Worship is opening and offering ourselves to God in response to God as Holy Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—and in acknowledgement of God’s words and deeds. Through worship we are drawn into God’s presence. In worship we listen to God, pour out our hearts to God, and receive power to go out and do God’s work in God’s world. Worship touches all of life, and every moment, but is especially significant when the body of Christ gathers. As our sacred and holy encounter with God, worship cannot be adequately explained; it is a living relationship by which we concur with the Lord as to matters of Spirit and Truth and the proper priority of all things—and as a result live according to God’s Word. At First Baptist Church, we are one people, a part of the Body of Christ, that meets at the corner of 8th and Pine Streets, honoring God in word and deed.
OUR PURPOSE FOR CORPORATE WORSHIP
To honor God by providing weekly worship services that…
–are faithful to the biblical narrative of creation, re-creation, and restoration;
–engage believers in authentic experiences of God which fortify them in faith and equip them to serve God all week long; and,
–engage unbelievers in experiences of God’s Word and God’s community so that they will embrace grace and the Truth revealed in Jesus Christ.
OUR PHILOSOPHY OF WORSHIP
- We believe that worship is the congregation’s living encounter with God. Worship is about God and for God.
- We believe that the congregation should experience the joy of the Gospel in worship and go out energized to serve in God’s world.
- We believe that God has provided gifted leaders to guide our corporate worship— not as performers for an audience, but as encouragers for a congregation actively engaged as worshipers, which is the work of all of God’s people.
- We believe that corporate worship demands careful advance planning by quality leadership. In each worship service, our worship leaders seek to assist worshippers in declaring the meaning of the day’s biblical text for our lives.
- We believe that different means of expressing worship minister appropriately to different times and settings. Our worship attempts to be true to our context of time and place and simultaneously to draw on the rich treasury of resources available to the Church. We are committed to being sensitive to the diversity of participants and to the variety of worship expressions that diversity demands. Our services blend a variety of worship elements including public reading of Scripture, prayer, preaching, responsive readings, classical hymns, choruses, instrumental accompaniment, choirs, solo music, drama, testimony, and the powerful symbolism of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
- We believe that there should be variety within a consistent format for worship. We want to be consistent enough that worshipers will not be disoriented, yet varied enough
- within the pattern to keep things fresh.
- We believe that worship services must be understandable, challenging, and empowering.
OUR VISION FOR WORSHIP
God’s Word is central to worship. God’s Word is read, preached, sung, heard, and honored. A biblical text provides the theme for each occasion of worship. Worship has different appearances (more formal, less formal), locations (sanctuary, fellowship hall, open air settings), and sounds, but only one goal: to worship God and to enjoy His presence forever.
OUR PROCESS FOR WORSHIP PLANNING
- The Church Council helps establish long-range themes and calendar coordination.
- The Worship Committee leads the church in developing policies and foundational statements relative to ways in which the church worships, generates and considers creative
- ideas concerning worship, and assists the worship ministry team in implementing special worship venues or experiences.
- The worship ministry team is composed of individuals who lead worship at the church’s calling or invitation. This team considers the broad scope of the church’s worship, looks in advance at coming worship themes, begins creative planning, and meets at times of its own choosing. Staff worship leaders meet regularly for detailed preparation.
OUR CORE VALUES IN WORSHIP
- We aim to be faithful, God-centered, Bible-based, outreach-oriented, disciple-making, and Kingdom-building.
- Our worship leaders commit to maintain servant attitudes, unity of heart and mind, sincere worshiping hearts, and a commitment to servanthood and excellence in leadership.
- Our congregation commits to prayerful, active, and regular participation in corporate worship which is integrally interwoven with our daily experiences of personal worship.