The Worship of Missional People: Ekklesia
At the invitation of God, we come into God’s presence:
- Welcome: As we gather, we start with the picture of God who invites, who is full of love, grace, mercy and acceptance. All are welcomed into a safe and creative place. “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalm 100: 5)
- Prayer of Invocation: We acknowledge that we are in God’s presence and pray that we may be fully present to God. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” (Psalm 100: 4).
‘…be filled by the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music in your hearts to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Eph 5: 18c – 20 NET). We use:
- Psalms: Many Psalms are prayers of praise that can be used responsively.
- Hymns: Hymns allow us to sing with the mind (and spirit), with meaning and truth.
- Spiritual Songs: These allow us to sing in the spirit from the heart and emotion. ‘…the true worshippers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks.’ (John 4: 23)
- Confession of our faith in God: Repeating the Creed, or other forms of affirmation, reminds us of who God is and what we believe about God. “Know that the Lord is God. It is God who made us, and we are God’s.” (Psalm 150: 3)
- Confession of Sin: The realisation that we have fallen very short of God’s glory, state our sins of omission and commission, with the desire to be forgiven and renewed. “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3: 23)
From the word ‘Shalom’ which means safe, whole and sound. ‘Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”’ (John 19d)
- Absolution: Peace with God is declared over us from God where we receive God’s mercy (which means we do not get we do deserve), and grace (meaning we receive unmerited favour which we do not deserve) from God. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
- Pass the peace: Passing the peace to each other means we are more that recipients of grace, but transmitters as well, as proof of its work in us. ‘Again, Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”’ (John 20: 21)
We hear God’s agenda as we ‘seek first the Kingdom of God’ (Matt 6: 33):
- Reading the Old Testament: This reminds us of the unfolding revelation of God’s work with us, often in the form of stories, so we can be Good News to God’s world.
- Reading the Epistles: This reminds us of the missional journey of the early Church as they embodied and took the Good News to their known world, as should we.
- Reading the Gospel: This reminds us of who the Lord Jesus is, the Kingdom of God, what Jesus did and the role model he is for us. ‘“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”’ (Mark 1: 15)
- Message: In this moment we see how the Good News and missional message applies to our context as the sent ones, the missional members. ‘“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”’ (Mark 1: 17)
- Reflection: To be quiet to hear what Holy Spirit says so we can put into action what we have heard. “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practiceis like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matt 7: 24)
- Petition: Devotion of oneself to God in the service of the Kingdom, the meeting of our needs and the receiving of Holy Spirit power for this mission. ‘”But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”’ (Acts 1: 8)
- Commissioning: We are commissioned to ‘”… go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you...”’ (Matthew 28: 19-20a)
- Offertory: Where we present to God ourselves as ‘living sacrifices’ (Romans 12: 1) which includes our resources of time, talents and tithes for the provision for Ministry and Mission. ‘You shall devote to the Lord the first … of every (thing), (as it) belong to the Lord.’ (Exodus 13: 12)
- Intercession: Prayers for people in need, our context and the world. ‘…in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.’ (Phil 4: 6b)
‘“And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”’ (Matt 28: 20 NET)
- Blessing: We are blessed by God, to go with God, into God’s world, to join in God’s mission and with God’s power. ‘And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.’ (Mark 10:16 - NASB)
- Benediction: This is a short statement for divine help, blessing and guidance. E.g. ‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.’ (2 Corinthians 13:14 – NASB)
- Sharing: A time to connect and share personal stories.
- Going: We go as the sent ones as agents of God’s mission. ‘”As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”’ (John 20: 21b)