· Intellectualism. When knowledge of the Bible is the main objective, God gets crowded out. Agendaitus is the problem. The group simply does not have time in their tight schedule for worship and meaningful prayer. They may have Martha’s Syndrome: they are too busy doing things to sit at the feet of the Master.
· Self-Centeredness. “I don’t want to worship in our small group. I can’t sing.” The focus of worship is not on our voices; it is on God. The question must be asked, “For whom does this group exist?” If the answer is “me and my family and our needs,” it’s time to go back to the beginning and discuss purpose and mission.
· Never Thought of It. Many existing, long-standing groups simply never put “worship” with “small group.” Worship has never been held up as small group value.
· No True Experience in Worship. Some group members may not have experienced real worship and the power of prayer personally, so they don’t look for it or miss it in the group. Jesus said “true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks” (John 4:23). Unfortunately, some Christians have not learned to worship in spirit and truth.
· A View that Worship and Evangelism Are Diametrically Opposed. Non-Christians may not be able to enter as completely into the worship experience as a fully devoted follower of Christ, but even being in the room with sincere people who are praising God – and seeing God move in response will draw a person to God. Worship changes people. Just like it changed the Philippian jailer and his family!
· Spiritual Warfare. Satan does whatever he can to prevent us from spending time with God. He hates when we come together to worship God in spirit and truth. He wants to lead us into being me-centered or us-centered rather than God-centered.
Excerpted from Leading From the Heart, Chapter 7, "A Heart for Worship and Prayer."