Every now and again I like to share an order of worship from Grace Fellowship Church. This service’s cast of characters included Paul (our lead pastor) as the preacher and service leader, Josh as the lead worshipper, and Murray as the elder who led the pastoral prayer. Steve, our new associate pastor, also led a couple of elements while Thushara and Stefan each read a short passage of Scripture. Our band consisted of two guitars, piano, and drums accompanying one male and one 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. Here’s how we worshipped on the morning before Christmas.
Call to Worship (Paul)
After a brief introduction to the service (since it’s a day when there are many visitors and unchurched guests) Paul provided a call to worship from Psalm 72.
- Joy to the World
- Emmanuel, Emmanuel
Scripture Reading (Thushara)
Thushara read the beginning of the birth narrative, Luke 1:26-38.
- Go Tell it on the Mountain
Scripture Reading (Stefan)
Stefan read the next part of the birth narrative, Luke 2:1-21.
Confession of Sin (Steve)
Steve led us in a time of silent (private) confession of sin.
Assurance of Pardon (Steve)
Steve used the words of the song and Scripture to assure us that our sins have been forgiven on the basis of Christ’s completed work.
Pastoral Prayer & Scripture Reading (Murray)
Murray led us in a pastoral prayer, specifically thanking God for the miracle of the incarnation and interceding on behalf of the congregation. He prayed especially for the unsaved in our church and families whom we might be seeing and sharing the gospel with over Christmas. After praying, he read Matthew 1:18-25 which served as the sermon text.
Paul preached from Luke 1 in a sermon titled He Will Save His People From Their Sins. This sermon was unusual in that he invited the kindergarten-aged children to sit on mats at the front of the room to “help” him preach. These children typically go to an age-appropriate program during this time, but for our Christmas service we’ve developed this tradition. The key verse was “He will save his people from their sin,” and he framed it around The Man, The Mission, and The Multitude.
- Angels from the Realms of Glory
- O Come All Ye Faithful
This element of the service is where we provide “announcements,” but we do our best to frame them as a commission to go and live out the truths we’ve encountered in the service. Paul also called up Precious, a dear member of our church who is moving across the country for work purposes, so he could pray for her.
“Now to all of you who trust on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.”