Peoria Christian Reformed Church

Worship

Introduction Statement on Worship:

As Reformed Christians, our worship is rooted in Scripture. In worship, the triune God calls his body to gather and delight in his Word, learning and remembering the nature and character of God and of the Christian life.  In worship we prioritize preaching, singing, praying, and giving.  

Expanded Worship Principles:

In seeking to Glorify God in and through worship:

1. Our worship will be God-centered. It will be to Him and for Him. (1 Chron 16:23-31; Rev 19:10, 22:9)

2. Our worship will be a dialogue between God and his people, a rhythm of revelation (Word and Sacrament) and response (confession, profession, singing, prayer, giving). (Ps 29, 96:4, 119:169-172)

3. The role of the Word and biblically faithful, gospel preaching will be prominent, using both Old and New Testaments as well as Reformed creeds to guide us into the truths of God’s Word. (Ps 1; 119:1-2, 33-37; 2 Pet 1:19-21; Col 1:28)

4. We will reverently and joyfully observe the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord Supper to reflect on God‘s promises, to strengthen our faith, and to draw us closer to Jesus and fellow believers. (Luke 22:19; Heb 12:28-29)

5. Our worship will be both congregational and personal, not individual or private. It will be participatory, where all share the responsibility, and the joy, in offering worship, young to old, new convert or mature, visitor or church member. To support this, worship should be well planned, orderly, intuitive, help focus attention on God, and use scripture and other means such as music, liturgy, sacraments, creeds and other expressions in ways that are easy to learn and use. (Rom 15:5-6; Ps 79:13, 95:6-7, 148:12-13; 1 Cor 14:26-33; Titus 2:2-8)

6. Our worship will be heart and mind worship, in Spirit and in truth, designed to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ but also deeply concerned for the state of our hearts before God. Any form or tradition should contribute to our desire to worship God with all our heart, soul and mind. (Isaiah 29:13; Hos 6:6, Ps 89:9-12; John 4:21-24; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Thes 4:1)

7. The People of God sing and make music (Ps 100, Col 3:16).

The principle direction of our singing and all music is “to the Lord” (Exod 15; Ps 96:1-2) and should lead our thoughts toward God rather than ourselves.  (Neh 9:5-6; Ps108:1-5) 

Both tune and text should glorify God, and the tune serve the text.  Worship music, with or without words, can foster sincerity and a prepared heart. But worship music with words should tend less towards what it does to us but rather on what we do with the song, the biblical model of song being used to communicate with God and exhorting one another. (Ps 34:1-3; Col 3:16; Eph 5:19)

The entire congregation is our primary choir, and therefore songs should encourage corporate worship. Others who may volunteer from time to time have the role of aiding the whole body in worship of God. Such ministries of music are wonderful, but not essential.  Congregational singing is essential. (Psalms 145-150; Phil 3:3)

Our songs reflect the experience of the Christian life in relationship with God and His people, as evidenced in the songs found in scripture…songs of praise, thanksgiving, confession, lament, intercession and dedication.  And our singing expresses belief in the communion of the saints and the church catholic…the young ones, the old ones, the ones around the world and the ones that have gone before. (Isa 59:21; Rev 5:9-10)

For more principles of music of the church, see 1987 ed. gray Psalter Hymnal Introduction to the Psalms, Bible Songs and Hymns, pgs 11-15.