Corporate Worship: Sermon

Dear Church Family, The preaching of God’s Word (the sermon) has fallen on hard times. Many churches are even embarrassed to use the word ‘sermon’ (that sounds too preachy!). Instead, labels like ‘sharing’ or ‘meditation’ or ‘giving a talk’ are used to describe what the pastor does when he stands

Read More »

Corporate Worship: Confession of Faith through Creeds

Dear Church Family, Confessing our faith through the historic creeds of the Christian Church is an important aspect of our corporate worship. There are some who decry the use of confessions and creeds as man-made constructs that have no place in the Christian faith; however this goes against the teaching

Read More »

Corporate Worship: Hymn of Response and Preparation

Dear Church Family, In the discussion of our first hymn, we talked about the uniqueness of singing and the way in which both the words and the music of worship songs help us to engage the whole of our beings in worship – mind, heart, and body. This week, we

Read More »

Corporate Worship: Assurance of Pardon

Dear Church Family, In our examination of the elements of our corporate worship service, most recently we looked at the importance of confessing our sins, corporately and privately. Just as it is important to examine ourselves, confess and repent of our sins, it is equally important to know that according

Read More »

Corporate Worship: Confession of Sin

Dear Church Family, While serving as a hospital chaplain one summer during seminary, I would pay regular visits to the patients on my assigned ward. One time, I visited with a man as he was preparing for heart surgery. I didn’t know the man, but as we talked, he told

Read More »

Corporate Worship: Catechism

Dear Church Family, In our morning worship service, after the pastoral prayer, we recite together a portion of a Reformed catechism or confession. The Westminster Standards (Confession, Larger and Shorter Catechisms) contain the summary of the doctrines taught in Scripture and as such are received as part of the constitution

Read More »

Corporate Worship: Pastoral Prayer

Dear Church Family, In the corporate worship of the church, the pastoral prayer (called “the long prayer” in some traditions) has fallen on hard times. If there are any prayers publicly offered in worship services today, they are often limited to opening and closing prayers for the service and the

Read More »

Corporate Worship: Offertory Prayer and Offering

Dear Church Family, One of the elements of worship that is often overlooked, or perhaps taken for granted, is the giving and receiving of offerings for the support of the gospel ministry of the church. Some people see the giving of offerings as a sort of due which one gives

Read More »

Corporate Worship: Opening Hymn

Dear Church Family, For many people, singing is one of the most affective parts of worship. By its very nature, music effects our emotions unlike many other things. When the people of God sing together, they join in one voice giving expression to both the content and the affections of

Read More »

Corporate Worship: Call to Worship & Invocation

Dear Church Family, In the last several pastoral reflections, we have been examining the various parts of our corporate worship service. After discussing some of the foundational principles of worship and what it means to prepare for worship, last time we looked at the salutation and response (these previous reflections

Read More »