of life,

Be refreshed, comforted, blessed.

Give me knowledge of thy goodness

that I might not be over-awed by thy greatness,

Give me Jesus, Son of Man, Son of God,

that I might not be terrified,

but be drawn near with filial love,

with holy boldness;

He is my mediator, brother, interpreter,

branch, daysman, Lamb;

him I glorify,

in him I am set on high.

Crowns to give I have none,

but what thou hast given I return,

content to feel that everything is mine when it is thine,

and the more fully mine when I have yielded it to thee.



References and Resources


Allen, Ronald Barclay. Let Us Celebrate: A Call to Worship. Portland, Or.: Western Conservative Seminary, 1981.


Allen, Ronald and Gordon Borror. Worship: Rediscovering the Missing Jewel. Portland:Multnomah Press, 1982.


Garber, Steven. The Fabric of Faithfidness. Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1996.


Callahan, Kennon L. Dynamic Worship. New York, NY: Harper San Francisco, 1994.


Christensen, James L. Don't Waste Your Time in Worship. Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1973.


Dobbins, Gaines Stanley. The Church at Worship. Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Press, 1986.


Fanwar, Wann M. "Worship and Youth in the Seventh-day Adventist Church." Journal of Adventist youth Ministry (Fall 1993): 30-3 5.


Graybill, Ronald D. "Enthusiasm in early Adventist worship". Ministry (October, 1991): 10-12


Holmes, Arthur F. The Idea of a Christian College. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1975.


Holmes, C. Raymond.  Sing a New Song. Berrien Springs: Andrews University Press, 1984.


_________ "Authentic Adventist Worship." Ministry (October, 1991): 13-15.


Keifer Patrick R. Welcoming the Stranger: A Public Theology of Worship and Evangelism. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992.


Korneijczuk, Raquel 1. "From Creeds to Deeds: Teacher Integration of Faith and Learning in the Classroom." Adventist Education (Dec 1993/Jan 1994): 9- 14.


Liesch, Barry. People in the Presence of God Grand Rapids, MI: Ministry Resources Library Zondevan Publishing House, 1988.


MacArthur, John F. The Ultimate Priority. Chicago: Moody Press, 1983.


Marsden, George M. The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.


Martin, Ralph P. The Worship of God Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, Publishing Company, 1982.


Mfune, Saustin Sampson. "More Than Half a Brian." Ministry (October, 1991): 28-30.


Pease, Norval F. And Worship Him Nashville: Southern Publishing Association, 1967.


Samaan, Philip G. Christ's Way of Reaching People. Hagertown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1990.


Sire, James W. Discipleship of the Mind Illinois: Inter Varsity Press, 1990.


Welton, Gaddy C. The Gift of Worship. Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Press, 1992.


White, Ellen G. "Acceptable Worship." Sings of the Times, June 24,1896.


_________. Evangelism Washington, D. C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association 1946


_________. The Great Controversy. Mountain View, Calif: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1888, 1907, 1911.


_________. "Love the Erring." Review and Herald Nov 30,1886.


_________. Patriarchs and Prophets. Mountain View, Calif: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1956.


_________.  Prophets and Kings. Mountain View, Calif : Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1917.


_________. Selected Messages. 3 volumes. Washington, D. C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1958.


_________. Testimonies for the Churches. 9 volumes. Mountain View, Calif: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1948.


_________. Testimony to Ministers and Gospel Workers. Mountain View, Calif: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1962.

[1] Ellen White, Education. (Mountain View, Calif: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1952): 15.

[2] Ronald Allen And Gordon Borrow. Worhip--Rediscovering the Missing Jewel. (Portland, Oregan: Mulnomah Press, 1968):16.

[3] Geoffrey Wainwright. Doxology, the Praise of God in Worship, Doctrine and Life. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980): 16.

[4] William Dyrness. Themes in the Old Testament Theology. (Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1979): 94.


[5] John MacArthur, Jr. The Ultimate Priority on Worship. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1983):13- 22.

[6] Ralph Martin. The Worship of God. (Grand Rapids, Mi.: William Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1982): 216.



