How We Worshipped: Last Sunday of July

Every few weeks I like to share an example of one of our services at Grace Fellowship Church. I do this because I believe we can benefit from seeing how other people worship in other congregations and other contexts. I hope you find it helpful!

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This service’s cast of characters included Paul (our lead pastor) as the preacher, Josh as the lead worshipper, Steve (one of our Assistant Ministers) as the service leader, Thushara (one of our deacons) as Scripture-reader, and myself as the elder who led the Scripture-reading and pastoral prayer. This was an unusual number of people to have up-front, but I had been away for a couple of weeks and was going to be away for a couple more, so we squeezed me in just to give me a chance to serve. Our band consisted of guitar 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 (Steve)

Steve began the service in a brief word of prayer, asking God to bless us.

Singing (Josh)

Opposite Text Reading (Thushara)

Thushara introduced the passage by saying, “Today we will be thinking about what it meant for God to harden Pharoah’s heart. Listen to this explanation from Apostle Paul.”

[Read Romans 9:14-24]

“This reading was from Romans 9.”

Confession of Sins (Steve)

Steve made a prayer of confession on behalf of the church for all the times we have questioned God.

Singing (Josh)

Pastoral Prayer (Me)

In response to Steve’s prayer of confession and “All I Have Is Christ,” I thanked God for the assurance we have in Christ. I then prayed for the Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, Covenant Reformed Church, a nearby congregation, and for the nation of Kazakhstan (as we pray our way around the world).

Scripture Reading (Me)

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 8:20-9:12.

“This is what Holy Scripture says…”

[I read Exodus 8:20-9:12]

“This is the world of the Lord,” to which the congregation replied, “Thanks be to God.”

Singing (Josh)

Josh dismissed our Early Years Ministry which includes nursery for kids 0-24 months, pre-school for 2 to 3 year olds and kindergarten for children ages 4 and 5.

Sermon (Paul)

Paul preached a sermon titled “The Glory of God in Saving and Hardening” from the series The God Who Saves, Speaks & Stays: A Series on the Book of Exodus.

Singing (Josh)

Commission and Benediction (Steve)

Steve gave a reminder to the church that those who are interested could head to the overflow room immediately after the service for sermon Q&A. He also reminded the church to attend the baptism service scheduled in the afternoon.

“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.”