Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
Worship is a broad term that encompasses the variety of ways we ascribe worth or value or honor to God. Harold Best, in his book Music Through the Eyes of Faith defines worship in the broadest sense as “acknowledging that someone or something else is greater – worth more – and by consequence, to be obeyed, feared, and adored…Worship is the sign that in giving myself completely to someone or something, I want to be mastered by it.” (pg. 143)
When we gather together for times of corporate worship at Redeemer Community Church, our worship centers on four ways in which we express our devotion to God: Listening to Him, Speaking to Him, Celebrating the Reality of His Presence, and Responding To His Word and His Spirit.
Listening to Him
The Bible is God’s inspired, inerrant, and authoritative message to us. In it, He reveals Himself and His purposes for mankind. God the Holy Spirit indwells those who are followers of Jesus, and enables us to understand God’s Word so we can know Him and better understand how to live for Him, love Him, and serve Him.
When we gather as a community to listen to God, our focus is on hearing God’s Word read and clearly explained. Our practice as a church is to teach the Bible in verse by verse fashion, with a desire to understand the text in context and to think together through the implications of the text for our lives. We will occasionally address what a variety of passages have to say about specific topics, but our general practice is to simply study the Bible by working our way through a particular book for an extended period of time.
Speaking to Him
God invites and instructs us to speak about Him publicly and to speak to Him corporately. Through public prayer and the singing of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, we declare God’s greatness and our devotion to Him.
The songs that we use in worship at RCC are songs that seek to clearly, Biblically, passionately, and faithfully proclaim the one and only Savior—His work, His words, and His worthiness. Along with songs that express our love for the Savior, we also sing songs that celebrate and rehearse the foundations of our faith and fill out our vague conceptions of God with clear, theologically informed, Biblical truths * (adapted from Worship Matters by Bob Kauflin). These songs are a mix of new and old, traditional hymns and more modern songs. Our goal is to use instruments and arrangements for these songs that provide an appropriate setting for the lyrics in a style that stirs hearts and reflects an awareness and understanding of the culture in which we seek to minister.
As we pray together in our worship service, our desire is to unite our hearts in offering words of thanksgiving, praise, and adoration, along with corporate confession of sin. Additionally, we will spend time praying publicly for one another, for our community, our nation, and our world.
Celebrating the Reality of His Presence
Jesus promised that He would always be with His followers. The Holy Spirit lives forever in each follower of Christ. Although we have not seen Him, we love Him, and although we do not see Him now, we believe in Him, and we rejoice that He is with us.
Corporately, we celebrate the reality of the presence of God with us as part of our corporate worship by sharing the Lord’s Supper each week. While we vary the manner in which the elements are served, we believe the regular sharing of the bread and the cup gives us a tangible, sensory reminder of the reality of the gospel—the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. In addition, it reminds us that Jesus is still Emmanuel—“God with Us”—today.
Responding To His Word and His Spirit
Our time together in corporate worship as members of a community of faith is a vital part of the life of any follower of Jesus. The weekly worship service is a channel of God’s grace for His children. As we sing, pray, study God’s word and take communion together each week, God strengthens us and equips us for service.
We respond to God’s word and the work of His Spirit in our lives by presenting ourselves to Him as “living sacrifices” (Romans 12:1) – men and women who live our lives for His glory and His purposes. As sons and daughters of God, our desire is that we would live our lives as an expression of gratitude for all God has done for us!