The word "worship" means to acknowledge the "worth-ship" of God. Unfortunately, in many contemporary "worship services" there is more focus making the audience feel good than there is on God. When a congregation focuses on mankind's feelings, his preferences, and his self esteem, they actually end up entertaining the people rather than glorifying God.
We attempt to focus totally on the Lord in our services, acknowledging His infinite worth and our total depravity. By that, we mean that our Lord is the one who created us and sustains us (Genesis 1-2; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 11:3; etc) . He is the one who worked out our salvation (John 3:16-18) and He is in the process of bringing us to maturity in Christ (2Timothy 3:17). He calls us His "ambassadors" to this sinful world (2Corinthians 5:18-20), thus making us totally dependent on Him for every aspect of life. So we worship Him, and Him ALONE, for He is deserving of our adoration, praise, thanksgiving, and love. Please take a moment to explore these aspects of worship.
At Christmas, we often sing a song with the lyrics "Oh, come let us adore Him." What does it mean to "adore" God? It means to admire, cherish, delight in, and greatly treasure Him. He is precious to us, and it is common in our "worship" to do things that express our adoration. We are learning to love Him because He loved us first (1John 4:19). Come and learn to love Him with us!
To praise someone means to tell others about the tremendous attributes that one possesses. Praising God is more than merely saying "Praise the Lord!" It is telling others various examples of God's attributes and holy actions. When we worship together, we often hear people telling about God's mercy, love, grace, etc. We also hear them tell about what God is and has been doing for us. Such testimonies are VALUABLE to those who are worshiping God together, for they excite us unto love and good works (Hebrews 10:24).
The Pilgrims (1620), the First Continental Congress (1777), George Washington (1789), Abraham Lincoln (1863), and others have officially recognized the personal and national responsibility of giving thanks to Almighty God. But two thousand years ago, the Apostle Paul instructed believers to give thanks CONTINUALLY (Hebrews 13:15). Hope Bible Church takes this instruction seriously, and we make it a part of our worship to sincerely thank God for His blessings. We do not want to be guilty of turning it into an annual event, believing that we should make EVERY DAY a genuine Thanksgiving Day. It is a part of our worship.
Because music styles, musicians, and favorite songs are extremely personal issues, we recognize that music can be a very divisive issue. However, there is a biblical principle which we teach about music that is seldom heard in churches today. That principle is found in Ephesians 5:19, and is actually described as evidence of the FILLING of the Holy Spirit. The principle includes three elements: speaking, singing, and playing music. In our worship, we strive to sing the words to each other in keeping with this verse. We offer our voices and our instrumentation to the Lord. What makes this form of worship difference is the audience of each part. It is just the opposite of what you normally find in today's churches. We do not offer music to make the audience feel good; we offer music as an offering of worship to the Lord. Music, regardless of the style chosen, must have these three concepts in order to be biblical.
The words translated "preach" originally meant to proclaim; it is a concept similar to "herald" or "broadcast." We believe the proclamation of a message from God to a specific audience is what the Bible has in mind. Therefore, preaching differs from teaching, in that there is no give-and-take discussion. Preaching is an authoritative declaration of "thus saith the Lord" and is taken directly from the Bible. For that reason, preaching is not a "speech" or an "informative chat" with a group of people.
Teaching refers to the process of making information known to the hearer, and verifying that the information is understood. God promises to give a special gift to some who will excel in this ministry to the Church. We can all teach (and should--Hebrews 5:12) but those who have this Spiritual Gift are obligated to minister it to the Church. Jesus is the Supreme example of how to teach others: He began "where" the students were, got them all thinking about a common idea, gave them the information from the Scriptures, and then made sure they understood it, and applied it to their lives.
When we teach, we are providing a ministry to the student that draws him closer to Jesus. Our goal in the teaching ministry is to assist the student to have the "mind" of Christ (Philippians 2:5-8). Therefore, our Sunday School classes and all teaching ministries at Hope Bible Church come from the Bible, not from man-made booklets and quarterlies. Such tools may be used but they do not form the basis for teaching.
Edification of the Body
Obedience to His Word