Every now and again 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 so we can learn and benefit from one another. If there is something you see here that would bless your church, you have permission to pilfer freely!
This service’s cast of characters included Paul as our service leader and preacher and Steve as the elder who prayed the pastoral prayer. Our band consisted of piano and bass with three 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. The entire service took approximately 90 minutes.
In order to integrate a little more music into our time together, we often sing an extra song or two five minutes before our 10:00 AM start time. This week we sang Psalm 103.
Call To Worship (Paul)
“Are you lonely? Then come to the One who will ‘consider your affliction and your trouble, and forgive all your sins.’
“Are you tired? Then come to the One who ‘has been your help, in the shadow of whose wings you will sing for joy.’
“Are you caught in a mess? Then come to the One who ‘is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Since you know His name, put your trust in Him, for our LORD, has never forsaken those who seek Him.’
“Are you weighed down by sin and guilt? Then come to the One who ‘is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, If we confess our sins to Him.’
“Are you thankful and happy in God? The come to the One who ‘has told you, O man, what is good; and what the LORD requires of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?’
“Come to God — Father, Son and Holy Spirit… and worship Him. There is nothing gained by departing from God, and nothing lost by being faithful to your Friend.”
- “Jesus, What a Friend For Sinners”
- “One There Is Above All Others”
Pastoral Prayer (Steve)
Steve led the pastoral prayer. Each week we pray for items that are urgent but also some that are “scheduled.” This week those included one like-minded church in our city, one missionary overseas, and our annual business meeting which was later that day.
- “May Your Power Rest on Me”
- “What God Ordains Is Always Good”
Scripture Reading (Paul)
“Please take your Bible and turn to Psalm 95. We will be reading the entire psalm. You will find that on page 499 if you are using one of our church Bibles. If you don’t have a Bible of your own, please take that one as our gift to you. This is what Holy Scripture says…”
- [Paul read Psalm 95]
He closed the reading with, “This is the word of the Lord,” to which the congregation responded, “Thanks be to God.”
Paul preached a topical sermon on delighting in God through rest (this being the start of the holiday season in Canada) using as his texts Genesis 2, Psalm 95, and Hebrews 3-4. “The notion of rest sounds like music to the ears of a busy Canadian. Our lives are pounded with expectations and we rarely slow down long enough to engage with God. Perhaps this is due to our lack of comprehension of what it means to be saved? Have we entered into the Father’s rest? Are we living lives that depend on His endless grace to keep busy with good works? Are we doing our work now, in His strength, striving to get to that ultimate rest with Him forever?”
- God Has Rested and Is Resting
- We Are Born Into a State of Unrest
- Hurry Up and Rest
- “Jesus, Lover Of My Soul”
Lord’s Supper (Paul)
It is our custom to celebrate Lord’s Supper twice a month. One of these is a “long” version in which it is the major theme of the entire service; one of these is a “short” version in which it is just one element in a full service. This was the short variation.
- “We Will Feast in the House of Zion”
Paul tied the message of the sermon into a “commission” that challenged the church to live out its truths throughout the week.
The benediction was based on 1 Kings 8:57–61: “May the LORD our God be with you, as he was with our fathers. May he not leave you nor forsake you, but incline your heart to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments. May He maintain your cause, as each day requires, that everyone on earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other. And may He keep your heart wholly true to Him today and every day. Amen.”