THE STORY OF THE GOSPEL
The word liturgy means “the work of the people,” and this word has been used throughout church history to refer to the weekly worship service of the church that all members serve and participate in, following a Christ-centered and Biblical pattern. Every time we gather for our Sunday services, we are rehearsing the story of the gospel together. From beginning to end, our Sunday service moves through these different aspects of the gospel story.
Below are some descriptions of each element of our service, giving further explanation of how they fit in and build us up as God's people by taking us through the story of the gospel each week.
Call to Worship – Every Sunday we start our services with a call to worship from Scripture, letting God's word be the first word in our time together, remembering that it is God who called us to himself and to each other.
Singing – We sing to God and we sing to each other about God. Singing is an act of praise to God and an encouragement to one another as we remind each other the truths about God and the gospel through song, and lift our voices together in worship to our Savior.
Confession – God welcomes us with grace even though we are weak and helpless sinners. We do not always love God with our whole heart, nor do we always love our neighbors as ourselves. Together we silently confess our sins and weaknesses, and are reminded of the gospel which assures us of our forgiveness in Christ and our ongoing sanctification by the Spirit.
Preaching – We listen to the word of God preached in order to hear from our heavenly Father, to grow in our love and knowledge of the Scriptures, to be confronted about our sin and encouraged in Christ, to be nourished by the hope of the gospel, and to be challenged to obey God's word in our daily lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. Our typical pattern is preaching through books of the Bible, one passage at a time, with Christ-centered expository sermons.
Baptism – If we have a baptism included in our service, or after our service out in the water, it is a celebration of that person’s entrance into the new covenant community by faith in Christ. Whoever gets baptized will share their testimony, make a confession of faith, and go under the water signifying being united with Christ in his death, and come out of the water signifying being raised with Christ in newness of life, with all of their sins washed away by God’s grace.
Communion – Every week we take communion at the Lord’s Table together, and give thanks for what God has done for us in Christ. We take the bread and cup to remember Jesus’ body and blood, given for us on the cross to wash away our sins. We come to the Table together to receive from God, remember the gospel, and long for Christ’s return when we will dine with him in glory.
Giving – Everything we have belongs to God, and one of the ways we worship God is by giving some of what he has given us to the ministry of the church and the work of the kingdom. Our giving is the product of thanksgiving for all that God has given us, and it is an act of faith to contribute toward gospel ministry through our church.
Benediction – At the end of every service, we are reminded that we are truly blessed in Christ, and we are called to be a blessing. That by the power of the Holy Spirit, we are sent from our gathering to be the body of Christ to the world for the glory of God.