What is Worship?
Worship is a dialogue in which God and God's people speak with one another. We listen as God speaks to us in scripture, as the word is preached, and as Christ's presence comes close to us in Holy Communion.
We respond to God's love with our praises, our prayers, and the offering of our whole selves. When we gather for worship we desire to discern God's will so that we may carry it out in daily life.
To worship is to acknowledge God's worth in acts of praise as well as in daily life.
Why do we worship?
God calls us to worship as a personal and collective expression of our gratitude for what God has done and a longing to know more of God and God's purposes for our lives, our church and our world. Through worship we draw closer to God and find enrichment.
How do we worship?
We worship with our lives and the way we live them each day, our desire is to live lives honouring and pleasing to God. It's tough sometimes and we all fall down, what's important is the getting up and trying again.
What about Worship through music and song?
There are no clear instructions in scripture for the leading of worship, nor is there an agreed formula for Baptist churches. However there are a number of concerns which have always been important for Baptists in worship:
- Attention to scripture. Exploring the Bible, either by preaching or through discussion.
- Worship should be heartfelt and be open to God's Holy Spirit to inspire it.
- Worship is a communal experience, not just one or two leaders at the front.
We should seek God's will and purpose through worship. This should then impact on our daily lives and telling others about Jesus.
What does a worship service look like at LRBC?
At Leigh Road Baptist Church (LRBC) we use hymns and worship songs, reading the Bible and hearing preaching upon it. Communion is celebrated twice a month once in the morning and once in the evening. We also usually start each service with a short children's talk and for children to take part in before they go off to Junior church groups. Drama sketches, dance, big screen video and visual ilustrations are often used to bring a bible passage or message to life.
Our evening service are attempting to explore new expressions of doing worship which are more interactive including discussion in small groups, café services, art and use multi-media video clips and live music.
Church worship is not only to build up those that are already Christians but also an evangelistic opportunity to speak about the gospel to those present that have not made a commitment.
*Written with reference to Patterns and Prayers for Christian Worship (Baptist Union of Great Britain 1991) and Gathering for Worship (Baptist Union of Great Britain 2005)