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How We Worshipped (One of my Favorite Services Ever)

How We Worshipped

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. We have a lot to learn from one another, I’m sure.

This service’s cast of characters included Paul as our service leader and preacher, Steve as the elder who read the Scripture text and prayed, Joshua as our lead worshipper, and Thushara as our Scripture reader. Our band consisted of two guitars, piano, viola, and cajon accompanying a male and two female vocalists. 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. I’ll say it in advance: This was one of my favorite worship services ever.

Call to Worship (Paul)

“We like to start our corporate worship services with a call from God to come and worship Him. Today’s call to worship comes from Psalm 96. Listen for what God is calling you to do today.”

[Paul read Psalm 96:1–6]

“He is glorious. Great. Majestic. And Strong. He is our Creator and the Saviour. He is to be feared and sung to, glorified and praised. He is a holy God.”

Singing (Josh)

Opposite Text Reading (Thushara)

“Listen to the Word of God”

[Thushara read Hebrews 12:18–29 without announcing the reference.]

“This reading was from Hebrews 12.”

(Note: For these opposite-text readings, we do not announce the text because we want to accustom people to listening to the Word.)

Singing, Confession, Assurance of Pardon (Josh + Paul)

“Our God is holy. We are not. But He promises to forgive those who confess their sins. Let’s use this song to corporately admit our guilt before God.”

We sang the song up to the part that is a reprise or response, then Paul came to the front and read this assurance of pardon: “If you are in Christ, hear these words of Assurance from Psalm 103. They apply to you.” [Paul read Psalm 103:8-14]

We then finished singing the song. “As far as the east is from the west / so far have I removed your sinfulness…”

Pastoral Prayer (Steve)

Steve brought the pastoral prayer. He prayed specifically for mothers on Mother’s Day; he prayed for our HOST teams (the teams that serve before, during, and after our services); for the nation of Egypt as we pray around the world; and for various other concerns related to the church.

Scripture Reading (Steve)

“Please take your Bible and turn to Exodus 24. If you do not have a Bible, please raise your hand and one of the ushers would love to bring you one. If you have one of our church Bibles, we will be reading from page 64. This is what Holy Scripture says…”

[Steve read Exodus 24]

He closed the reading with, “This is the word of the Lord,” to which the congregation responded, “Thanks be to God.”

Singing (Josh)

Sermon (Paul)

Paul preached a sermon titled “Come To the Feast.” It followed this outline:

  1. The Covenant Invitation (1-3)
  2. The Covenant Ratification Ceremony (4-8)
  3. The Covenant Meal (9-11)
  4. The Covenant Terms are “Set in Stone” (12-14)
  5. The Covenant Mediator is Established (15-18)

Singing (Josh)

Commission (Steve)

Steve tied the message of the sermon into a “commission” that challenged the church to live out its truths throughout the week. That included these elements:

  • If you have thoughts or questions about today’s sermon, you are invited to join Pastor Paul at 11:45 in the Overflow Room for a brief sermon discussion time
  • Prayer and GraceKids are tonight at 5PM
  • Man2Man and GraceYouth meetings will be held this Wednesday at 7PM

Benediction

“Receive this blessing of the Lord from His Word: ‘Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.’”


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