I Am, You Are: A Call to Worship

I have mentioned a number of times that one key element of worship at Grace Fellowship Church is the Call to Worship. This call sometimes involves reading a passage of scripture, but other times combines several texts into a responsive or back-and-forth format. Here’s an example that might bless you this morning as you prepare to worship. It contrasts who we are with who God is and, in that way, reminds us that God alone is worthy of our worship. …

Are You Lonely? Tired? Caught in a Mess?

I have mentioned before that one key element of worship at Grace Fellowship Church (and in traditional Protestant services) is the Call to Worship. Often our calls to worship involve simply reading a passage of the Bible, but other times we combine several texts in a kind of question and answer format. In this case we had two pastors involved, one answering and the other replying. Perhaps it will serve you as you prepare to worship today… Are you lonely? …

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Who Have We Come To Worship?

An element of worship we treasure at Grace Fellowship Church is the Call to Worship. This is the element at the beginning of the service that is essentially a declaration that we are now beginning something special, something different from everything else we will experience through the week. As we explicitly call people to worship, we implicitly call them from other activities, other concerns, other responsibilities. Sometimes these calls to worship are spoken by the pastor and sometimes, as below, …

From Tabernacle to Stormtrooper Dance

You can’t read the first five books of the Old Testament and fail to conclude that God takes worship seriously. But then, you can’t observe the lay of the evangelical land today and fail to conclude that many churches do not take worship seriously. While granting there is a great and necessary difference between Old Testament worship and its New Testament counterpart, we should still wonder: How did we get from the tabernacle to the stormtrooper dance? How did we …

Worshiping a Not-So-Holy God

Last week I had the opportunity to speak at the annual (bi-annual as of 2021) G3 Conference in Atlanta. As always, I thoroughly enjoyed the event and, as always, my favorite part was meeting so many of you. On the opening day of the conference I participated in a Q&A session that included John MacArthur, Paul Washer, Voddie Baucham, Steve Lawson, and Josh Buice. Those who watched the session undoubtedly saw that most of us deferred to John MacArthur for …

What Not To Say at the Beginning of a Worship Service

A few weeks ago Jared Wilson wrote an article titled “3 Things to Be Careful About Saying at the Start of Your Service.” In his article he offered some common service-starting cliches that are “worth weighing in terms of their helpfulness to the congregation’s worship.” They were, “How’s everybody doing this morning?”; “I can’t hear you. I said, How’s everybody doing?”; and “Where is everybody?” I’ve heard all three of these many times and expect you have as well. And …

How We Worshipped One Sunday in September

From time to time I like to share one of our worship services from Grace Fellowship Church. In that vein, here is how we worshiped on one September Sunday morning. This week’s cast of characters included Steve as service leader, Paul as preacher, and Josh as lead worshiper. The band was composed of guitar, electric guitar, and bass guitar with one male and two female vocalists. Because the text on this Sunday focused on prayer, we had each of the …

On Preparing Your Hands for Church

Sometimes I almost prefer not to tell who I am quoting. Sometimes people see the name and either tune out altogether, or they respond so enthusiastically they fail to exercise due discernment. But in this case, this quote is so good and helpful that I wanted to share it with you. I will even tell you where it’s from, but read it first, and I will tell you at the end. I hope it provides you a suitable challenge as …

How We Worshipped One Sunday in August

From time to time I like to share one of our worship services from Grace Fellowship Church. In that vein, here is how we worshiped on one August Sunday morning. This week’s cast of characters included Paul as service leader and preacher, Josh as lead worshiper, Gideon as our Scripture reader, and Steve as the elder who prayed and read the sermon text. Welcome and Call to Worship (Paul) “I invite you to disconnect from your phone or other device …

An Interview with Keith Getty

I recently had the opportunity to ask Keith Getty a few questions about the church and hymnody and whatever else I wanted to talk about. I figured that’s an opportunity I ought to take. Here’s what I had to ask and what he had to say… What do you see as the “lay of the land” in Christian worship right now, perhaps especially as it pertains to congregational Christian worship? What positives or negatives have we seen in the past …