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. Our band consisted of guitar, 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 Reformation Sunday.
Call to Worship (Paul)
Paul began the service reminding the congregation that 500 years ago Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the church door of Wittenburg , sparking a massive renewal and rediscovery of the Bible. He then read from Psalm 19:7-9 and called on the congregation to celebrate the Word of God before praying.
Apostles Creed (Paul)
Paul reflected on the hymn saying, “‘He speaks and listening to His voice the dead new life receive.’ God spoke, the world was made. God spoke, we were saved from our sins. God’s Word, our Lord Jesus, came and rescued us from our slavery to sin. The church has, for thousands of years, affirmed this truth with the Apostle’s Creed. We read it together, not out of ritual, but out of desire to stand with those who have gone before us, trusting in the Word of God.”
We then recited the Apostles Creed together as a church.
Opposite Testament Reading and Confession of Sins (Paul)
Paul read from Psalm 119:9-11 as the opposite testament reading. He followed this by saying, “Sadly, we have sinned against God. In large measure because we have not put the best thing in the best place for the best reason.” Then he prayed on behalf of the congregation, “Lord, forgive us for failing to live by your Word. It leads to life. We have chosen death. Our only hope is Jesus.”
Pastoral Prayer (Murray)
Murray prayed for Sovereign Grace Church Toronto, a nearby congregation. He praised God for the Reformation. He also prayed for the nation of Somalia (as we pray our way around the world), and for one of our church members who will soon begin Basic Training.
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.
Scripture Reading (Paul)
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 Psalm 119:1-24.
“This is what Holy Scripture says…”
[Paul read Psalm 119:1-24]
“This is the world of the Lord,” to which the congregation replied, “Thanks be to God.”
Paul preached a sermon titled “Sola Scriptura: The Ground On Which We Stand” in reflection of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation but in view of Church history from the Early Church to our present day.
Paul 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 evening service where we would celebrate the Lord’s Supper and the women to attend the Ladies’ Fellowship Night on Wednesday.
- “A Mighty Fortress” a cappella
“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.”