OUR HIGHEST PRIORITY – WORSHIP
Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God acceptable worship with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire” Hebrews 12:29
At Grace Community Church we believe that worship is our priority as redeemed human beings. Therefore, we strive to maintain a joyful yet reverent atmosphere. We ask that children use the restroom before the service starts and that distractions be kept to a bare minimum. There is a Training Chapel available for those training their children to sit still in worship and for nursing mothers.
Piano prelude before service: We have designed this prelude time for meditation, prayer and heart preparation before the service. Please be seated at 10:25.
Piano postlude after service: There will be a time of reflection, accompanied by the piano. Please remain still and employ this time prayerfully.
OUR PATTERN FOR WORSHIP
At Grace Community Church we believe that the Word of God is central to all that we do. Therefore, we believe that the Bible is the sufficient guide for our corporate worship, as well as our individual lives. This has sometimes been called, “the regulative principle of worship,” that is, the Bible alone regulates our worship of God. The basic assumption, derived from Scripture, is that God alone determines how He ought to be worshiped.
What this means in practice is that we seek to do in worship only that which is warranted in God’s Word, recognizing the fundamental difference between the essentials of worship and the circumstances of worship. As a result, we believe in the beauty and simplicity of New Covenant worship (John 4:21 -24; Phil. 3:3). Our worship services are comprised of the reading of God’s Word (1 Tim. 4:13 ), the singing of God’s praises (Eph. 5:19 ; Col. 3:16), the offering of our prayers and supplications (1 Tim. 2:8) and the preaching of God’s Word (2 Tim. 4:1-4). We also observe the Lord’s Supper and water baptism, as ordinances which have been given to the church (Matt. 28:18-20; 1 Cor. 11:23 -32).
WHAT GOD HEARS FROM US – OUR PERSPECTIVE ON WORSHIP MUSIC
We believe that the dichotomy today between “traditional” and “contemporary” worship is a false and unhelpful one. There was a time when Isaac Watts was contemporary worship music! The real issues are whether or not the songs are God-centered and exalting, doctrinally sound, have appropriate melodies and are generally singable by the congregation. Just as there are bad choruses, there are bad hymns. The regulative principle does not compel us to adopt one “style” over another; rather it compels us to judge all things by the Word of God.
We understand that many brethren apply the regulative principle differently than us, according to conscience. Our plea is that we would recognize in each other a genuine attempt to be biblical in our worship and demonstrate charity and brotherly love, knowing that to our own Master we stand or fall.
The music exists to accompany and carry the singing. Whether piano alone, or with other instruments, it should be firm, the tempo and tone should be strong, yet not overpowering or overshadowing the singing. We always want the music to be well done and beautiful, whether simple or complex, it functions as the servant for the congregation. The music also provides a background for preparation and meditation, as in the prelude and postlude.
WHAT WE HEAR FROM GOD – OUR PERSPECTIVE ON PREACHING
We believe that God-breathed Scripture is what brings life and faith (Rom. 10:14 -17; Jas. 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23-25). The Scriptures are also what sanctifies and sustains life and faith (Jn. 17:17; 1 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Psalm 119). Therefore, we must preach the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27 ; 1 Cor. 1:17 -2:5; 2 Tim. 4:1-4). We believe that the main, although not exclusive, diet of God’s people should be consecutive, expository preaching, through a book or a unit of God’s inspired Word. There are times when we deal with things doctrinally, topically, etc., but even then, we are subject to the Word of God and sound exegesis and exposition.
WHO HEARS FROM GOD – OUR PERSPECTIVE ON CHILDREN IN WORSHIP
Children should be in service, worshiping God, sitting under the ministry of the Word, with their parents, as a family. The Bible is clear that families should worship together (Josh. 24:15). Children did hear the Word of God in times past (Josh. 8:33 -35; Neh. 8:1-4; Eph. 6:1; Col. 3:20). If the Word of God brings faith and life, then why send our children out before the sermon to color or hear an innocuous Bible story? Children need to learn how to worship God and how to hear the Word of God. There is Sunday school for various ages, and there is nursery provided for children who are under 3 during both Sunday school and worship. However, we encourage families to worship together. There is also a training chapel available in the sanctuary for those who are training their children. For more on Children in Worship see related links.