This coming Sunday, I plan on including this on the back of my sermon notes which are an insert in our bulletin. After reading through the minor prophets, they warn of a danger of going through the motions of corporate worship without being engaged into their significance — and who the worship is toward! I was limited to a 5.5″ x 8.5″ page, so obviously I could not go into the depth I wished. But here it is.
Calls-to-Worship? Fellowship Time? Scripture Reading? Offertories? Singing? Preaching? Choirs? Why does Boone’s Creek include these activities during our Sunday morning times of worship together? Is it just tradition? Is it just a “Baptist thing”? Or is it more? Take time to read the biblical reasons why we include these activities during our times of worship and the great truths they teach. Our aim is to be obedient to God’s Word and point everyone to Jesus Christ through each of these things.
Call-to-Worship: Whether through congregational singing, choir specials, or responsive Scripture readings, we call to everyone in the place, “Come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!” (Psalm 95:2). Just so there’s no mistake: we are here to worship Jesus Christ our crucified and risen Lord.
Congregational Songs: Why sing? My goodness, there are so many reasons to sing. Praising and thanking God, encouraging one another, songs of prayer and supplication — the reasons are many. Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
Scripture Reading: We know what we know about God because God shows us in His Word, the Bible. Plus, Paul exhorted young pastor Timothy to “devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching” (1 Timothy 4:13).
Fellowship time: This is not a time to simply catch up on the week’s activities (although there is room for that, for sure!). Yet, it’s so much more. Acts 2:42 says, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship.” Hebrews 10:25 tells us not to “neglect to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” We encourage one another in the faith!
Ministries in Song: Whether singing solos, instrumental music, quartets, or choir specials, we believe God has given a gift of music (see Colossians 3:16 above) not just for an emotional connection but also to teach us about who God is and what He has done. Psalm 150 lists off a number of instruments used to praise the Lord. First Chronicles 25:1 says that David set up the music ministry in the temple to “prophesy,” or to teach God’s Word! This is not just entertainment, dear friends. We believe this is a God-given vehicle the Holy Spirit uses to drive home the blessings of God’s truth.
Times of Offering: We believe that the Scriptures teach that the giving of our money to the Lord cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:6-7) and sincerely (Matthew 6:1-4) is ultimately an act of worship. We ask that you give first as an act of worship and love and adoration before the Lord and, secondly, to help us in advancing the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus in our community and the world. The Scriptures teach that we give first to the local church where we belong, then other offerings as the Lord leads.
Preaching: Paul tells Timothy to “preach the Word” (2 Timothy 4:2). Jesus told the disciples to “Go, make disciples … teaching them everything I have taught you” (Matthew 28:19). Paul told the Ephesian church that he preached to them the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). God has given us His Word to help us know Him, know His will, and to know the way He has for us.