Why the Changes to Worship?

By: Pastor Mike Barnhart

Psalm 96:1-3 says, “Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth! Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!”

When we gather weekly for worship, the Bible instructs us to “sing” and “declare.” This is about lifting our voices to God in praise and proclaiming the truths of His Word through preaching. But, we also see in Scripture that we are to pray earnestly, share fellowship with one another, give faithfully and generously, and celebrate the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Typically, we attempt to accomplish all of this in a 60-minute window.

As you might imagine, 60 minutes is not a lot of time to faithfully practice each of these aspects of worship. That is one of the reasons why we are investigating some new ways of structuring our worship service order.

On Sunday, September 17, the staff will begin to try some new things in regards to our weekly order of worship. The most notable may be that we will typically begin with singing instead of announcements; the announcements will be moved to immediately follow our time of singing. The hope is that our singing to God together actually unites and aligns our hearts with God before doing too much verbal communication. 

The next change you may notice is that we will not primarily use our worship service announcements for conveying detailed information. The announcement time will primarily be for how ministry relates to the mission God has given us—to treasure God & love people. Detailed information about ministries can be found on the website, in the bulletin, in the Flash News, and at the Welcome Center.

Another difference will be with the pastoral prayer. Prayer is a vital part of our worship services, and we want our worship services to model how to encounter God. We will start with a call to worship; we will confess our sins; we will make our requests known to God; and we will respond to the Word of God. Each of these four elements will be part of our worship services. Sometimes the call to worship will be a prayer, while other times it will be a Scripture that is read. We will confess our sins to God and take our requests to him. We will also pray in response to the Word being preached.

You may notice a few other changes to our order of worship, including an increased use of visual media and more time for singing. Since there are many acceptable ways to structure a worship service, we are trying some new things to see how they work for FBC. Thank you for your commitment to participate in worshiping God together on Sunday mornings. It’s a joy to worship with you!