Over the past few Sundays I have been posting photos of Redeemer Fellowship's bulletin showing our liturgy. A number of people asked if I would share more on our liturgy, guiding principles, and helpful resources. Our guiding principles are that corporate worship must be Christ-centered, biblical, richly theological, understandable, experiential, and as free from unnecessary distraction as possible. I'll unpack those points a little bit tomorrow.
We use a basic liturgical order (it's not original to us) that helps us as a congregation look and respond to God, his law, and his gospel. It serves as a guide that helps the people know where we are "going" in corporate worship.
Each worship gathering begins with a reading from the Psalms that highlights the character and work of God. God has revealed himself in his word and we want to begin there. There is always a reading, and then a prayer.
This leads us into adoration, or words of praise to God that includes songs, Scripture. We may include corporate or responsive readings as well.
We cannot see the beauty of God without also seeing the ugliness of our our sin, so next we move into a time of confession. This may be a pastoral prayer, or a responsive reading that focuses in on our sin/guilt, repentance, and faith in Jesus.
Here we zero in on the cross as our great hope. Here all songs and readings point to Christ's atoning work. This is also where we observe the Lord's Supper.
The expository preaching of the word is central for us at Redeemer. ESV. 40-45 minutes.
After the message one of our elders, or an elder candidate, leads the body in prayer in light of the message.
The body responds in songs/readings of commitment.
This is our sending and always includes a formal benediction.
The order works for us, though simpler outlines can be just as good. The old, "Guilt, Grace, Gratitude" model is as simple as it gets, and it's gold.
There are a few resources that get a lot of use at Redeemer for worship. they are:
The hymnal. Okay, everything is projected on a screen, but we push hard on the hymns. We love 'em, sing 'em, sometimes rearrange 'em, and on rare occasions write new music for 'em. (Check out the Trinity Hymnal)
The Valley of Vision. Yes, the puritan prayer book. We pull some of those prayers for use as responsive readings or read prayers during worship. (Get a copy here)
Benedictions: A Pocket Resource. Robert Vasholz has provided a great tool for those desiring to use benedictions regularly. (You can get a copy at Amazon)
I would love for you to share the order your church follows in corporate worship. Lay it out in the comments below.