We believe that glorifying God through worship is one of the essential elements of a Christian life. The Master's Seal offers a worship experience that you may never forget and endeavors to help you best give glory to God's presence in your life.
At first the worship service at The Master's Seal may seem a little odd. This guide is meant to help you understand what we do in our worship service and why.
Foundational to our understanding is that the worship service is not designed as an evangelistic event, but is the appointed time each week when God’s people gather for the purpose of performing their joyful duty of worship. That is, the worship service is for believers, not unbelievers. This does not mean that we are unconcerned about reaching unbelievers with the gospel; it simply means that this is not the primary purpose of the worship service itself. Also, very importantly, we do not exclude unbelievers from our worship gatherings. In fact, we are more than happy when people who are unconvinced of the claims of the Gospel of Christ are present. It is our great hope that they will hear the gospel, see God’s people worshiping him, hear the songs and the sermon, and be changed by them so that they, too, can join with God’s people in worshiping him.
How a worship service is structured is clearly a matter that is not agreed upon by all, and we are not dogmatic that everything we do is what everyone everywhere must do. In fact, we are always open to being convinced from Scripture that we should change what we are doing. This Order of Worship (or liturgy) reflects our best understanding of what should be included in the worship of God.
The basic idea is that the worship service should reflect the gospel interaction between God and his people, and a renewal of the covenant that he has entered into with us. The flow and elements point to different aspects of the life of the believer in relation to God and other Christians. In our worship we become one in a highly participatory service in which God’s people worship him in Spirit and in truth.
We hope you find this guide helpful. Come, let us worship the Lord together!
THE LORD CALLS US
There is a responsive greeting as soon as one walks through our doors. The pastor and congregation exchange greetings all centered on the exaltation and praise of the Triune God.
Call to Worship
The formal call to worship is reflective of God’s call to mankind generally, and his people specifically, to worship him. God created man to be in relationship with him, and the proper response from man to God is to worship him. Typically from the Psalms, the call goes out for everyone assembled to worship God as Creator, Savior and Lord.
Opening Hymn, Scripture and Invocation
Psalm 100:2 tells us to "Come into his presense with singing!" So we begin our worship by entering into his presence with a hymn of adoration. We "enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!"
THE LORD CLEANSES US
Praise and Worship in Singing
The Scripture tells us that God inhabits the praises of his people. Singing is a way that the gathered church is able to lift praises to God, pray to him, adore him and encourage one another in our faith as we sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. A congregation that sings heartily before the Lord is a congregation that is truly happy in him.
Responsive Scripture Readings
The public reading of Scripture – Old and New Testaments – is a vital part of the worship and life of the church. From the Scripture we hear from God himself. The Old Testament is a rich record of God’s redemptive work in and through his people pointing to the coming Christ. In light of the new life we have in Christ, we are encouraged and instructed from the reading of a passage from the New Testament.
A response to God's blessing by giving a good-will offering to the local church.
A summary statement of our weekly and monthly commitments
Responding rightly to God’s call means we recognize our inability to worship him purely because sin distorts our worship. God calls us to repent of (to turn from) our sin. A call to repentance goes out from a pastor, reflecting God’s call upon all to forsake sin and turn to him. Confessing sin is an ongoing part of the Christian life.
Confession doesn’t mean “admitting” something, but rather it means to agree with God that sin is a reality in our lives and that we acknowledge its damaging effects on us. This is true of us individually, and as a body (the church is called the “body of Christ”). This means that there are corporate sins that we must confess before God and one another. Our individual sins affect ourselves and our church as well. As we confess together, we are corporately and individually forsaking our sin in favor of Christ. We draw near with a humble heart and confess our sins to God, our Father, imploring him in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to grant us forgiveness.
Scripture tells us that “if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” So having confessed our sins (corporate and individual), we hear the promise of God’s forgiveness. What a joyful thing to hear the promise that God has forgiven us! Now, with joy and humility we are able to rightly come before him with singing!
Ministry in Music
Our choir comes before the congregation with singing by agreeing with God that it is right and beneficial that we should give thanks to God, and acknowledges that we are joining with the company of heaven and with all the church on earth to praise and magnify the Lord.
THE LORD CONCECRATES US
The Word Preached
The preaching of the Word is central to Christian worship. The proclamation of the gospel message and its implications is the God-ordained means of correcting and exhorting his people in the ways of godliness.
Call to Discipleship
This is a call to be set apart, challenged, and taught so we see and adhere to the call and mission Christ gives us. The word "disciple" literally means someone who pledges to be a “learner.” Moreover, it is someone who follows another's teaching, and adheres to it. It is a commitment and a process to undertake the learning, and, as a Christian, a yearning to imitate Jesus!
Communion [The Lord’s Supper -1st Sundays unless otherwise stated]
This ceremonial meal is the invitation for believers as the body of Christ to enjoy table fellowship with the King of kings. In this meal we remember Christ’s death, celebrate the life we now have together in him, and anticipate the future marriage supper of the Lamb.
Tithes and Offerings
We respond to God's blessings to us by bringing gifts of tithes and offerings.
THE LORD COMMISSIONS US
A blessing, or good word, is spoken from Scripture to impart a blessing on those present as we depart from the worship service.
The Lord’s Day is a feast day! Each week we all bring food to share in a fellowship meal. In this meal we seek to cultivate and express the fellowship we have in Christ in a simple yet meaningful way. Guests are eagerly invited to stay and enjoy this meal with us!