Every few weeks I like to share an example of one of our services at Grace Fellowship Church. I hope that by doing this others will follow suit! I love to learn how other churches worship and often find myself both challenged and encouraged as I see how other congregations worship God in their unique contexts and cultures.
This service’s cast of characters included Steve K (one of our Assistant Ministers) as the preacher, Brian as the lead worshipper, Peter (our other Assistant Minister) as the service leader, and Steve F as the elder who led the Scripture-reading and pastoral prayer. Our band consisted of guitar, bass, and piano accompanying a male and female vocalist. The various elements of the service are in bold with the name of the person who led the element in parentheses. Items in quotes represent roughly what the person said to the congregation. Items not in quotes are explanatory.
Call to Worship (Peter)
For the call to worship, Peter simply read Psalm 77:11-15:
I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples. You with your arm redeemed your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph.
Peter contrasted the words and theme of “Holy, Holy, Holy,” with our sinfulness, then used this to call people to a time of silent confession for their sins. “Take a few moments now to confess your sins before the Lord.”
Having allowed a few moments for silent prayer, Peter prayed to thank God that through the gospel we have received his forgiveness and that through the same gospel we can enjoy true assurance of that forgiveness.
Pastoral Prayer (Steve F)
Steve prayed for perhaps 5-6 minutes, interceding on behalf of the congregation. He particularly prayed for Sovereign Grace Church, a nearby congregation, and for those members of our church who are traveling for vacation.
Scripture Reading (Steve F)
The Scripture passage which will form the basis of the sermon is almost invariably read by one of our elders. This week’s text was Exodus 6. This is a passage that includes many difficult names, so Steve had listened to the ESV recording to learn how to pronounce them. He had also practiced reading it a number of times to ensure he would be able to read it smoothly before the congregation. We ask our Scripture readers to practice the passage aloud at least five or six times as part of their preparation.
“This is what Holy Scripture says…”
[Steve read Exodus 6]
“This is the world of the Lord,” to which the congregation replied, “Thanks be to God.”
Brian dismissed our Early Years Ministry which has classes for children ages 4 and 5.
Sermon (Steve K)
Steve preached a sermon titled “Fighting Through the Doubt” from “The God Who Saves, Speaks & Stays: A Series on the Book of Exodus.” His text was Exodus 6 and his outline as follows:
- Hold fast to God’s future promises
- Remember God’s past promises
- Meditate on who God is
- Continue to trust in God’s Word
Peter used the theme of the sermon to call the congregation to live in a distinctly Christian way in a lost and dying world.
“Receive this blessing of the Lord from His Word: ‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.’ Amen.”