“What is our worship like?” In a nutshell, we celebrate all that God is for us by reading, singing, praying and preaching about the person and work of Jesus Christ.
We sing both traditional hymns and modern songs using a range instruments. We spend time praying to God. We celebrate the Lord's Supper regularly and we preach Christ-centered sermons through the Bible.
To offer a more substantive answer, here are five principles we seek to practice as we shape our Sunday morning worship gatherings.
We strive to be GOD-CENTERED.
We understand that God’s glory is His highest purpose in all things. We seek to make God central in our minds’ attention and our hearts’ affections. 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.”
God created music as a medium that stirs great emotion in the human heart. Our goal is to harness this power responsibly by using music to highlight and celebrate biblical truth. We recognize that music can make people feel certain emotions regardless of the lyrics’ message, so we’re careful both to pick songs that have profound biblical content and to avoid over-emotionalizing our music. The emotion in worship should be a response to the truth of who God is and what he has done.
We strive to cultivate rich CONGREGATIONAL singing.
When John views God’s throne room in Revelation 5-7, the whole gathered congregation joins their voices together to praise the Lamb. Our goal is for singing to be a participatory experience, not an observational experience whereby a worship leader, musical ensemble, soloist, etc. is given prominence over the congregations collective voice. Paul tells the Ephesians to address “one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Eph. 5:19), which reminds us that although our worship through song is primarily God-centered, it also has a secondary purpose of encouraging one another.
We strive to BLEND historical and contemporary songs of worship.
In our services, our aim is to incorporate the doctrinally rich songs of the past with the substantive songs of the present. Singing edifying hymns from long ago and also the most passionate new God-centered songs of worship from the contemporary Church. In doing so, we can appreciate the witness of our brothers and sisters from past centuries who have persevered in the faith and also realize that God is still manifesting Himself to His people today (Matt. 13:52). The musical style may not be everyone’s favorite, but that means worship through song is an opportunity for all of us to sacrifice our personal preferences for the sake of the whole congregation.
We strive to REFLECT the full spectrum of the Christian experience in our music.
Our goal is to sing music that captures the whole array of the Christian life – from the sorrow we have over our sin to the joy of our redemption in Christ, and from the happy expectancy of heaven to the pain of trials and persecution. We see this variety of expression conveyed wonderfully throughout the Psalms. Some songs may be new to you, but we pray that they would become helpful companions to you during times of suffering as well as times of great joy as they have for so many of us.
We strive to be CONTINUALLY GROWING.
To be growing implies that we have not yet arrived and acknowledges that knowledge is partial at best (1 Cor. 13:9; James 1:5). To be in need of growth in understanding is a humbling claim and humility is the only posture of the human heart, which God blesses (James 4:6). We will seek to continue growing in our knowledge of God and in our worship of Him. Only on the day we stand before his great throne, free from all the affects of sin, will we worship God perfectly, even as he has loved us perfectly. (Ps. 40:3; 98:1; 149:1).