A "worship service" usually refers to the regular, weekly gathering of Christians together to worship the Lord. How can we make sure our times are truly biblical?
First, we can look at the practices of the first church for guidance: "And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers" (Acts 2:42). A biblical worship service involves a focus on learning God's Word (the apostles' teaching), community with other believers, the breaking of bread (which can also include communion), and prayer.
Second, worship can include a variety of songs that honor God and inspire believers. Colossians 3:16-17 teaches, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." At the Last Supper, Jesus and His followers also sang a hymn of praise as part of their time together (Mark 14:26).
Third, a biblical worship service should also include thanksgiving. Ephesians 5:19-20 teaches we are to be "addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Fourth, worship gatherings should have some kind of order. Though much variety and creativity can be involved, 1 Corinthians 14:40 clearly teaches, "But all things should be done decently and in order."
Fifth, a biblical worship service can include collecting an offering. First Corinthians 16:1-2 teaches, "Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come."
Sixth, a biblical worship service can include baptism and communion. Baptism is an opportunity for believers to publicly declare their allegiance to God before other believers (Matthew 28:19). Communion is an activity believers can share together on a regular basis to remember the Lord, His suffering on the cross, and His resurrection (1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Acts 20:7).
Our worship should be done in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), meaning it should be a heart response to the worth of who God has revealed Himself to be and grounded in the truth of His Word. Our worship services should allow believers the opportunity to grow, encourage one another, honor God, and be equipped for acts of service in the community and world.
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