Every now and again I like to share an example of one of our worship services from Grace Fellowship Church. I do this simply to provide an example of how one church structures our time of worship, hoping it will prove a helpful resource to others.
This service’s cast of characters included Paul as the preacher, service leader, and lead worshipper. Tristan served as the elder who led the pastoral prayer and Scripture reading and John, an intern, handled some opening and closing elements. We sang only acapella, which constrained us to hymns. 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 lasted approximately 75 minutes.
John, one of our interns, welcomed people to the service and provided some basic instructions for during and after the service. He then prayed briefly.
Call To Worship (Paul)
Paul provided a call to worship from Deuteronomy 7:9: “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.” He then said, “What an interesting command: Know your God is God, and that He is faithful. This is a call to worship the faithful God by knowing Him.” He invited us to respond to that call to worship with a word of affirmation from Psalm 135:5: “For we know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.”
- “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” (acapella)
Confession of Sin (Paul)
Paul led a confession of sin that went something like this: “The writer to the Hebrews said, ‘Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” We sing, Great is THY faithfulness, but we have to admit, Great is MY unfaithfulness. Take a moment in private prayer to confess your unfaithfulness to God.”
Assurance of Pardon (Paul)
After a short time of silent prayer, he read 2 Corinthians 5:21: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Then he said, “Brothers and Sisters, since you have repented of your sins and put all your trust in Faithful Jesus, be assured that God looks upon you as righteous in His sight.”
- “Before the Throne of God Above” (acapella)
Scripture Reading (Tristan)
“Please take your Bible and turn to Ephesians 5. We will be reading verses 15 to 33.” The reading began with “This is what Holy Scripture says…” Upon completion I said “This is the word of the Lord” to which the congregation replied “Thanks be to God.”
Pastoral Prayer (Tristan)
Tristan prayed for a number of concerns related to our church family.
- “There is a Fountain” (acapella)
Paul preached a sermon in his series on Ephesians, “Let’s Just Act Like Christians.”
- “My Jesus I Love Thee” (acapella)
John tied the message of the sermon into a “commission” that challenged the church to live out its truths throughout the week. This included mentioning some of the events coming up in the life of the church.
“Receive this blessing of the Lord from His Word: ‘The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.’ Amen.”