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Elements of Worship Descriptions

1. God Gathers Us Together

Before and after the worship service you will find people in the social hall greeting each other and talking together, because they are part of a church family. Before the worship service begins, you will hear music that is chosen to set the tone for worshiping God together. The music may be related to a theme for the worship service, or may be music that praises God more generally. After the pastor welcomes us, there will be a brief time to settle our minds and quietly prepare our hearts for worship. The pastor will then call us to worship, often with the use of a psalm, and we respond in singing. Then the pastor offers a scriptural greeting on behalf of God.

2. God Forgives and Renews

Jesus taught us to pray, “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us” in the Lord’s Prayer. Believers in Jesus need to ask for forgiveness regularly. Because the confession of sin in the Lord’s Prayer involves our relationships with others, it is natural that we say these words when worshiping with our church family. 

Our God longs for honesty and holiness within the promise-based relationship that God has established with us in Christ. In a culture that avoids talk of sin and culpability, regular prayers of confession foster honesty and openness in our relationship with God. We offer our confession as part of a covenantal relationship. In order to emphasize the relationship we have with our loving Father, our confession and assurance ordinarily are structured as a dialogue that alternates between God’s words and ours. God invites us to confess our sin. The pastor leads us in reflective confession, and then we  hear the declaration of God’s forgiveness in Christ. We respond with praise and dedication. 

3.God Speaks to Us

The reading and preaching of God’s Word stand at the center of worship and constitutes one of the privileged moments of worship. 

The Children’s Message is intended to make clear the message of the scripture and sermon for younger children. It is also a time of interaction between the pastor and the children. It emphasizes the covenantal relationship God has with his people, because children are an important part of the congregation.

Often we will sing a song that prepares us to focus on God’s Word when it is read to us. The sermons not only explain the scripture, but also call us to apply it to our lives. 

4. We Respond to God’s Grace

Our first response often comes by way of song. Whether our response is acknowledging truths about God, discerning sin in ourselves, or being reassured of our faith walk, a song can often capture our feelings and our will. In the Congregational Prayer we turn our thoughts to the needs of the congregation, our missionaries, our community, and our world. In our morning offerings, we have opportunity to give, not only for the ministries of this church, but you are also giving through us, to support many denominational and other ministries. The missionaries are also supported through our offerings. 

6. We Go in God’s Strength

As the pastor extends his hands in blessing, he offers scriptural words from God, as we are sent out to represent Him in our world. One final song of praise sets the tone for our departure.