We gather for Sunday School to build one another up through biblical education, including focused classes for children, youth, and adults. Our children’s classes are a coordinated and systematic survey of Scripture. Similarly, our youth focus on surveying Scripture and doctrine in coordination with other youth group teaching times. Our elders and other members teach Scripture in our adult Bible studies during this time. There are typically a few options for adult classes, such as surveys of Bible books, studies of biblical topics (e.g. sanctification, evangelism, church, family), and regular classes for women.
Our main service is a whole-assembly gathering for worship focused on beholding the glory of God in the face of Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18; 4:5-6) by means of Scripture, fellowship, ordinances, and prayer (Acts 2:42).
“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:19–25, ESV)
Like the morning worship service, this additional whole-assembly gathering typically focuses on Scripture, fellowship, ordinances, and prayer. This gathering allows us to sing more songs of praise and focus on another expositional series through the Scripture. It also provides an opportunity for gatherings of the body that cannot take place in the morning (e.g., members’ meetings, musical services, prayer meetings).
Every member and regular attendee are connected with a small group (we call them Shepherding Groups). This provides a regular opportunity for each of our elders to pastor the assembly in a smaller context, as each group relationally connects around Scripture and prayer.
Our singing is focused on congregational songs that are biblically rich, theologically driven, and unifying. We are focused on giving praise to God and encouraging each other in the truths we are corporately proclaiming. The music that we sing is a blend of old and new.
“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.” (Colossians 3:16, ESV)
The reading of Scripture, listening to God speak, is an important part of our worship together. We have a dedicated time of Scripture reading. The selected passages usually connect to or complement the main text that will be covered in the preaching part of the service.
“Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.” (1 Timothy 4:13, ESV)
Prayer is a vital element of our worship. In prayer, we individually, and as a body, direct our petitions to God and acknowledge our dependence on Him and our need for His sustaining word.
“I desire then that in every place the men should pray...” (1 Timothy 2:8, ESV)
The offering of our gifts to the Lord as a means of worship acknowledges that every blessing is from God our Father. This is a declaration of our dependence on Him and a symbol of our gratefulness for His gracious and faithful provision for us.
“for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord,” (2 Corinthians 8:2–3, ESV)
Our preaching is expositional and seeks to accurately relate, explain, illustrate, and apply the Word of God to our lives. Disciplining ourselves to read, listen, understand, and apply God’s Word is an important part of our worship.
“They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.” (Nehemiah 8:8, ESV)
“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” (2 Timothy 4:1–2, ESV)