What to Expect
Our Philosophy of Worship
We believe that the weekly corporate worship of Christ's people should be the time during the week when we think the hardest and feel the most deeply.
God--His beauty, His character, His purposes, His Kingdom, and the wonder of His achievements for us in Jesus Christ--is worthy of the best and most strenuous exertions of our minds. Corporate worship that does that does not lead us to love God with our minds falls short of its purpose.
At the same time, corporate worship must also aim to capture and captivate our affections. We are called to love God not just with our heads, but also with our hearts. Just as God deserves our best and hardest thinking, so He ought to have no peer on our heart’s Richter Scale, either. Corporate worship should therefore be designed and led to assist the people of God, in dependence upon the Holy Spirit, by demonstrating the peerless beauty and value of God, to the end that their affections are stirred and directed Godward. We do not claim originality in any of these convictions, only that we passionately embrace them.
Our Style of Worship: Blended Music & Use of Liturgy
Two primary tools we rely upon in living out our commitments regarding worship are a blended style of music and a liturgical order of service. Our music is “blended” in the sense that we enjoy singing both hymns and more contemporary songs. Our service is “liturgical” in the sense that it typically follows a standard order and incorporates several elements through which the congregation is called to respond and participate. A representative order of service will flow as follows:
Opening Prayer. As we gather in the Lord’s presence for worship, we begin by seeking His blessing.
Call to Worship. Following the opening prayer, the congregation stands for God’s call to worship, which is ordinarily a responsive reading of Scripture printed in our bulletin. We want to begin worship by not merely hearing God’s promises and invitations with our ears, but also confessing them back with our lips.
Opening Hymn or Song. As we celebrate and meditate on the character & works of God in song, we desire that the He will shake our hearts and minds out of their listlessness and away from distractions.
Corporate Prayer of Confession. Having focused on the truth of God’s character and works in the opening hymn or song, we now know ourselves more accurately, and so we join together to tell the truth about ourselves through a corporate prayer of confession. This prayer is ordinarily printed in our bulletin, and is intended to prompt our individual, silent confessions.
Silent Confession. This is a season in which we continue to tell the truth about ourselves by confessing silently to the Lord.
Assurance of Pardon. Having confessed our sins by faith in Christ, we now listen by faith to God tell us from the promises of His Word the truth about His saving purposes and accomplishments through Jesus Christ.
Song of Celebration. This is our congregational response to God’s renewed promise of our pardon and welcome in Christ, which we have just heard and embraced in the assurance of pardon.
Affirmation of Faith. In this part of the service, we affirm our identity as the present day heirs of a rich heritage of Christian orthodoxy, and we affirm our continuity with the Church of Jesus Christ across the ages and among all the nations.
Pastoral Prayer. During this time, one of the elders or a member of the church staff leads us in prayer for needs both within and beyond our congregation.
Hymn or Song. This music helps prepare us for the teaching from God’s Word during the sermon.
Giving of Tithes & Offerings. At this time, we worship the Lord with our tithes and gifts, symbolizing our recognition that our entire lives belong to Him through Christ.
Reading of Sermon Text. God’s Word is read publicly prior to the sermon.
Sermon. God is worshiped through and over His Word as it is taught and applied both to Christians and non-Christians.
The Lord’s Supper. We celebrate communion on the first Sunday of each month following the sermon.
Concluding Hymn or Song. We conclude the service by singing in response to all that our God has done for us and shown to us during our worship together.
Benediction. God’s blessing is pronounced over the congregation before we're dismissed.