Skip to content ↓

How We Worshipped for Christmas

How We Worshipped

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.

Singing (Josh)

  • Joy to the World
  • Emmanuel, Emmanuel

Scripture Reading (Thushara)

Thushara read the beginning of the birth narrative, Luke 1:26-38.

Singing (Josh)

  • 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.

Singing (Josh)

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.

Singing (Josh)

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.

Sermon (Paul)

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.

Singing (Josh)

  • Angels from the Realms of Glory
  • O Come All Ye Faithful

Commission (Paul)

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.

Benediction (Paul)

“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.”


  • A Freak of Nature (and Nurture)

    A Freak of Nature (and Nurture)

    We are probably so accustomed to seeing bonsai trees that we don’t think much about them. But have you ever paused to consider how strange and freakish they really are?

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 28)

    A La Carte: Can Christians buy expensive things? / You are probably WEIRDER than you think / Our limits are a gift from God / Big dreams impress. Ordinary faithfulness delivers / The biggest problem in worship education / Children’s books / and more.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 27)

    A La Carte: God doesn’t owe me kindness / Jordan Peterson’s “We Who Wrestle with God” tour / Does your church have an evangelist? / Putting Jesus first in a world of pleasures / Send help. My husband believes in me / and more.

  • Unite in Prayer with Persecuted Believers

    This week the blog is sponsored by Help The Persecuted. “Can I have a Bible?” The guard studied Qasem. “If you paint the walls of every cell in this prison, I’ll get you a Bible.” “Where is the paint?” And so Qasem, enduring what would ultimately be a three-year sentence for running house churches throughout…

  • Tell Me

    Why Didn’t You Tell Me?

    If you have spent any time at all on YouTube, you have probably seen videos of people hearing for the first time or people seeing color for the first time—videos of people who, through the miracles of modern science, have senses restored that had either been missing altogether or that had become dull through illness…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 26)

    A La Carte: How not to apply the Bible / 30 people in the New Testament confirmed / Taylor Swift and Christianity / But I did everything right / 10 reasons the Old Testament matters to Christians / Kindle deals / and more.