We seek to glorify and enjoy God through biblically prescribed, God-honoring, and Gospel-centered and shaped worship where we experience the majesty of the Triune God and the riches of the Gospel of Christ. Key distinctives: “Liturgical”/blended; Expositional preaching, Weekly communion.
It’s not a matter of if a church is “liturgical”, but, what is their liturgy, and how and why do they use the liturgy that they use. Two key questions:
1. How has God prescribed we worship Him?
We subscribe to what is called the regulative principle of worship as stated by Westminster Confession of Faith 21.1: “…the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will [Scripture], that he may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan…or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scripture.”
Dr. Ian Duguid summarizes this well when he says that this “…does not mean that there needs to be a specific proof text for every practice. But there does need to be a good Biblical reason.”
2. What are the key elements and structure of the liturgy?
Our worship service follows a general pattern seen in Scripture and historically in the church that follows the movement of the gospel as it comes to bear upon our hearts and minds.
In worship the gospel is central, not only in the sermon, but in the very structure of the service itself, which is a “re-presentation of the gospel” that reinforces the truths of the gospel to us. “Liturgy tells a story. We tell the gospel by the way we worship.” (Quotes from Bryan Chapell, Christ Centered Worship).
EXAMPLE OF LITURGY
*Prelude *Call to Worship: Responsive reading, or just read and briefly explained by the liturgist *2 hymns/songs (hymns, contemporary songs).
Confession & Assurance
*Scripture Reading, followed by a question for reflection leading into our time of confession.
*Confession of Sin: silent and corporate confession of sin.
*Assurance of Pardon: Scripture reading focused on forgiveness in Christ.
*Congregational Prayers, followed by Lord’s Prayer
*Sermon: 35-40 minutes
*The Lord’s Supper: weekly communion with bread, and wine and grape juice.
*Charge and Benediction
Music and Style
Kevin DeYoung sums up what we also believe: “Choosing the appropriate musical composition and lyrical content for corporate worship is a task which requires careful attention to musical principles and even closer attention to theological fidelity. We believe there are new songs to be sung to Jesus. We also believe there is a great heritage of church music that we should embrace. We have no problem projecting words on a screen. But we also believe in the abiding value of using and learning from a good hymnal. Our services use music from different genres and different centuries. We use a variety of instruments, everything from guitars and drums to the organ. In all this, the most important sound is that of the congregation singing.”
What we’re after is worship that is biblical, robust, joyful and reverent, Gospel-centered, Christ-proclaiming, and intellectually and emotionally engaging and expressive.
Preaching & Teaching
To glorify God through the expositional preaching and teaching of the whole counsel of God’s Word in an understandable way, so that congregants can grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ unto spiritual maturity. We will normally preach through books of the Bible, and at times do a topical series (note: these will be expositional sermons dealing with what the Bible may teach on a particular topic. Example: The Sovereignty of God, etc).
The Lord’s Supper is a central aspect of corporate worship. We believe it ought to be observed weekly as a visible proclamation of the gospel and means of grace and spiritual nourishment for God’s people. (Acts 2:42-44; 20:7; 1 Cor 10:14-17; 11:18-26). See our article here for a more detailed explanation on why we practice weekly communion,