This Sunday

Our Sunday Gatherings: Worshipper or Spectator?

Sunday is coming. Are you excited?

How do you prepare for our gatherings as a church family? Do you? For some, church has primarily become a spectator event. We go to be entertained, which doesn’t require much preparation, does it? Do you prepare to go to the movies? I don’t (well…except for when I might occasionally sneak in candy…or coffee…or coffee and candy).

But do you see the point? If church is all about you, than the onus is on everyone else to make sure you have a good time and you can just come to receive. You need to be encouraged, you need people to seek you out, you need the music to sound a certain way, or Eric to preach for a certain amount of time, or the meeting to end so you can get on with your life.

But what if the church gathering isn’t primarily about you? What if the reason we are gathering is much more about worshipping God than our own personal edification? Now don’t get me wrong, if you worship God, you will be edified. Abundantly. But I think at times our perspective can begin with ourselves and what we are going to get out of it instead of beginning with the God who we worship. How might being a worshipper change the way you prepare for Sundays?

Here are a couple suggestions:

A worshipper prepares to experience God. Thankfully, we no longer have to follow all of the laws of the Old Testament in order to meet with God and his people. We don’t have to wash ourselves (although that is still recommended), make sacrifices, or have a mediator. Jesus is our perfect High Priest, who enables us to come with confidence. But confidence does not equal casualness. A worshipper acknowledges that God speaking to them is a weighty and glorious thing. We prepare as worshippers by recognizing that it is only through Jesus that God’s revelation brings hope and joy, not terror and shame. And we gratefully prepare to listen.

A worshipper prepares to respond. When God reveals himself to us, things happen. Experiencing God leads to a response. We do this by ministering to one another. An awareness of God’s love leads to sharing it with others. Seeing God’s forgiveness leads us to confess our sins to each other. Experiencing God’s comfort leads us to care for one another. Our response to God is edifying his body, our church family. He uses you and me. It’s pretty amazing. Our worship doesn’t stop when the singing ends, or the preacher says, ‘amen’, it continues as we encourage, pray for, exhort, and care for one another. A worshipper prepares to be used by God in our gatherings in grateful response to all God has done.

So as you come this Sunday, pray that God will help you experience him and respond to his revelation in worship.

Sunday is coming. Prepare as a worshipper, not a spectator.

This Sunday — October 6, 2013

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” Eph. 1:3-4

This is the verse we get to meditate on as we sing, study, and take communion together this Sunday.

We also have the great joy of welcoming 35 people that want to partner with us as members of Redeemer!

As you prepare for this Sunday, ask God how he might use you to bless others. Who can you encourage? What Scripture could you share? What group of people could God have you pray for?

As we continue in the new Sunday structure we’ve established, we will have time after the message to respond by ministering to each other and celebrating the glorious truths we’ve seen.

Come ready to participate!

You can listen to a Spotify playlist of the songs here.

 

Order of Service

– Come Praise and Glorify

Call to Worship

– Psalm 62 (Find Rest My Soul in God Alone)

– It if Finished

Welcome New Members

Song of Preparation – I Need Thee Ev’ry Hour

Message – Ephesians 1:3-4

Response Time/Communion

 All I Have is Christ

– Happy Day

– Grace and Peace

Benediction

This Sunday – September 29, 2013

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” Romans 1:16

Tomorrow, we get to see and experience this gospel as we sing about it, study it in Ephesians, and see the effect it has had on four people as they get baptized. I have read through the testimonies of the four people, and they speak of the powerful effect of the gospel. You do not want to miss this!

Maybe you have been discouraged this week, weighed down by the world, your sin, trials in your life. God calls you to gather with his church and look up, and see his powerful love.

I encourage you to spend 5 minutes as you travel to church praying that God would remind us of his love. He can make dead hearts alive. He can redeem any sin. He has the power to transform our perspective on life. Ask God that he would speak to us!

We’re teaching a new song: Grace and Peace you can listen to here.

Order of service

-My Hope is Built on Nothing Less

Call to Worship

– Always Forgiven

Song of Preparation

Message

– Grace and Peace

Baptisms (Phil Kuhlman, Rachel Rogers, Aimee Kim, Dan Shen)

– Made Alive

– Happy Day

This Sunday – September 22, 2013

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and all that is within me,
    bless his holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits. (Psalm 103:1-2)

This Sunday we get to obey this command to bless the Lord for all that he has done!

I wrote a blog post today that describes what I am praying we will experience each Sunday as we start our study in Ephesians. Please take a couple minutes to read it and consider how you can come expecting God will speak to us.

You can also listen to a Spotify playlist of the songs we’re going to sing here.

Order of service:

– Praise to the Lord the Almighty 

Call to Worship

– 10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord) 
– Behold Our God 

Missional Prayer

Song of Preparation – Show Us Christ

Message

Response/Communion

– Be Thou My Vision 
– All I Have Is Christ 
– The Saving One 

Benediction

What are you expecting this Sunday?

Do you walk/drive/metro to church on Sundays ready to experience God? I typically have a lot to do on Sunday. I normally have a few meetings in the morning, a band rehearsal, instruments to bring, announcements to remember, etc. I’m normally pretty distracted once 4:30pm comes. You might come directly from watching a football game (i.e. being depressed if you’re a Redskins fan), or you’re trying to wake up from a nap, or you’ve had to wake up your kid from their nap and you’re annoyed that church has interrupted your sanity, or you’re already dreading waking up at 6am tomorrow morning. Let’s be honest, meeting in the afternoon carries with it a lot of distractions. We might come to do our Christian duty, hear information, see some friends, work out your singing voice, but not to hear from the living God. I’m too busy for that!

