The Way We Worship (Part 2)

The following is a quick guide to our order of worship.

 

  1. The Call to Worship. The Bible teaches that worship begins with God calling all of creation to worship Him. The glory of God is the reason and purpose for all of life and creation. This aspect of our worship reflects the element of reading the Scriptures. The form it takes is the reading of a passage that invites creation to worship God or consider God and His attributes. This signifies that God initiates worship. He is the true seeker.

 

  1. Prayer of Praise. The Bible teaches that we ought to adore God in our time of prayer. Here, the prayer focuses on a biblical attribute of God and recognizes His absolute perfections. The attributes recognized in the prayer are often related to the sermon theme.

 

  1. Worship through Singing. The Bible teaches that Christians ought to sing together when they gather for worship (Eph 5:18–20). Therefore, this portion of worship service is dedicated to congregational singing. These songs may vary in theme (e.g., songs of confession, thanksgiving, praise, etc.), but the main point is that Christians sing biblically rooted songs as an act of worship to God and edification towards one another.

 

  1. Prayer of Confession. The Bible teaches that the recognition of God and His perfections lead us to see our own sin. When we clearly see God and His perfections we recognize our ruined state before Him. Therefore, we come to Him in a prayer of confession. In this prayer we recognize the various ways we have sinned before God. In this prayer we make no excuses and shift no blame for our sin on anything. We sin because of our sin nature.

 

  1. Assurance of Pardon. The Bible teaches that there is only one place for us to go in order to receive forgiveness. That one place is God Himself who forgives sinners. He forgives us on the basis of Christ’s finished work on the cross as He died in our place and our confidence lies in the resurrected Lord. Therefore, we read a passage that reminds us of God’s assurance of pardon.

 

  1. Public Reading of Scripture. The Bible teaches that Scripture must be read at the public gathering of God’s people (1 Tim 4:13). Therefore, we devote a portion of our gathering to the simple reading of God’s Word. We systematically read through books of the Bible throughout the year. We read both Old and New Testament books.

 

  1. Prayer of Thanksgiving. The Bible teaches that Christians ought to constantly thank God for the manifold blessings He bestows upon us. This is not isolated to material goods, but extends to all the areas He cares for us. This includes local church membership, familial relationships, the work of sanctification, and the salvation of the lost. Therefore, one of our prayers specifically focuses on expressing our thanksgiving to God.

 

  1. Worship through Giving. The Bible teaches that Christians support gospel ministry in an intentional and cheerful way (2 Cor 9). Therefore, we set aside time to take a collection and remind our members that we give to support the mission of the church to glorify God through the pursuit of godliness and proclamation of the gospel.

 

  1. Pastoral Prayer (Prayer of Intercession). The Bible teaches that Christians ought to pray on behalf of others. Therefore, we use this time to pray for church members, other local churches, missionaries, governments, parachurch organizations, etc.

 

  1. Preaching. The Bible teaches us that preaching is an essential element to the worship service (1 Tim 4:13). The Scriptures must be explained in the gathering of God’s people. Therefore, we devote a major portion of our service to the explanation of God’s Word.

 

  1. The Lord’s Table. The Bible commands Christians to recognize the Lord’s Table on a regular basis. Here, we set a portion of our service aside to remember the Lord’s substitutionary death and His resurrection.

 

  1. Baptism. The Bible teaches that baptism is the appropriate response to God’s work of conversion. When sinners hear the gospel and come to Christ in salvation they make an outward profession of faith and are baptized. This baptism does not save, but represents the salvation received in Christ. We believe it is a public declaration of faith and union with the local body. Therefore, baptisms are part of our church gathering.

 

  1. Prayer / Sending. The Scriptures teach that Christians must not quarantine themselves from the world. Instead, Christians go out into the world to live for the glory of God. Therefore, we end our time of worship by reading a passage for those in attendance that reminds us of their God-given purpose to worship Him. Sometimes we read “one another” passages to encourage healthy Christian fellowship and other times we read passages that focus on perseverance and faithfulness in the faith.

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