Worship is the reason we exist. It is ultimate because God is ultimate, not man. We do not take worship lightly because God does not think lightly of worship. Our worship is directed to God and He is the center of our gathering. Here’s what our Sunday morning worship looks like and why.
Expository preaching and teaching
Scripture teaches us that corporate worship is the context for preaching and teaching. Preaching is neither a conversation nor motivational talk. Instead, it is the proclamation of what God has revealed about Himself to His people through His word. God is the subject of the Scripture; therefore, He should be the subject of preaching and teaching. Expository preaching best serves this purpose because its aim is to let the text speak for itself.
Public reading of Scripture
We carve out a special place during worship just to listen to the unadulterated Word of God (1 Tim. 4:13; cf. Col. 4:16). We allow our hearts and minds to soak in the very Word which God has promised is “sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Heb. 4:12).”
Scripture teaches the value of fellowship within the context of worship (Acts 2:42-46). We can assume that this fellowship is the same thing mentioned in Hebrews: “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…(Heb. 10:24-25).”
Regularly observing the Lord’s Supper
Christ left us with this sacred meal as a remembrance of His death which symbolizes the breaking of Christ’s body and the shedding of His blood on our behalf. As we observe the Lord’s Supper, we remember and proclaim the death of Christ, examine our own hearts, receive spiritual nourishment for our souls, and signify our unity with other members of Christ’s body. Jesus said “Do this in remembrance of Me (Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:23-26). While Scripture nowhere mandates a certain number of times to observe this sacred meal, Christ did say “as often as you drink it…(1 Cor. 11:25).” From this we can at least gather a regular observance (Acts 2:42).
Luke tells us that the first Christians “devoted themselves to…the prayers” (Acts 2:42). Given the context we can assume that corporate prayer occurred when the church gathered to worship (cf. Eph. 6:17-18; Col. 4:2; 1 Tim. 2:1-4). When we pray corporately, we are lifting up our voices together with one voice to God (Acts 4:24). Even though only one person may pray at a time, the one praying intercedes on behalf of everyone present. He stands as a representative of the body before the very throne of God.
Praising God with song
John Stott has written, “The Christian community is a community of celebration.” we believe that the church should be characterized by praise (Eph. 5:18-20; Col. 3:16). This is the model for corporate gatherings which we find throughout the Psalms (e.g. Psalm 145:1-3; 147:1; 150:1-6)–for “great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised (Psalm 145:3).” Praising God with song is an essential of corporate worship.