Why does our church worship the way it worships? Simply put, our church aims to worship God the way He wants us to worship Him. God has revealed in His Word how He wants us to worship Him. Therefore, it is our aim to structure our worship service in alignment to His revealed will. In summary, we believe that our worship is saturated with the biblical mandate to exalt Christ through the application of His Word in every area of our worship. We believe that our worship service is Word-centered.
We believe the essential elements of our worship revolve around God’s mandated activities to sing, pray, read, preach, and see (baptism & the Lord’s Table) the Scriptures. These are non-negotiable elements of the worship service.
These elements can have different forms. For example, prayer must be part of the worship service, but there are many different kinds of prayers the Scripture prescribe. These can include prayers of thanksgiving, confession, intercession, etc. Another example is the required element of reading Scripture. Still, something as simple as Scripture reading can have different forms. There are times when the congregation reads together or perhaps one person leads the congregation in worship.
Lastly, these elements expressed through particular forms happen in a particular circumstance. The time our worship service starts, the length of our worship service, and seating arrangement are all different circumstances. Another example of circumstance is whether or not a church uses a PowerPoint or hymn book. The element of singing is present and it may have a particular form (e.g., songs of praise, thanksgiving, commitment), but the hymn book or PowerPoint is the circumstance in which singing is practiced.
Why We Use the Phrase, “Order of Worship”
We use the term “order of worship” not merely because it communicates the sequence of our worship service, but because it communicates the logic of our worship service. Our worship service follows the basic pattern of the gospel.
God Seeks Us and Shows Us Himself. Worship begins with God initiating contact to find lost sinners. We are made to glorify God and must fulfill our life’s purpose (call to worship). As He calls us, He shows us His infinite perfections, He reveals Himself to us (prayer of praise, worship through song).
We See Ourselves as Sinners & Run to the Savior. Having seen the glory of God we respond by confessing our sins before the holy God (prayer of confession). Recognizing our sin leads us to the only place for forgiveness, at the cross of Jesus Christ. We seek our forgiveness not in works or religious ceremony, but in the finished work of Christ. In Christ, we are assured that our sins are forgiven (assurance of pardon).
We are Reconciled to God and Enjoy Him. As a result, we come to God in sweet fellowship and discipleship. We hear from Him (Scripture reading) and give thanks to Him (prayer of thanksgiving, offering).
We are Sanctified and Sent Out into the World. As followers of Christ we are sanctified by His Word (preaching) and enjoy fellowship with one another (ordinances). As a result of finding our strength in the gospel we are then encouraged to go out into the world to live for god’s glory (benediction / sending passage).
This order reminds us that the gospel is for everyday life. It is a constant reminder of Christ and all that He has done on our behalf. This order of worship shows the beautiful dialogue we have with God in all of life. He speaks to us, we see Him, and we respond to Him. It reminds us that we are reconciled to God and have a real and intimate relationship with Him.
What is your order of worship? What impact does Scripture have on the way you approach God?