Friday, January 12, 2007

The Worship Purpose

Cornerstone Baptist Church exists " Experience God's Greatness!". This is our first purpose and the purpose that we will continue to accomplish throughout eternity--the worship of the Most High God. In coming to Cornerstone six years ago, our worship service received the most immediate attention, simply because it is what everyone sees and experiences. Many times people judge a church simply by observing worship. The heart of the congregation is revealed in worship. I encourage our people to worship passionately with an eye towards God's pleasure. Nothing in the worship service is about us--it's all for God.
I do not believe that style should be the focus of worship but rather the focus of worship should be connecting people to the presence of God. The most important thing that should ever happen in worship is for people to humbly come into the presence of a holy and gracious God where His Holy Spirit can work life-change. With that said, I would characterize our services as mildly contemporary. My wife, Tina, leads from the piano with a praise team made up of 3-5 vocalists, electronic drums, keyboard, acoustic guitar, bass (sometimes), and other percussion. My wife has an amazing gift of leading us into worship and her selection of songs includes mostly contemporary with one or two hymns sung in a light contemporary style. It is not unusual to sing songs that Tina has written in her personal times of worship. These are my favorites!
We want to leave room for the Holy Spirit to change our direction in worship and so we do not list a strict order of worship in the worship folder. A typical service will include, along with the music, testimonies from the congregation, an extended time of guided prayer, video clips, the offering (received as worship), and an altar call (also considered as worship). The message is usually heavy on application coming from a verse-by-verse exposition of the Scriptures. We are currently working through Amos in a series that I've entitled, "How to Survive Prosperity". It is not unusual for our worship to include laughter as we rejoice in God's miraculous work or when I just happen to hit a funny streak (I love to get our people laughing).
We have a broad mix of worshippers representing a multitude of denominational backgrounds. A typical service will have a sprinkling of hands raised, a host of wet eyes, and (hopefully) a crowded altar at decison time. We are casual enough to allow the consumption of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, soda, etc. during the worship services. We have children's church offered in all three Sunday morning services with the kids being released right before the sermon. I will often have the Deacons at the front to receive responders during the altar call or sometimes just myself.
There is much more that I could share but this post is long enough. Feel free to post a question and I will be more than happy to further elaborate.

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