What to Expect on Sundays
Every church has an order of service. When you show up, something happens then something else and something else and then it ends. That’s the order of the service. The New Testament does not give the church an outline as to what that order must be.
At TRBC, we recognized that God often works in patterns. In creation for example, God speaks things into being. Then He separates things like light and waters and lands. Then He creates people and gives them instructions on how to follow Him and graces them with a garden. He commissions them to care for the garden and for each other.
A similar pattern is found when God calls His elect like Abraham or the Apostles or when he saves somebody. God calls people to be his own or to leave a people and follow Him. Then God separates them from how others think by revealing His holiness and their sinfulness. Then God instructs them as to what He wants them to do and how to behave and think. Finally He sends them out into the world with His message and commissions them to care for each other.
Based on this pattern, TRBC developed a liturgy, a “public service,” that somewhat follows this pattern. It is similar, but not identical, to many historical Christian services conducted throughout church history.
1. GOD CALLS This begins our liturgy. God calls His people to gather together and worship Him. We read some of His word; we begin responding together as a body, we sing songs together and we pray. Finally we recite a historical creed of the Christian faith.
2. GOD SEPARATES In the next part of the pattern, God reveals His holiness and our pitiful, sinful estate. We silently and corporately confess our sins to Him. Then we get to read one of the many promises of God that those who confess their sins and are broken before Him will be forgiven by His graciousness and mercy! We respond again as a people and sing songs of gratitude for His mercy.
3. THE MEANS OF GRACE God is gracious in many, many ways to us all day long. In this section, we hear readings and teachings from His scriptures. The ability to hear God’s word in our own language is a great grace indeed. We sing together and pray for the church, the world, our governments and local needs. Finally, we are blessed to partake of the Lord’s Supper. All these are some of God’s many ways He shows His grace to us.
4. THANKSGIVING AND SUCCESSION We show a bit of gratitude to God by offering some of our money to support the church. Finally, we give an offering of song. Then we are sent out, commissioned to do His will, to do good works, to teach others about Him and to love one another.