[7] W. Nicholls. Jacob's Ladder. (Grand Rapids: Win B. Eerdmans, 1976): 26- 27.

[8] The Worship of God. p. 212

[9] Wann M. Fanwar. "Worship and Christian Faith", A Worship Seminar conducted in Singapore, August 1995.


[10] The Roman Catholic Church liturgy effectively transmits its theology into its worship format. And its worship liturgy clearly reflects its theology of the Mass and its understanding of the nature of the priesthood

[11] C. Welton Gaddy. The Gift of Worship. (Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Press, 1992):177- 185.


[12] Barry Lies People in the Presence of God. (Grand Rapids, MI: Ministry Resources Library, 1988): 203. Barry in his study of movement (dance) in worship says, "A study of the Scriptures, the Talmud, and other historical and ethnic literature makes clear that sacred dance was a normal and intimate part of everyday Jewish life. The sort of religious-secular distinction common to Western society did not exist in Jewish culture. Dance and religion were intimately related. Dance was predominantly communal and was rarely an end in itself It functioned variously as a means of expressing heartfelt praise and thanksgiving, of celebrating a visitor or commemorating a historic or religious event, of welcoming home a loved one, of celebrating a harvest or feast, or of wooing and courting-"


[13] See Ellen White, Signs of the Time, April 18, 1892; Lift Him Up, p. 254; The great Controversy, p. 437-438; Prophets and Kings, p. 48; Selected Messages, 2:314; Gospel Workers, p. 176-178; Evangelism, p. 2 10; Christian Experience and Teaching, p. 192-193; Testimonjes for the Churches, p. 607-608; Prophets and Kings, p. 48; Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 48; "Our Example", Review and Herald, Oct 24, 1899; Testimonies for the Churches, 5:499; "Love for the Erring", Review and Herald, Nov 3 :)0, 1886; Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 127; That I May Know Him, p. 322; Medical Ministry, p. 112; Counsels on Diet, p. 37; Testimonies, 2:24, 5:491, 5:607, 9:143 - Christian Service, p. 211-12; Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, 4:1145; Testimonies, 4:517; Signs of the Times, May 13, 1897; Education, p. 187; Upward Look, p. 16 1; The Great Controversy, p. 275; Testimony to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 35; Special Testimony on Education, May 15, 1896; Testimonies, 4:273.


[14] Frank M. Segler. Christian Worship. (Nasville, Tenneessee: Boardman Press, 1967): 86-90.


[15] Raquel I. Konuejczuk- "From Creed to Deeds: Teacher Integration of Faith and Learning in the Classroom". The Journal of Adventist Education (Dee 1993/Jan 1994): 9- 14.


[16] King Solomon in the early years of his reign exerted such wise and positive influence that his fame spread beyond the boundary of his kingdom so as to attract admirers such as the Queen of Sheba and many other kings of the earth to seek his audience in order to hear the wisdom God had put 'in his heart. (I Kings 8: 41- 43; 10:23- 24). Jerusalem became the learning center of the world and Israel indeed the kingdom of priest and a holy nation, a reflection of the Holy God. However, when Solomon began to disobey God's instruction by his intermarriage with unbelievers he had also exerted an evil influence that led the nation to apostasy (1 Kings 11: 2- 3).



[17] Barbara Meister Vitale. Unicorns are Reak A Right Brian Approach to Learning. (New York: Warner Books, 1982): 1.

[18] Saustin Sampson Mfune. "More than half brain". Ministry (October 1991): 28­Mfune goes on to describe the left-brained worship format that finds parallel in the orientation of the Adventist educational system: 1) One person dominates the period, the participation of attendees is extremely limited, 2) The focus in on the intellect, while the emotions are inhibited. The name "Sabbath School" suggests this; 3) The church service is almost entirely predictable; 4) "Entertainment" is considered disruptive to worship; 5) Dramatization is used sparingly, 6) As the young people progress through the various levels of the Sabbath School they tend to move from participatory activities to presentations that are increasingly characterized by the lecture format; 7) Leaders tend to consider verbal skills as a sign of intellect and qualification to be involved