Six Convictions For Sunday Morning
Post by Pastor Keith Baker
I’ve been planning worship gatherings for the last twenty years. I think and pray daily about what happens when the church gathers. I stand at the front of the congregation for about half of the time we are together on Sunday morning. It’s a responsibility that I don’t take lightly. I also spend time talking to other Worship Pastors about what is happening in the culture.
The last decade has been an era of unprecedented change for local church gatherings. The speed and scope of change has been nothing short of seismic. I recently watched a church service which included dancing Storm Troopers to kick of a “Star Wars” themed sermon series. These changes have affected every part of the corporate gathering, not just music. These changes have been felt across denominational and geographic lines. This new reality has caused me to open my Bible and ask the Lord to renew my convictions about the weekly gathering of the local church family. I’m certain that the new testament leaves the church with some liberty in regards to gathered worship. But what guidelines does God give us? Why do we order the service in a certain way? Why do we choose certain songs and not others? Some things change from week to week, but what are the essential elements of our liturgy (order of worship)? Here are six convictions about our Sunday Worship gathering at First Baptist Boynton.
- We want every part of our gathering to be saturated with the Word of God, that we might consume it and obey it. (Jam 1:22) For this reason, our worship time is centered around the expositional preaching of God’s word. We evaluate every song with God’s word in mind.
- We want our love for the supremacy of Jesus Christ to be evident (Col 1). We are commanded to love God with everything we are (Luke 10:27). He is the treasure hidden in a field, the pearl of great price and the treasure of every believer. We believe the glory of God is centered in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. We love to sing, pray and preach these truths.
- We value congregational engagement in every part of the gathering, but especially in the singing. (Eph 5:19) While we do use contemporary accompaniment and amplified instruments, we want the defining sound of First Boynton to be the sound of God’s people singing His praise.
- We choose songs that aim to engage the head and the heart. God is seeking those who will worship in spirit (heart) and truth (head) (John 4). We believe that deep thinking about God promotes deep feelings for God. We want to engage our minds and hearts in worship.
- We plan the Sunday gathering primarily for the believer but make every effort to welcome unbelievers, as well. (2 Cor 3, Heb 13) We do this not to exclude outsiders, but because the great commission is “Go and Tell” not “Come and See.” (Matt. 28:19-20)
- We believe leading worship is a spiritual service reserved for the members of the family of God (1 Cor 12). While we value excellence and seek to be prepared musically and technically, we are committed to using only church members in the worship team/band (1 Pet 4:10).
I’ll be the first to admit that we don’t achieve these goals every Sunday, in fact, we fall short often. But it is good to understand our convictions and goals, even if we fall short, because then we know why we gather on Sunday morning. We live in an “anything goes” world. I’m extremely thankful to be a part of a local church that has biblical convictions and seeks, however imperfectly, to glorify God, make disciples and love the community outside our doors.