The worship service in the bulletin is prepared each week to assist us both individually and corporately in our worship. It is usually unified around a Scriptural theme. True worship must come from our hearts as we use the elements of worship sincerely to converse with the Savior.
Preparation: Worship begins the night before, as we prayerfully prepare to meet with God. Take time to reflect, to pray, to confess, to meditate and prepare yourself to meet with Him. And pray for those who lead worship and preach.
As we gather: It is easy to get involved with greeting and visiting with one another, but we have come to meet with God, so be quietly seated as soon as possible. Parents should also see that their children are also seated and settling down. This helps the service begin on time.
Theme Verse: This Scripture is the theme for the service. It is often a good verse for meditation. It may or may not be derived from the Sermon. Think about the Scripture, looking for both commands and promises. How does it touch your life?
As the Prelude begins, look over the bulletin and see how the elements of worship are arranged. Mark the pages of readings and hymns with book markers. Then quiet yourself before God.
Worship: There are certain elements common to most services:
Singing Songs and Hymns together to God is a great blessing. As you sing, listen to the words and reflect on how they relate to the service. Be alert for allusions to Scriptures in the Hymns. Sing from your hearts. Our singing is a blend of traditional hymns and contemporary songs and represent our common faith with God's people past and present.
Prayer is an important part of worship. There are times that individuals lead the congregation in prayer and times for silent intercession. Frequently there is prayer attached to each of the above elements of worship. This is the means by which we speak to God.
We have times of Sharing in our service. Don't be shy, please make use of these opportunities to encourage one another. When you share your thanksgiving or concerns with the congregation, do be brief and to the point, so others will have their opportunity as well. Listen to the Sermon with an open Bible and mind and heart. Take notes! Sometimes there are partial notes to help you follow the message on the bulletin. Most sermons have a main point and several subpoints - try to pick them out! Ask yourself "What is God saying to me in the message? How can I apply it to myself this next week?"
Afterwards: Take your bulletin home and during the week reflect on the service. Reread all the Scripture readings and reflect on the songs and hymns. Why were they chosen? Where were they placed in the service? Ponder connections between them and the sermon. Review your notes, or quiz each other on the message, or share your thoughts during the message with someone else. Or memorize a meaningful verse. Write down a resolution. But above all else, pray over it.
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