It may be the smallest communion tray I’ve ever served, but I can assure you it’s a meaningful one.
So this Sunday is our first worship gathering. That’s tomorrow. 11 hours and counting. It goes without saying that a worship gathering requires a lot of details! I’m blessed to have wonderfully detailed minded people, one of whom is my lovely wife. This Sunday is a milestone for us. We have lived in North Carolina for a year now, and I am eager to get into a routine of worship planning, discipleship, and mission. A new adventurous chapter begins on Sunday, and I am thrilled with the types of people God is gathering together.
Throughout the fall we will be going through the book of Acts together as a group. We begin this Sunday with Acts 1:1-11 with the title Kingdom Witnesses. For this week, I simply wanted to share with you what our liturgy will look like. We have fleshed it out a little bit, however, we may have to tweak things around here and there over the next few weeks.
The outline of the Order of Worship is based on the vision statement: A family of God drawn to Jesus, challenge by his message, and released as missionaries. The intention here is that the DNA of this new church gets formed throughout each of our times together. It reinforces everything we do and gives shape to why we do it. Drawn to Jesus connects to one of our three pillars: Worship. We are drawn in Jesus name to come together to worship. Challenged by his message connects to the second pillar: Discipleship. While we worship, we are confronted with the call to repent and believe. In other words, we are called to have a Time of Confession (repent) as well as hear God’s word read and proclaimed (believe!). Released as missionaries connects to our third pillar: mission.
Now to the liturgy:
Drawn to Jesus
Challenged by His Message
- God Calls and Welcomes: Colossians 1:15-20
- Gathering Songs: Come People of the Risen King; Be Thou my Vision
- Colossians 1:21-23 Prayer
- Gospel Songs: Blessed Assurance; Amazing Grace
Released As Missionaries
- Children’s Time
◦ Scripture Reading: Acts 1:1-11
◦ Testimony Time
◦ Sermon: Kingdom Witnesses
- Lord’s Supper
◦ Prayer for the Body of Christ
◦ Giving of our Time, Talents and Treasures: You Said
◦ Closing Song: Bless be the Tie that Binds
- Blessed to be a blessing...
For those of you who worship regularly in a Reformed or Presbyterian church, you will see a similar formula on a regular basis in your own bulletin. Some will use Latin words, while others use other descriptive words. However, the skeletal structure of a reformed order of worship is still very much there. This is, of course, intentional. Reforming and recasting reformed worship is, by definition, reformed worship. We don’t invent the wheel, but we do try to create refreshing experiences of worship. The goal will be to keep making the worship experience a refreshing one. Even church plants can quickly loose that cutting edge of freshness. I am already concerned about how our vision statement will stop loosing its edginess if the words stare at us in the face every Sunday. I’ll leave that concern for now though. First things first, let’s just have a worship gathering! Thanks to all those who are praying and supporting us. More details to attend to, so I have to sign off.
One quick thought to ponder: If you are someone who finds worship stagnant, in what ways are you making the experience feel more refreshing. The etymology of liturgy is ‘work of the people.’ In other words, worship is work, not entertainment. It takes investment. What does that look like for you?