Every few weeks I like to share an example of one of our worship services from Grace Fellowship Church. I hope that by doing this others will begin to share their services as well. I am eager to learn from other churches as they tell how they choose to worship the Lord.
This service’s cast of characters included Paul as our service leader and lead worshipper, and Alex as our Scripture reader. As we had decided to make this a hymns-only service, the band consisted of just one keyboard and a single 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. The entire service takes approximately 90 minutes.
Call to Worship (Paul)
Paul extended a greeting and read a call to worship. It went something like this:
“Today is a hymn-sing Sunday in which we will sing some of the great hymns of our faith. As we begin, listen to this call to worship God from the mouth of Jesus. It is from Psalm 31, but if you read the Psalm carefully, you will see that this Psalm contains some of the words Christ quoted from His cross. The Psalm ends like this: ‘Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride. Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!’ Let’s do this. Let’s love our God in song!”
- “O for a Thousand Tongues”
- “Praise to the Lord the Almighty”
Opposite Text Reading (Alex)
Alex began by saying, “Listen to the Word of God.” He then read 2 Corinthians 8:9 and 9:6-8 and concluded with, “This reading was taken from 2 Corinthians.”
Confession of Sin (Paul)
“The prophet Malachi confronted Israel for their sin of not giving God what He required from them. It was not that they gave nothing… they were just giving Him the leftovers and hand-me-downs. ‘Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.’”
“Have you been robbing God? Have you failed to pray about all your money? Have you spent more on yourself than you should? Have you neglected the word of God and the care of others?”
“Lord, forgive us for treating money like it was ours, not yours. Forgive us for loving ourselves with our wealth, rather than You. Cleanse our hearts and renew our zeal to give joyfully and to glorify Your Name. Amen.”
- Psalm 32
Word of Assurance (Paul)
Paul read from Psalm 86:5–7:
“For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace. In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me.”
- “The Love of God”
Pastoral Prayer (Paul)
Paul led the pastoral prayer. Each week we pray for items that are urgent but also some that are “scheduled” to ensure we are praying for all those things we ought to.
Scripture Reading (Paul)
“Please take your Bible and turn to Exodus 25. We will be reading verses 1-27. You will find that on page 65 if you are using one of our church Bibles. If you don’t have a Bible of your own, please take that one as our gift to you. This is what Holy Scripture says…”
[Read Exodus 25:1-9 and 30:11-16]
“This is the word of the Lord,” to which the congregation responded, “Thanks be to God.”
- “Nearer, Still Nearer”
Peter, one of our associate pastors, preached a sermon titled “Be a Giver.” This was part of our ongoing series through Exodus.
- “A Mighty Fortress”
Commission & Benediction (Paul)
Paul provided a commission and benediction. It went something like this:
Do you have thoughts or questions about today’s sermon? You are invited to join Pastor Peter at 11:45 in the Overflow Room for a brief Sermon Discussion time. Young Adults, please remember you are meeting Friday the 24th. And everyone remember we will be celebrating the Lord’s Supper next Sunday Morning service.
Now 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.”