"To all who are spiritually weary and seek rest; to all who mourn and long for comfort; to all who struggle and desire hope; to all who sin and need a Savior; to all who are strangers and yearn for fellowship; to all who hunger and thirst after righteousness; and to whoever will come - this church open wide her doors and offers welcome in the name of the risen Lord Jesus Christ."
Worship at Christ the King
There are two ideas to keep in mind as we think about worship.
The first is that worship is a meeting between God and His people. Worship is a recapitulation of the Exodus. God gathers His people out of the world and to the heavenly Sinai (Heb 12:22). He then comes to dwell in their midst in all His splendor and glory.
The second idea is summarized in the word "dialogue." Worship is not a performance at which God is a distant observer. God is a present and active participant. The rhythm of worship is the rhythm of a dialogue in which God speaks and His people respond.
These two ideas create a sense of expectation for our worship and give shape to the entire experience.
Understanding Our Service
The elements in our service bring a sense of order and movement to worship. Week by week, we structure our service with the hope that God's Spirit will use it to encourage our hearts and glorify Himself.
- Prelude - An instrumental piece intended to heighten our sense of anticipation as we enter the presence of God in worship.
- Welcome and Announcements - This is done before the service begins. The elders greet the worshipers and help them to focus their attention of church family matters. Having this take place before worship begins also ensures that worship flows in an uninterrupted fashion.
- Silent Preparation - A time of prayer and contemplation, helping us transition from the outside world of noise and distraction to the world of celebration and rest.
- Call to Worship - God, through the pastor, summoning His people into His presence. The people here add their voices in expectant response.
- Opening Hymn - A hymn of praise that should be viewed as a procession up into the heavenly city.
- Prayer of Adoration - This, the first congregational prayer of the service, acknowledges who God is as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and that we need Him. We call upon Him to show us His mercy. This prayer normally follows a classic pattern: an address to God, an acknowledgement of divine attributes, a petition, an application to the lives of His people, and a final doxology praising Christ as the Mediator of our prayers.
- Affirmation of Faith - The meeting has begun, and our first act in His presence is to confess our allegiance to Him. Just as Israel reaffirmed her commitment to the One and True God while surrounded by the nations, so we, as those who have been gathered from the nations, reaffirm our faith in God who has redeemed us.
- Sanctus or Gloria - A song of the angels to which we join our voices in ascribing glory to the God who has gathered us to Himself.
- The Word of God Read - God speaks to His people. Often, this is a psalm, reminiscent of its use in the Old Testament worship. It reminds us that all of worship stands under the authority of Scripture.
- Hymn of Response - This congregational song underscores the truths we have just read and focuses on some aspect of its teaching, or directs our attention to the coming time of prayer. Sometimes, the hymn is simply an outpouring of praise and adoration, or a prayer sung on behalf of the people. Symbolically, it adorns the truth of God's Word with beauty.
- The Prayers - God has spoken to us. The dialogue continues here, as we speak to God, confessing our sins or expressing our personal and corporate needs and praises.
- Word of Encouragement - Immediately following the prayers, this is a reminder to the people from God (spoken by the minister) that He loves, forgives, hears, and responds to His people. We have an Advocate in heaven, Jesus, in whose name we pray, who lives forever to make intercession for His people (Heb 7:25).
- Hymn - This is a hymn of gratitude to God for His goodness.
- Offering - This element of worship is a symbol of our response to the grace of God. All that we are and all that we have belong to Him, and we give freely because we have received freely.
- Doxology - Literally, "words of glory." We offer glory to the triune God through our praise of Him as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- Prayer of Dedication - The consecration of our gifts and our lives to the cause of Christ before we go forth into the world to serve Him.
- The Word of God Read - God speaks again to His people. The people rise for this reading to show particular attention, honor, and reverence for the Holy Scriptures.
- Prayer for Illumination - This prayer preceding the sermon is a plea that God the Holy Spirit would do in our hearts what Jesus did for the disciples on the road to Emmaus. He caused their hearts to burn within them as He explained the Scriptures. Here, we ask God that what He has previously inspired He would now illumine to us.
- The Sermon - We hear from God again in the Word of God preached. True preaching is opening and applying the truth of God to our lives.
- Pastoral Prayer - This prayer asks God to seal to the hearts of the people the truth they have heard.
- Benediction - God pronounces His blessing upon His people and reassures them that He will be with them throughout their days.
- Dismissal - We go into the world with the praise of Christ on our lips, there to serve Him and represent His grace to those in need.
- Postlude - A joyous instrumental of triumphant spirit to encourage us as we go into the world to be Christ's servants and witnesses.
You may view recent examples of our Order of Worship on our Publications Page.
At Christ the King, regularly observing the sacraments of baptism and communion provide us with occasions for celebrating the grace of God so abundantly showered upon us in the Lord Jesus.
The Sacrament of Baptism
Baptism is a sign and seal of all of the benefits of the finished word of Christ applied by the Holy Spirit. In keeping with patterns established in the Old Testament, this sign is to be applied to those who profess faith in Christ and their children.
Scripture teaches that the children of believing parents are members of the covenant community. We baptize them trusting that everything symbolized in the sacrament is or will become a reality in their lives. Services which include infant baptisms are celebrations as well as times for sober reflection. Parents make vows before God promising to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of Christ. Congregation members promise to assist the parents in that task. Baptism, however, does not confer faith or presume regeneration. Baptized infants must be nurtured in the faith in the hope that they will one day personally make a faith commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. The worship liturgy for a baptism reflects the joy and solemnity of the occasion as prayers, Scripture readings, explanatory remarks, and a hymn focus upon the sacrament.
The Sacrament of Communion
The sacrament of communion is a sign and seal of the grace of God in Jesus Christ. It is a sacrament for the people of God and is "the Gospel for our eyes" as the Word of God is the Gospel for our ears.
We believe in the real presence of Christ at this sacrament. That is, we believe that Christ is present by His Spirit in the administration of the elements of bread and cup.
When we use the Biblical language of "eating the body and drinking the blood of the Lord Jesus" (see John 6:51-58), we understand that, just as we derive our forgiveness from Him, so we derive our spiritual sustenance from Him. He feeds us, not with bread and cup that have been changed into His body, but with Himself as He is communicated to us by His Spirit.
We also understand that the proper administration of the sacrament requires the preaching of the Word.
Therefore, all persons who know that they are sinners and have trusted in Christ alone to forgive their sin and restore them to fellowship with God are commanded to come to this table. We come not because of who we are but because of who Christ is and what He has done for us.
Please note the following guidelines, which will help us all to honor the Lord Jesus and benefit from the sacrament of Communion:
If you are not a Christian, we invite you to pray, seeking Christ and His grace, as the elements are distributed. While Scripture prohibits us from serving you the elements, it is our sincere desire to minister to you. We encourage you to speak with one of the elders following the service if you have any questions or needs of any kind. We especially encourage you to speak with us about the Good News of the Gospel of forgiveness and freedom in Jesus.
Visitors and newcomers to Christ the King who are members in good standing of an evangelical church are encouraged to participate in this sacrament. If you have children who are believers and participate in the Lord's Supper in your home church, they are invited to participate as well.
May you be greatly encouraged as you remember the Lord's death and feed upon Him in your hearts by faith!