To worship is to ascribe “worth” to God: the glory and honor due his name. Though there are aspects to liturgy in the congregational service that are contextual, we believe there are guiding biblical principles that should take precedence. We want to honor congregational worship as described in Scripture which are represented in the points that follow. Aside from these, there is freedom to express worship to the Lord in contextually meaningful ways.
1. Worship is to be Christ-exalting and gospel-centered (Lk. 24:27; Jn. 17:9; Col. 1:15-23; Rev. 5; Rev. 21:6).
2. While congregational worship involves various expressions, worship in music and song is basic to congregational life (Neh. 12:45-46; Ps. 66:1-4; Ps. 95:1-2; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Rev. 5:9).
3. Congregational worship makes our Lord the primary object and subject of our singing (Dt. 5:7; Ps. 72:18; Ps. 83:18; Ps. 148:13).
4. Singing to one another is also an implication of being filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18-19).
5. Basic to the purpose of congregational singing is to allow the word of Christ to indwell us abundantly by teaching and admonishing us (Col. 3:16)
Along with these biblical parameters, the following serve as guidelines for Christian Fellowship Church:
We will sing songs that are Scriptural:
We will endeavor to select songs that together communicate the gospel.
We will avoid songs that cast our affection for Christ in a romantic way.
We will be cautious of songs that are overly focused on ourselves and our feelings, while pushing for songs that point us away from ourselves to the Lord or that put ourselves in the context of the gospel.
2. We will sing songs that are Specific:
We will steer from songs that are too generic such that they affirm or deny very little, thus fitting with too broad or unbiblical ways of understanding God or the gospel.
We will seek to choose the best songs with rich lyrics that teach and build our theology, regardless of the year in which they were written.
3. We will sing songs that are Singable:
We will resist the “concert” atmosphere which tends to emphasize performance. Instead we will seek to emphasize the voices of the congregation as the main instrument.
We will strive to select songs that are not too challenging for our inter-generational and variously talented congregants.
4. We will sing songs that are Sweet:
We will be less concerned with excellence in production than excellence in sincerity and truth, but we will pursue excellence in both.
We will seek to also express our worship in new songs, some for a season, some perennially. And we will refresh the musical delivery of old songs where we feel it would be helpful.
While style is not a matter of first concern for us, we appreciate the simplicity and richness of traditional songs while also leaning into contemporary expressions of songs both old and new.
There are no clear models in the New Testament of a “worship leader” and we affirm that a church can appropriately worship together without one. Yet we believe it is clear that God gifts certain individuals to lead congregations in participating in corporate musical worship. The worship leader serves by encouraging the congregation to sing thoughtfully, truthfully and emotionally.
Responsibilities of the Worship Leader:
To lead the worship team in spiritual and musical preparation for the Sunday worship service.
To lead the congregation in musical worship on Sunday mornings.
To continue to build our repertoire of songs according to the above parameters.
To manage the participation of volunteers in each service.
To implement the order of service each week, notifying the administrative assistant of the order for the bulletin and using PCO (or similar program) to keep all service participants informed.
To be available for two special services: Christmas Eve and Good Friday (unless other arrangements are made as approved by the Senior Pastor).
To be regularly available to lead in worship for venues where we desire a time of singing. These times will be limited and within reason, but the expectation is for the Worship Leader to maintain a posture of wanting to help in venues outside of Sunday morning only.