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak at a Korean American youth retreat with two different churches. Why did they ask me? I have no idea. But that’s beside the point. The last night of the retreat, all of the leaders and pastors got together before the meeting and began praying that God would move powerfully. I was sitting in the back and had already spoken five times over the past two days and I was actually pretty ready to leave immediately after the meeting. I was distracted. But something happened as they prayed and as the meeting started. Something that I honestly, have not felt in a long time. I experienced God. The words of the songs weren’t anything new, nothing spectacular happened, but during the singing and as I preached afterwards, I had a tangible sense of God’s presence and an expectation in my heart that God was there and he was speaking.

I came home from that time desirous that we experience the same thing at our Sunday gatherings. I want myself and I want you all to come ready to experience God, expectant that he is going to speak, and desirous that he will use us to edify others. Do you want the same thing?

We are starting our series in Ephesians this Sunday, and as we do, we are making a couple changes to help facilitate this desire.

– I’m going to write a couple blog posts in the next few weeks to hopefully stimulate our thinking in how we can better prepare for our Sunday gatherings. I’d love for all of us to think through how we can do this and share suggestions.

– We are going to sing less on the front end in order to leave more time after the message to pray, sing, and encourage one another. The book of Ephesians is comprised of many prayers and songs. The apostle Paul moves from theology to prayer to worship throughout the book. We want to follow that pattern in our services.

– We are going to encourage participation. During our gatherings, we will leave space for people to pray individually and corporately, share Scriptures with the church, give impressions they have, and encourage others.

– Members of the church are going to post how to prepare for the upcoming service each week, and then give discussion questions afterwards.

There are many people in the church that have been praying for this series and our times together, I encourage you to join with us.

Sunday gatherings are family gatherings. God is our Father, and we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. Each Sunday there is a feast for us – reveling in the gospel of grace in Jesus Christ.

So come. Come every Sunday. Come even if you’re tired, weary, burdened, or distracted. Come expecting that God is going to meet us.

See you on Sunday!

This Sunday – September 15th, 2013

I’m looking forward to gathering together tomorrow to sing, study, and take communion together!

Duke will be leading our times of singing, and we have the privilege of hearing from Curt Allen as he preaches from God’s word.

You can listen to a Spotify list of the songs here as a way to prepare to sing together.

Order of service:

– Forever
Call to Worship
– Be Still My Soul
– Great Is Thy Faithfulness
– Love Shines

Missional Prayer
Vision
Song of Preparation – I Surrender All
Message
Communion
– Jesus Paid It All
– It is Finished

This Sunday – March 17th, 2013

“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:1-5

This Sunday, we have the privilege to gather together to bless the Lord by singing, studying, and taking communion.

Eric will continue our series in 1 John entitled “Confidently Christian”. He will be preaching from 1 John 1:5-10.

Ben will lead our missional prayer as we pray for Access Partners, a ministry we support that “builds businesses to enable church planting among people least reached by the gospel.”

I’ll lead our times of singing, focusing our attention on the love that God has displayed, and after the message we’ll sing about the forgiveness offered to us through Jesus.

Hope to see you there!

Order of Service:

Call to Worship
– Come Praise and Glorify
– Cornerstone
– Here is Love

Missional Prayer
Song of Preparation – Speak O Lord
Message – 1 John 1:5-10
Communion
– Shine into our Night
– We Bring Our Sins To Jesus
– Before the Throne of God Above

Benediction

This Sunday – March 10th, 2013

“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” Ps. 34:8

This Sunday we have the joy of singing, studying and taking communion together, all for the purpose of seeing and celebrating Jesus Christ!

Eric will be continuing our series in 1 John, preaching from 1:1-4.

I’ll be leading our times of singing. The first half will focus on God’s faithfulness to us. After the message, we’ll take an extended time to minister to one another through singing, taking communion, and praying for those who are struggling with doubt.

Please pray that God would meet us in a powerful way as we gather as the church.

Order of Service –

Call to Worship
10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)
Yesterday, Today and Forever (A new song for us)
– How Firm a Foundation (hymn)

Missional Prayer
Song of Preparation – Your Words of Life
Message – 1 John 1:1-4
Communion
Show us Christ
My Redeemer’s Love
Here is Love
All I Have is Christ

This Sunday – Jan. 20th, 2012

Tomorrow we are going to gather to sing, study, and take communion together. We also have the joy of welcoming 22 new members into Redeemer!

Eric will be continuing our series in Ecclesiastes, preaching from Ecc. 8:1-10:20 and Duke will be leading our time of singing.

Order of Service –

Call to Worship
– Love Shines
– I Have a Shelter
– Jesus Paid It All

Welcoming New Members
– White as Snow
Prayer for Sanctity of Life Sunday
Message – Ecc. 8:1-10:20
Communion
– Completely Done
– Happy Day

This Sunday – Jan 13th, 2012

This Sunday we will be gathering to sing, study and take communion together.

Chris Hemmelman will continue our series in Ecclesiastes, preaching from Ecc. 6:10-7:29. Please take time to read the passage before the service if you are able.

Duke will be leading our time of singing drawing our attention to the Redeeming love of Jesus.

Pray that God would meet us powerfully as we gather!

Order of service:

Call to Worship
10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)
– There Is A Fountain (hymn)
Be Thou My Vision
Your Name Alone Can Save

Song of Preparation – Only Jesus
Message – Ecc 6:10-7:29
Communion
Rock of Ages (hymn)
Stronger