What is a worship service like?

We believe that worship is a divine service and thus unlike anything else in all the world.  The Father seeks people who will worship in spirit and truth (John 4:23).  Therefore, the primary focus in our worship is the living, holy, righteous, gracious, and faithful Triune God.  When we gather before his face (Heb. 12:18-20), we find ourselves in a sacred assembly spanning heaven and earth and where he has promised to give us an audience.  More than that, God has promised to be with us as our covenant God (Gen. 17:7-10; John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7; Matt. 28:20) and to form us into a holy priesthood (1 Pet. 2:5).  It is our earnest prayer that it will be so obvious that God is in our midst that when an unbeliever enters the assembly he will be convicted of his sin as we are, and fall down and worship God as we do, exclaiming, “God is really among you!” (1 Cor. 14:25).

In the assembly of God’s people, Scripture requires that in worship everything be done “decently and in order” (1 Cor. 14:40). Therefore, our worship is intelligible and edifying, designed to serve the needs of all kinds of people rather than only some. The principles and regular practices of Christian worship are not customized for the spiritually mature or immature, for the simplest or the most educated, for the young or for the old. The one Word of God is for all the people of God, who welcomes all together to his presence and spiritual fellowship.  For these reasons, our liturgy (or, order of service) follows the teaching of Scripture, aims to express the catholicity and the spiritual character of the Church, and reflects the influences of various historic Reformed liturgies that we believe reflect these biblical and confessional priorities.

Because God made and redeemed us, our services begin with a call to worship from God’s Word, followed by an invocation and greeting from God, and then a response by God’s people in sung adoration.  We read God’s Word, confess our sins, and rejoice in the declaration of God’s mercy toward his people.  Because of God’s grace at work in us, because of our love for his Gospel and Church, and because of our great gratitude to him, we give sacrificial offerings and offer prayer as the chief part of thankfulness.  Continuing the pattern of a sacred dialogue, God then speaks to us in the reading of the Bible and in the sermon, and then we respond in his worship and praise.  Finally, God has the last word–for us and regarding us–as the minister pronounces God’s benediction upon his covenant people.