The Way of Worship: His Plan


God’s purposes for worship are revealed from Genesis to revelation.

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“I don’t believe in accidents. The canyon walls. The wildlife. The sky. The river and how it carves out the earth and brings life to the lowest places. us. There’s a plan for us. We are here with the river today, experiencing her in all her glory. We have a place in it all. There’s evidence of a plan. A greater story.”

  1. Think about your own story. When did you first sense that God had a greater plan for your life?
  2. Describe a time when you hoped to know God’s specific plan, but it wasn’t clear to you.
  3. At that particular time, did it become clear? If so, how?
  4. Name and describe three defining moments in your life that at first seemed like detours but in hindsight you see the plan of God was at work (i.e., a move to another city, a teacher encouraged you, a new job opportunity, etc.).


Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’
— Isaiah 46:9–10

God makes known the end from the beginning. He is writing the story of the ages, history.

  1. If God is truly writing the story of history, how should this affect our decision-making process?
  2. If you were to draw a road map to a successful, God-honoring life, what would that look like? Try to put it in five to seven stages, like stops on a road trip (i.e., finish education, friendships, marriage, career, etc.).
  3. What are the most important things to you to achieve in life?
  4. What do you believe are the most important things to God for your life?


  1. God is a God of relationship, revelation, and redemption: How does God provide a way for relationship with man?
  2. How does God reveal Himself and His plans for mankind? Be specific.
  3. How does revelation help worshipers to know, understand, and find God?
  4. How does mankind respond to God’s revelation?
  5. God is a God of redemption. How does relationship and revelation present God’s plan for redemption?
  6. What are some of the benefits of redemption for the person seeking to know the way of worship?

Excerpted with permission from The Way of Worship Student Workbook: A Hands-on Guide to Living and Leading Authentic Worship by Michael Neale and Vernon Whaley, copyright Michael Neale and Vernon Whaley.

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Michael Neale is a Dove award-winning songwriter, author, artist, pastor, and master storyteller and currently serves as the lead worship pastor for Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas. He is the author of The River, Into The Canyon, and Your Great Name. Michael has an extensive published song catalog, including songs recorded by artists Michael W. Smith, Natalie Grant, Rebecca St. James, Philips, Craig & Dean, and Todd Agnew. His song “Your Great Name” has been sung in churches all around the world. Michael is married to his high school sweetheart, Leah, and they have three children: Micah, Maisie, and Wyatt.

VERNON M. WHALEY (PhD, University of Oklahoma; DWS, Liberty University) is associate vice president of program development for music and worship arts at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee. He served for fifteen years as dean of the School of Music and director of the Center for Worship at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. He is author of several books including Called to Worship, The Great Commission to Worship, Worship and Witness, Worship through the Ages, The Dynamics of Corporate Worship, and Exalt His Name.

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