Every few weeks I like to share an example of one of our worship services from Grace Fellowship Church. I do so hoping they serve as a model of how one church attempts to worship the Lord in a distinctly biblical way.
This service’s cast of characters included Paul as our service leader and preacher, Josh as our lead worshipper, and me as the elder who read the Scripture text and prayed. Steve, our associate pastor, closed out the service with a commission and benediction (since he’s just really good at that). Our band consisted of two guitars and one piano 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 or blockquotes represent roughly what the person said to the congregation. Items not in quotes are explanatory. The entire service took approximately 90 minutes.
Welcome & Call to Worship (Paul)
“Are you wondering what you are supposed to do here today? Here is the answer! ‘Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!’” (Psalm 150)
“Let’s RSVP ‘yes’ to God’s invitation. Stand and sing with us!”
- Psalm 149
- “Come Thou Fount”
Opposite Text Reading (Paul)
Paul read John 17:20–23.
Membership Covenant (Paul)
“In an effort to fulfill Christ’s request, when we are converted we are baptized, then we join a local church as members. Every so often, the members of this church re-affirm the promise they have made to one another—our membership covenant. If you have already joined this church as a member, which means the existing members have heard your testimony of faith and received you into the membership, I’d like you to recite this with me.”
[The members recited the membership covenant\]
Paul responded by reading 1 John 3:16: “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” We can love each other because He has so fully and perfectly loved us.
- “Lamb of God”
- “Grace Upon Grace”
Pastoral Prayer (Tim)
I led the pastoral prayer in which I prayed for a number of issues relevant to the life of the church. I also used this as an opportunity to corporately confess our sins and receive God’s forgiveness. This prayer was perhaps five minutes in length.
Scripture Reading (Tim)
“Please take your Bible and turn to James 3. We will be be reading verses 1-18. That will be on page 1011 if you are using one of our church Bibles.” I began the reading with “This is what Holy Scripture says…” and ended it with “This is the word of the Lord,” to which the congregation replied, “Thanks be to God.”
Before we sang, we did a small responsive reading of Proverbs 4:1–9.
Josh: “Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching. When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother, he taught me and said to me…”
Congregation: “Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live. Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you.”
Josh: “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.”
Congregation: “Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”
- “Teach Me To Live What You Say”
Paul preached on James 3:1-18.
- “More Love to Thee”
Steve commissioned the church to live out the truths we heard in the service and especially in the sermon. This served as a bridge to tell about some of the events and opportunities coming up in the week(s) ahead.
“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.”