1. Our worship is Directed Toward God
"There is a difference between going to a service "for the worship" and going to a service "to worship the Lord." The distinction appears to be a minor one, but it may imply the difference between the worship of God and the worship of music!" - Sinclair Ferguson
God has created us for and commanded us to worship Him, and when we gather together as His people, we enter into His presence to do just that. Directing our worship toward God means that we’re removing ourselves from the center of our universe and giving God his rightful place of preeminence and glory. We do this in our gatherings by acknowledging our dependence on Him, submitting to his sovereignty in our lives, confessing our need for his mercy and grace, and making his pleasure and glory our primary ambition.
(Ps 7:17; 29:1-2; 47:2-1; 95:1-3, 6-7; 117:1-2; Is. 12:1-2; 25:1; John 4:23-24; Heb 12:28; Rev 4:11)
2. Our worship is Driven by the Gospel
Our culture is full of all kinds of different gospels, numerous visions of the “good life,” and countless subconscious rituals that direct our hearts toward those distorted visions. Our worship gatherings are structured in a way that will help us rehearse the true gospel from start to finish, remember the story of redemption, recapture our imaginations with a true vision of the good life, and recalibrate our hearts to the all-satisfying One, who created us for himself.
(Rom 5:8; 6:23; 8:1; 2 Cor 5:21; 8:9; 1 John 4:10; Titus 3:3-7; Rev 5:9)
Why we do communion every week:
It helps us remember and partake in the reality of redemption (1 Cor 10:16)
It helps us celebrate and acknowledge God’s presence (John 6:32-35)
It unifies us with the body of Christ (1 Cor 10:17)
It is food for our souls (John 6:35, 53-58)
It helps us proclaim the gospel (1 Cor 11:26)
It is a call to self-examination (1 Cor 11:27-28)
3. Our worship Is Dominated by Scripture
We believe that the Bible is the primary means through which the Spirit not only reveals God’s glory to us, but also transforms us into greater and greater glory as well. We don’t need to rely on gimmicks, or any kind emotional manipulation because we know that the Word of God is alive and powerful and even unstoppable. As a result, our gatherings are totally saturated by it. We sing it, read it, pray it, and preach it – and it alone.
(Deut 29:29; Is 55:10-11; Heg 4:12-13; Rom 15:4; Col 3:16; 2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Pet 1:19; Rev 22:18-19)
4. Our worship is Dependent on the Spirit
We recognize the fact that any degree of spiritual transformation is impossible without Divine intervention and empowerment. We know that it’s only through the Holy Spirit that we can draw near to God, grow in his image, deepen unity, experience healing, and empower mission. So we saturate our gatherings with prayer. Sometimes prayer is led by a pastor or a worship leader, and other times it’s carried out silently by everyone in attendance – but no matter how it’s executed, prayer is always a vital part of our worship gatherings.
(John 14:26; Acts 2:42-47; Rom 5:5, 8:6; 1 Cor 2:10-11; 12:13; Eph 1:13-14; Heb 9:14)
5. Our worship is Demonstrative in Expression
We’re convinced that our worship isn’t complete until it’s physically, passionately, and joyfully expressed and shared. As C.S. Lewis once put it, “ . . .all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise unless . . .shyness or the fear of boring others is deliberately brought in to check it. We delight to praise what we enjoy because praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.”
As we enter into the presence of God, encounter His glory, remember His Son, and reflect on His gospel, our natural response will be an expression of joy, celebration, and awe rivaled by no other. We want our expressions of praise to be proportionate to the glory that’s been revealed and to the degree in which God has blessed us in his Son, Jesus Christ. In other words, we believe theological depth and Biblical accuracy should produce in us passionate and joyful affections for God, and we want our worship gatherings to be be times for those affections to be expressed fully - without shyness or fear of what others might think.
(1 Chron 16:9; Ps 22:3; 34:1; 50:14; 107:15; 150:1; Is 12:6)
6. Our worship is Dedicated to Each Other
While our worship is directed toward God, our minds are also focused on how we might build up, encourage, and strengthen our brothers and sisters as well. Our worship gatherings are less about consuming a product from a few paid performers, and more about contributing to the well-being of a family. We do this by singing spiritual songs to each other, speaking the truth in love, confessing sin, reminding each other of the gospel, praying together, and serving one another with our talents and resources.
(Acts 2:42-47; Rom 12:4-8; 1 Cor 12:12-24; Eph 4:1-6; 11:13; Col 3:15-16; Heb 10:24-25)
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