Below is an outline of the shape of our worship services. This sort of thing is often called a “liturgy,” which simply refers to the elements and order of our worship. Each Sunday at ECC includes the following:
Call to Worship
Worship begins with God. Because God has first spoken to us through his creation, through his written Word, and ultimately through his Son, we joyfully respond to his revelation in adoration and praise (Rom. 12:1; 1 Pet. 2:9). After a prelude song, during which some are still finding their seats, we begin our service with a reading from God’s Word which invites us to worship him in spirit and truth.
We sing songs throughout the worship service that exalt the triune God, declaring who he is and what he has done through Christ Jesus. Our primary emphasis is on helping the congregation sing praise to God so that the Word of Christ will dwell in us richly (Col. 3:16-17). Our musical style is contemporary, singing mostly hymns and modern worship songs that are rich in biblical doctrine and help to awaken our emotions with truth. Some weeks, we will utilize a full band for our musical accompaniment; other weeks, it will be more of an ‘acoustic’ feel with just one or two instruments. The goal is for our singing to be participatory, not an observational experience. Check out our Spotify playlist: ECC Sunday Songs
Confession of Sin & Assurance of Pardon
While our initial response to God’s revelation is both wonder and worship, we are then reminded of our uncleanness, brokenness, and unworthiness before him. After a song of praise or two, we enter into a time of corporate and individual confession. By confessing our sins to God in prayer, we are acknowledging that apart from his mercy and grace, we offend His holy character. After confession comes the Assurance of Pardon, a corporate reminder from Scripture of the forgiveness given to those who confess their sins by faith (1 John 1:9). This includes a song focusing on the story of the gospel: the good news of what God has done for us in Christ and by his Spirit
Confession of Faith
After hearing and singing the gospel, we take time to corporately confess the faith once for all delivered to the saints by reciting one of the ancient, ecumenical creeds of the Christian church. Reciting the creeds is not only a helpful way for us and our children to know what we believe, but it helps to reinforce the unity we have with other Christians across denominational lines and connect us to the universal church of Christ throughout space and time. These creeds include the Apostles’ Creed (2nd century), the Nicene Creed (381), and The Chalcedonian Creed (451).
As we conclude our brief time of fellowship in song, we transition into a time of prayer led by one of our pastors. Since everything we do is dependent upon God and his grace, prayer is an appropriate, worshipful, and thankful expression of that dependency (Matt. 6:7-13). This is a time when specific needs and issues related to the life of the church, as well as our community and the nations, are addressed.
Preaching is the act that opens up, explains, and applies the Scriptures to us, and it is absolutely essential for the growth and spiritual nourishment of the church (2 Tim. 3:16-4:2). As the Shorter Catechism puts it: “The Spirit of God makes the reading but especially the preaching of the Word an effectual means of convincing and converting sinners and of building them up in holiness and comfort through faith unto salvation." Therefore, each week the sermon is founded upon biblical truths that will challenge and encourage us to grow in the grace and knowledge of God; we preach “Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). We are committed to the faithful exposition of the Scriptures in order to declare the whole counsel of God. This is the heart of our service and is typically about 45 minutes in length.
The Lord’s Supper
Jesus instituted this meal on the night before his crucifixion to commemorate his death, to symbolize the New Covenant, and to anticipate the feast in the age to come (1 Cor. 10:16-17; 11:23-26; Rev. 19:7-10). When we eat the bread and drink the cup, we are dramatizing our union with him, our communion with one another, and the work that he continues to do in us by the Spirit (1 Cor. 10:16-17). In other words, we look back to his death, around at the church, up to the risen and exalted Christ (Heb. 4:14-16), and forward to the day our Lord Jesus returns. Since the Lord's Supper is a celebration of Jesus as the Lord, Savior, and greatest Treasure of our lives—not every guest participates. If you have not trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, if you are not a member of his body, you can simply pass along the bread and the cup to the person next to you.
Following one last song at the conclusion of our service, one of our leaders will read a passage of Scripture, pronouncing a blessing on those gathered to worship. As God’s church, empowered by his Spirit, we are then scattered to worship—sent out into the world to make disciples and change our communities through the gospel. We go with the pardon, presence, and peace of Christ (John 16:33).