The Sunday Service, Explained
You’ll experience some things at a typical Sunday Morning church service that you may not experience anywhere else. Some of the elements may be familiar—others may be entirely foreign. That’s OK. Let’s try to take some of the mystery out of them.
Welcome—Just like at any large gathering, we like to take a moment to welcome you and thank you for being part of today’s program.
Opening Prayer—We are here to worship, reflect on, and get to know the God of the Bible. Because He is a Person, not a mystical force or unknowable presence, God tells us to speak to Him in prayer. So we can’t think of a better way to start than by doing just that.
Announcements—Like most organizations, the church has upcoming events, and information to share. Don’t worry, there won’t be a test.
Memory Verse—We believe that God has shown us who He is and what He desires for us in the 66 recognized books of the Holy Bible, and that the Bible is completely true and accurate in all that it teaches. It makes sense, then, that we revere the Bible as our authoritative source for truth about what we believe and how we live it out. So we like to take a small bit of the Bible (a verse, usually one or two sentences) and try to memorize it. We work on a different verse each month. The address works like this, if you want to find it in a Bible: Name of book, Chapter Number : Verse Number. So, John 3:16 means the book of John, Chapter 3, the 16th verse.
Songs—Admittedly, this part of the service may seem a little strange. I grew up going to church, and even I have sometimes questioned why we sing. After a bit of thought, it made more sense. Knowing and following God is an important part of our lives, and as humans we usually commemorate important things in song. So we sing songs here to express our worship, or admiration, of God and what He has done. Some songs celebrate God’s nature and His works. Some retell the story of how He has rescued us from sin and wants to rescue others. Some reflect on our relationship with Him. Some may seem unusual to you, and that’s OK. You’re welcome to just sit and listen or join in. Either way, it should be thought-provoking.
Giving—God asks those of us who are following Him in life to trust Him with everything, and that includes our money and the way we spend it. As part of that, He urges us to give a tithe (a portion, often a tenth) of what we earn back to Him. We may also sometimes feel it is important to give sacrificially for other reasons. This is part of how we worship Him. As a visitor, you need not feel any obligation to contribute; your cover charge is already paid!
Sermon—Usually, this is the longest part of the service. Since we recognize the Bible as the true, inspired Word of God that is teaches us how we ought to live and believe to know God for Who He is, we’ll take some time here to look at a passage from it and explain it for better understanding, perhaps illustrate it in a way that helps it sink in, and then address how what the Bible is teaching us might apply in our daily lives.
Communion—if you’re visiting with us, especially on the first Sunday of the month, you may experience the sharing of this ordinance of the Church. If so, please find the insert labeled “Communion Explained” in your welcome packet for more information.
Closing Song—One more, just for good measure. Also, more importantly, a good chance to reflect on the truths of Scripture we’ve studied this morning.
Benediction—which is a fancy word for “blessing.” Usually, the Pastor will dismiss the congregation with a blessing, often a recitation of the traditional lines from Numbers 6:24-26.