WHAT TO EXPECT AT OUR WORSHIP GATHERING
PROFILE: We meet each Sunday morning at Greenwood Mill Elementary School (directions). Our service formally begins at 10:30am and typically ends around 12:00 pm. Though we are not a large church, you'll find a diverse group of people who are mostly in their 20-50s. Our members are very warm and friendly; but we encourage you to be bold and introduce yourself.
WORSHIP: We love gathering together to worship God in spirit and in truth. When we come to the Sunday morning service, we come as participants, not consumers. We come to do something; namely, to worship God. During our time together, we endeavor to ensure that all eyes are on God. As a result, He does something in us. At the heart of our meeting is the conviction that God breathes life into his people through his word. That is why we speak of our time together as Word-saturated worship; where we read the Word, pray the Word, sing the Word, preach the Word, and see the Word (through baptism and communion).
MUSIC: We believe that the songs we sing together should give us a rich vocabulary for life and worship before God. Whether they come from the sixteenth century or the twenty-first, we want to sing songs that are God-exalting, Gospel-centered, Word-saturated, and theologically-rich (Colossians 3:16-17). Congregational singing is a beautiful thing as it emphasizes God's people gathering to praise Him with one voice. We enlist singers and instrumentalists to provide leadership so that the voice of the congregation is the primary instrument of praise.
READING AND PRAYER: We want to hear from God and communicate back to Him. Thus, we read His Word and pray. Our normal practice is to read two passages of Scripture that support the theme of the sermon text, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament. After each of these Scripture readings, one of our men prays on behalf of all who are present. His prayer will align closely with the Scripture just read, will be carefully thought through, and will be sincerely offered from his heart and ours. In them, we thank God for these truths, confess our failure to obey them, and praise God for His grace to us through the sacrifice of Christ.
SERMON: We believe that God is most glorified and the body is most edified by expository preaching. By expository, we mean that the intent of the sermon is to explain the unalterable meaning of the text and press its eternal implication upon the hearts of those who hear. When the meaning of the Scripture becomes clear, its power is unleashed to transform lives. Sermons usually last from forty-five minutes to an hour and are packed with material for reflection and application. On a regular basis, we are teaching through books of the Bible, alternate between different genres in the Bible. All preaching is driven by the Gospel, the Bible’s main message of God saving sinners through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
RESPONSE: We respond by singing a song that flows out of the theme of the sermon and then taking our seats once more for a brief moment of silent prayer. This is a special time to consider what the Lord has just said to us through His Word, to thank Him for His truth, and to surrender ourselves, by His grace, to obey what He has said. Elders are available after the worship service for further discussion, counsel, and prayer.
FELLOWSHIP: We provide light refreshments in the common area before and after the service to encourage fellowship. This is a wonderful time to connect with other Christians in the Winchester area. After the service, in particular, we encourage people to stay around a while and discuss what we all just heard from the Scriptures, sharing with one another what we learned and how we might respond.