Purposeful Worship Gatherings


Corporate Worship Gatherings are one of the most vital aspects of church life. It is where we primarily hear the voice of God, through His word, respond to God in prayer, confession, and singing, and the primary way we fulfill various commands of Scripture. Our faith is strengthened as we join together around the Word, prayer, and worship. (Eph. 5:19; Col 3:16; 1 Tim 2:8; Heb 10:22-25) I believe that “the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever” and therefore, everything done in the Corporate Worship Gatherings should seek to draw hearts to gaze upon the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:4-6), so that the bride of Christ may “rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory” (1 Peter 1:8). 2 Corinthians 3:18 is also a revealing passage in shaping how vital this is, because it reveals how this relates directly to church’s sanctification. It says, “[18] And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” The apostle Paul reveals that our sanctification is tied to beholding the glory of the Lord and standing in awe of Him.  The reality of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that, through the proclamation of Christ, the veil is removed and we are shown “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6) which satisfies our hearts and fills us with “joy that is inexpressible.”

Worship Gatherings should work towards having the whole gathering be a cohesive meal, so to speak, where thoughts and hearts are being led to delight in the glory of God. Since we see the glory of God mostly clearly through the person of Jesus Christ revealed through the Scriptures, the gatherings should be deeply saturated in and centered on the truths of the revealed Word of God. Worship through song is crafted in such a way that the congregation’s voices are primary, and the church is given an opportunity to declare truths about God to each other, along with responding personally to God in adoration and praise. Musical style can vary to meet the heart desires of the congregation, so long as all the lyrics are biblically and theologically sound. Preaching should be expository in style, working verse-by-verse through books of the Bible. Topical exposition is considered during holiday seasons, and when the elders determine a need to be addressed from the pulpit. Preaching should also be what John Piper calls “Expository Exultation,” where the sermon doesn’t just seek to accurately explain the text, as important as that is, but strives to awaken worship in the hearts of those who hear. The pastor labors, in love, to fully see what is in the passage, savor what is in the passage, and show the beauty and worth of what is in the passage. Any other element added to these gatherings, whether it be partaking in communion, hearing scriptures read outside of the sermon, a pastoral prayer, or closing with a benediction, are designed to flow together in a beautiful harmony that moves the church to gaze upon the glory of God and rejoice in joy inexpressible.