In the Bible, there are many ‘models of worship’. The following is not an exhaustive list, but provides a framework to understand how worship develops:
In the pre-Sinai model of worship, the patriarchs are priests to their own families. They built altars, offered sacrifices, and gathered their families together in worship. Their worship was done in the context of everyday living.
In this model, we sense the dynamics of improvisation, Spirit-guided unity, the maximum participation possible in small groups, and the special intimacy that transpires in a home setting. “When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation” 1 Corinthians 14:26.
This model, basic to many Protestant churches, emphasises structured liturgy and accords a prominent place to prayer, Scripture reading and biblical exposition.
Here we often see drama, movement, symbolism, the fine arts, and Davidic praise. Often this is found when many large and small churches come together, usually with inter-church groups facilitating worship.
Here all elements of the previous four models are included, but relates most to the Tabernacle-Temple model, yet on a huge scale, beyond understanding. For, this is when all Christians, from the past, now and in the future, will be together in worshipping God in all His glory in perfect harmony.