Every few weeks I like to share an example of one of our services at Grace Fellowship Church. I hope that by doing this others will follow suit! I love to learn how other churches worship and often find myself both challenged and encouraged as I see how other congregations worship God in their unique contexts and cultures.
This service’s cast of characters included Peter as our service leader, Steve as our preacher, Joshua as our lead worshipper, and Murray as the elder leading pastoral prayer and the Scripture reading. Our band consisted of two guitars, piano, viola, and cajon 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.
Welcome/Greeting/Call to Worship (Peter)
The service began with a responsive reading based on Acts 2:17-21.
“Listen to the Word of God from the prophet Joel. Following along in your bulletin and respond, reading aloud the bold words at the bottom:”
Leader: God will pour out the Spirit on all flesh, and our daughters and sons shall prophesy. Our old ones shall dream dreams, and our young ones shall see visions; and all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered!
Congregation: Come, let us call upon the name of the Lord.
Peter prayed to ask the Spirit’s power and presence in the service.
- “Praise to the Lord the Almighty“
- “Holy Spirit Come”
First Scripture Reading (Peter)
Peter read Philippians 2:12-16. He began by saying “Listen to the Word of God,” and read the text without announcing where it was from. He finished by saying “This reading was fromPhilippians 2:12-16.”
“If we are to be blameless and innocent children of God, shining as lights in the world, we must confess all known sin, and always be willing for the Spirit to reveal sins that are yet unknown! Spend a few moments with us in silent confession of sin to God. May God the Spirit find in you on open and submissive heart!”
Scripture Reading (Murray)
Murray read the text that would be the basis for the sermon:Ephesians 5:1-21. After inviting people to turn to the text, he said:
“This is what Holy Scripture says…”
[Murray read Ephesians 5]
“This is the world of the Lord,” to which the congregation replied, “Thanks be to God.”
Pastoral Prayer (Murray)
Murray led the congregation in the pastoral prayer. He prayed for a number of matters, including Westminster Chapel (a nearby church), the Pregnancy Care Centre our church supports, and the nation of Brazil (as we pray our way around the world).
- “Psalm 98” (complete with the parts, but sung slower than this video!)
Steve preached a sermon titled “Watch Your Life” based on Ephesians 5:15–5:21. This was his outline:
- Be wise by seizing the day. (15-16)
- Be understanding God’s will. (17)
- Be filled with the Holy Spirit. (18-21)
Peter used the theme of the sermon to commission the congregation to live in a distinctly Christian way throughout the week. He invited anyone with questions to attend the sermon Q&A immediately following the service and reminded the church of the forthcoming baptism class.
“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.”