Outline for a typical Worship Service
- CALL TO WORSHIP [or start with singing to ‘gather’ people]
- SINGING[3 songs] “song title” (Hymnal or Supplement number)
- CONFESSION & PARDON[include silence]
- PASSING THE PEACE & WELCOME VISITORS
- SHARING & PRAYER
[be sure to include the “Praying for the Local / Global Church” for that week]
- OFFERING / SINGING[2 songs]
“song title” (Hymnal or Supplement number)]
- CHIDREN’S TIME
- SCRIPTURE READING
- SINGING[song that relates to sermon]
“song title” (Hymnal or Supplement number)
- SERMON RESPONSE
- SINGING[song that sends us forth; sing only if there is time]
“song title” (Hymnal or Supplement number)
Anne Yoder and the worship committee put together this outline. Please also remember the following responsibilities:
- Worship Leader sends outline to Song Leader as early in the week as possible;
- Song Leader fills in songs in outline and sends it back to Worship Leader and informs musician/s of song choices;
- Worship Leader sends final outline to the administrative assistant by Friday morning at the latest.
Suggestion for leading Worship
Worship is not a program — it is an encounter with the Living God. It is not for the purpose of pleasing ourselves, but is centered on God, who alone is worthy of receiving our praises and prayers. Worship includes the entire service. Within this framework, there is movement from praise and adoration, to hearing the Word, to confession and response, to sharing, to being sent forth. The arrangements of the elements that make up a service may vary, but the reason we worship never changes.
It is expected that worship leaders will talk with the others on the worship team for that week (especially the pastor and song leader) at least 7 days, and preferably more, prior to the service being led, in order to coordinate all the elements so that they flow well and fit together thematically. Remember that the pastor is always available for consultation as you prepare the service.
Be creative in planning worship, and consider using various media such as:
- Visuals: banners, paintings, and photographs can be hung at the front of the chapel, on the balcony railings, or on the black felt backdrop behind the piano;
- The spoken word: dramas, readings, poetry;
- Movement: liturgical dance, processionals;
- Variety of music: congregational singing, instrumental or vocal solos, and group presentations. Check the worship participation survey for details on who is willing to serve. Make use of families, small groups, children, and youth when leading worship;
- Altar table: flowers and candles or visual art help to serve as a focal point to begin our worship;
- Bulletin cover: graphics, clip art, or scripture texts.
Worship leaders play a vital role in the way our congregation experiences corporate worship. Your thoughtful planning in advance and prayerful presence during the service, and your openness to the Spirit disrupting those plans when necessary, are all elements that prepare us to honor and glorify God. May the Lord bless your efforts on behalf of WPMF, as we worship God together.
All worship and other leaders for the service should arrive no later than 8:30 a.m., and be finished setting up by 8:45 a.m. At that time we will join together for prayer in the office. Pre-service music or singing can help the congregation be ready to begin worship together at 9:00 a.m.
A typical service will include the people of God gathering to praise, to hear the Word and respond, to share our joys and concerns, to partake in communion, and to be sent forth with God’s grace.
Click here and here to read more suggestions from the Worship Committee on each component of the service: to praise, to hear the word and respond, to share our joys and concerns, to partake in Communion, and to be sent forth.
The bolded wording is what is to be conveyed each time we celebrate communion. For all other parts you can change the wording that’s given as example, as well as change the order of the sections.
Introduce what communion is (this helps give context for those who haven’t grown up in church contexts):
Example “Communion is a sign of reconciliation, God reaching towards us. Offering grace. It is also about our response. Affirming that we are choosing to be a part of God’s people and the way of Jesus in the world.
It is a time when we remember the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and are invited into the present and incoming future where chains will be broken and bondage will be no more.”
Give the words of “institution” or describe the last supper:
Example: “And so we remember, at the last supper, Jesus and his disciples were celebrating Passover. The time to remember God freeing the Israelites from oppression. And Jesus took the familiar symbol of bread and blessed it, giving thanks to God, then broke it, as was the custom of the day.
Then he said, this is my body, broken for you. And after they had eaten, he took the wine and blessed it, another familiar gesture for the host. And said this is the new covenant, in my blood. Do this in remembrance of me.”
Describe our practice and it’s meaning with the following words:
“As has been our practice in this congregation, children are invited to take grapes. As recognition of being part of God’s family and growing in faith, while not needing to make larger faith decisions.
Youth and adults who are being drawn to Jesus and choosing to follow God’s ways, are invited to take the bread and cup. If you have been baptized, it’s a time to remember and renew that public commitment. If you haven’t, it is a time to remember the commitments you have made in more private settings. And is a step in your journey of maturing faith and decisions.
For all of us, it is a time to experience God’s presence and love, meeting us where we are; with all our fears, struggles, and pressures. Inviting us to come back to ourselves and to our Creator.”
Then give basic instructions:
Example: “You can come forward through the middle aisle. There are gluten-free crackers to my (right or left). Or the bread is gluten-free. The grapes are to my (right or left). If taking the bread and cup, pull off a piece of bread and dip it in the grape juice.”