What to Expect
Many people wonder what to expect when visiting a Sunday Service. It is our aim that you will be warmly welcomed. It is our deep desire that you will sense the Glory of Christ and see us gazing upon God, through singing, praying and listening to the proclaimation of God’s Word.
In a nutshell our service is passionate and reverent, while focusing on the exposition, explanation and application of the Word of God. You will find people dressed casually and some more formal. We are very thankful for the increasing ethnic diversity of our congregation.
Your entire family is welcomed at all of our services. If you should need childcare, we have quality child care available for your little ones (0-4 years) during all of our services. Hoping to see you this Sunday!
Our Philosophy of Corporate Worship
The scriptures clearly teach us that the believer should live all of life as worship. So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV). And yet it is equally clear that the New Testament believers’ pattern was to gather weekly for praise, prayer and preaching. Paul reminds the Ephesians to be filled with the Spirit…addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart (Ephesians 5:19 ESV). At First Boynton, we seek to continue that pattern: Personal worship everyday and gathered worship each Sunday.
The aim of this paper is to layout our philosophy and values for gathered (corporate) worship. Even though every aspect of our Sunday gathering should be worshipful (praying, preaching, offering, etc…), for the sake of brevity, this statement will give special emphasis to the musical portion of our service. Let us begin with a statement of purpose, and then seek to explain it.
1. Magnifying the greatness of God. King David captured the ethos of our gathering when he declared, Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together (Psalm 34:3 ESV)! We need to be reminded that God is great and we are not. When David says to ‘magnify’ the Lord, he does not mean for us to use a microscope that makes small things appear large. He means for us to use a telescope that brings heavenly things closer. That is the over-arching goal on Sunday morning: to declare the greatness of God. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable (Psalm 145:3 ESV). We put a high priority on the vertical focus of our Sunday morning service. The ultimate aim is to experience God in such a way that he is glorified in our affections.
2. …in Jesus Christ. There is no other way to God than through Christ. Christian worship is new-covenant worship, and therefore must be Christ-centered. We can no longer afford to assume that our culture understands who Jesus is. We must be explicit. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6 ESV). We worship Jesus both because He has reconciled us to the Father and because He has revealed the Father to us. At First Boynton we love to sing about Jesus.
3. …by the power of the Holy Spirit. We gather together each Lord’s Day expecting the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit. We do not just direct ourselves toward him. We earnestly seek his drawing near according to the promise of James 4:8, Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. We believe that in worship God draws near to us in power, and makes himself known and felt for our good and for the salvation of unbelievers in the midst.
4. …skillfully. We will strive to sing and play (and pray and preach) with excellence, so that people’s attention will not be diverted from worship by poor musicianship or mediocrity. God deserves our best; consequently, worship ministry is not a place where ‘everyone gets a turn.’ And yet we encourage every member to sing joyfully to the Lord regardless of skill level.
5. …combining God’s Word. The content of our singing should always conform to the truth of Scripture. But more than that, the content of God’s Word should be woven through all we do in worship and will be the ground of all our appeal to authority.
6. …with music. While it is obvious that God desires us to express our worship through music, scripture doesn’t come with a style-guide or soundtrack as to what kind of music we should use. Every local congregation makes stylistic choices that are not found in scripture. Most western congregations will find a place on the spectrum from “fine” (classical) to “folk” (popular). No local congregation can be all things to all people. At First Boynton we are on the folk/popular end of that spectrum. We value a mingling of old and new hymns, spiritual songs and psalms.
7. …motivating the people of God. While we welcome unbelievers, the only participants in true worship are God and His people. Therefore, we plan songs to encourage and motivate the believer to think, feel and respond to God.
8. …to cherish Christ. We worship what we treasure. The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field (Matthew 13:44 ESV). As we meditate on the perfections of Christ in gathered worship we will treasure Christ and our joy will motivate more worship.
9. …live for his glory. The clear witness of scripture is that genuine worship is life-changing. As we behold the glory of God, he transforms us. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV).
- Going hard after God: We will increasingly plan our worship service for greater opportunities to linger in the presence of the Lord. He is the treasure, the pearl of great price, and we will come with an earnestness that desires God more than anything.
- Congregational Singing: We will encourage whole-hearted participation by the entire congregation in all parts of the worship service, as the defining sound of First Boynton worship becomes the singing voices of all God’s people praising Him.
- Head and Heart: The elements of our worship service should aim at kindling and carrying deep, strong, real emotions toward God, especially joy, but should not manipulate people’s emotions by failing to appeal to clear thinking about spiritual things based on shareable evidences outside ourselves.
- Manifestation of the Spirit for the Common Good: We expect and hope and pray (according to 1 Cor. 12:7) for the manifesting of the Spirit. And we seek to use the gifts he has given for the benefit of all in a spirit of love for each other that is not incompatible with, but necessary to authentic worship.