Wednesday, May 14, 2008

GEFC Worship Services

As I have written before, as we pursue the church plant, we seek to glorify God and exult His Son, by "being the body of Christ in South Calgary, making disciples".

This is an exciting time, because we have made a very practical step in that direction by beginning to worship together and to built a corporate identity, understanding what exactly it means, to be the body of Christ together.

In Scripture reading, music, prayer and the preaching of the word, we are building an intentional example of means to worship together. But we are also building a means of evangelism and discipleship, by trying to teach the rational for everything done in the service. For the last few services I have written a simple program, explaining the elements of the service. The inside read as follows:

Scripture Reading

Daniel 9:1-14

In Paul's instruction on how to conduct ourselves in the Church, he instructs Timothy: "Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture" (1 Tim 4:13).

In the Synagogue, the Jewish people would read through the Old Testament in a repeating selection of readings to familiarize everyone with all aspects of the word.

The Early Church followed this, adding a read and repeat pattern of Scripture memorization. We follow intentionally in this 2000 year old practice, because at GEFC "God's Word is Central".

Corporate Prayer of Repentance and Preparation

Although we fall easily into a pattern of being individualistic in our thinking, the church is to be a collection of individuals who "present" their "bodies [plural] as a living sacrifice [singular]" (Romans 12:1). Daniel, although faithful illustrated this group identity on behalf of those God called him to minister to and Jeremiah the faithful shepherd of Israel embodied it saying: "We acknowledge our wickedness, O LORD, and the iniquity of our fathers, for we have sinned against you" (Jer. 14:20).

FCC Statement of Faith

We are clearly instructed, "Give attention to …doctrine" (1 Tim 4:13) and commanded --"Pay attention to yourself and to your doctrine; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you" (v. 16).

Further as an EFCC Church we want to understand what it means to unite around God's evangel, to God's glory for our total satisfaction and joy in fulfilling our created purpose.

Preamble: The Evangelical Free Church of Canada is an association of autonomous churches united in a common commitment to God’s evangel--the gospel of Jesus Christ, who died and rose again to give us eternal life. To God's glory, the gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. Our essential theological convictions are vitally connected to this gospel.

God’s gospel originates in and expresses
the wondrous perfections of the eternal, triune God.

1. We believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Having limitless knowledge and sovereign power, God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory.

Therefore, we understand that the object of our existence is to glorify God and to enjoy His wondrous perfection forever!

Worship in Music

A believing person responds to being Spirit-filled, "with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord" (Eph 5:19).

We are commanded: "Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness." (Psalm 29:2).

Worship in Word

Martin Luther said actively listening to preaching "is the highest form of worship". This is so, because in preaching, God by His Spirit speaks directly to you; "It pleased God by… the message preached to save those who believe" (1 Cor. 1:21) and therefore we continue in it: "like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation," (1 Peter 2:2).


Anonymous said...

Great stuff, Chad. You're being very 'deliberate'... just like the church where I'm at right now. Have a GREAT service tonight.

C.W. Graham said...

Hope you enjoyed your deliberate weekend ;)