Sunday Worship

"Corporate worship is a regular, gracious reminder that it's not about you. You've been born into a life that is a celebration of another." 

- Paul David Tripp

We are currently meeting in person for our Sunday Worship service every 

Sunday at 10:45am.


We are also livestreaming our Sunday Worship service on Facebook Live in order

to accommodate those who may be providentially hindered from gathering with us. 



As God has commanded His people not to forsake the gathering (Hebrews 10:24-25), we will continue to meet for our Sunday Worship service. We recognize the necessity of liberty of conscience in this area concerning one's personal health and safety. So we exhort each to act in accordance with God's Word and one's own conscience. 

Theology of Corporate Worship

God has called His people to be a people devoted to the worship of the one, true, and living God. This God has revealed Himself generally in the created order (General Revelation), and salvifically in the 66 books of the Bible (Special Revelation). This God eternally exists in a perfect Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We are to worship Him and Him alone, both personally and corporately. 


True worship is defined as being in spirit and truth (John 4:24). We worship God for who He is and what He has done. We worship the eternally self-existent and self-sustaining Triune God, who is equally glorious and powerful in the distinct persons of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We worship God because He alone is worthy. He is our holy, sovereign, and loving creator, redeemer, and sustainer. We worship Him because He is our Heavenly Father who has ordained salvation from all of eternity past. We worship Him because He is the One who has accomplished that salvation through the person and work of His Son, Jesus Christ. We worship Him because the Spirit has applied the salvation that has been ordained and accomplished. He has made us alive unto salvation and He indwells us to will and work according to the good purposes of God. 


Human beings have been uniquely designed and created for worship as image-bearers of God. Inherent in our design is the desire to worship something. This means that worship is inevitable; we will worship something or someone. And because of sin, our worship is often directed toward anything other than the Creator God. However, because of the Gospel, those who have been born of the Spirit of God consequently place their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Having been born of the Spirit, they normally and naturally seek to rightly worship the Creator God who has made them and saved them. 


Now, the Bible not only clearly reveals the One we are to worship, it also defines how we are to worship Him. God's people are to gather for worship, they are to hear the Word of God read and preached, and they are to respond to God's word by confessing and praising the great goodness of God. In worship we are to pray in intercession, petition, confession, and adoration. We are to sing songs that accurately and faithfully confess the greatness of our God and Savior. We are to regularly celebrate the truth and power of the gospel through the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord's Supper.

Family Integrated

We believe that the family is the basic unit designed by God for human flourishing. It is integral to God's plan for blessing the world. A healthy society is a product of healthy families, and God's plan for growing healthy families is the local church. Therefore, we believe that families should worship together. 


While it is appropriate to have certain ministries segregated according to various categories (including age), we believe it is essential that families worship together so that parents can demonstrate obedience to the Gospel of Christ and participate in cultivating that obedience in their children. 


We provide Children's Church during our Sunday School hour, prior to our main Sunday Worship Service as well as other age-graded ministries on Wednesday evenings. We promote and facilitate families worshipping together during our Sunday morning service. By integrating families as a unit into the life of worship in the church, we can best facilitate and cultivate salvation and sanctification in both parents and their children through our proclamation of the gospel as we meet together.

Order of Worship

The order of worship, or liturgy, is a structure or framework used to order the corporate worship of the church. We believe that when it comes to liturgy, it is not a question of whether  the church will have a liturgy, but rather a question of which liturgy the church will have.  Because of this, we believe that the order of our worship is not something we can be flippant or thoughtless about. 


At North Clay Baptist Church, we labor to have our liturgy reflect what Scripture commands for God's people in worship. While Scripture does not give a definitive liturgy for the church, we believe that Scripture provides the foundation for how we ought to structure and conduct our worship as a gathered body. We also affirm The Regulative Principle of Worship (more information below), which helps to identify those elements of worship which are commanded by Scripture. 


In light of this, North Clay Baptist Church seeks to elevate the Word of God as central to every aspect of our worship. Not only in our preaching, but also in our songs, prayers, and every element of our worship service.


The process of structuring our worship is ongoing, because sanctification is an ongoing process for the Christian, both individually and corporately. Because of this, North Clay Baptist Church seeks to be always, intentionally reforming our liturgy so as to continually align ourselves with the Word of God.


The Order of Worship of North Clay:

  • Call to Worship
  • Congregational Singing of the Doxology
  • Responsive Scripture Reading
  • Pastoral Prayer
  • Congregational Singing
  • Sermon
  • Congregational Singing
  • Benediction

The Regulative Principle of Worship

The Protestant Reformation produced two schools of thought concerning the ordering of corporate worship.


The Normative Principle

  • The Normative Principle teaches that all things are acceptable in corporate worship unless they are expressly prohibited by Scripture. 

The Regulative Principle

  • The Regulative Principle teaches that only those elements that are expressly commanded in Scripture are to be allowed in corporate worship.


North Clay Baptist Church holds to The Regulative Principle of Worship.



Why The Regulative Principle of Worship?


The primary concern of The Regulative Principle of Worship is the honor and glory of Almighty God. In many of today's mainstream, evangelical churches, the primary concern of the worship service is man (whether believing or unbelieving). 

 

Many view the church service as an evangelical tool for the lost, rather than a gathering of God's people for the purpose of worship. This means that the focus of the worship service is catering to the whims of unregenerate, unbelieving sinners rather than obedience to God's prescriptions for corporate worship. 

 

Even in some better cases, the worship of the church is governed by the preferences of its leaders or congregants. This means that the worship service is ordered according to the fallible preferences of those offering worship rather than by obedient submission to the preferences of the One being worshipped.

 

The Regulative Principle of Worship keeps the church from conformity to fallible man and his desires, and instead regulates the worship of the church according to the infallible Word of God.


The Purpose of The Regulative Principle


The Regulative Principle is often considered to be an unnecessary constraint on the church. This is far from the truth.

 

Prior to the Protestant Reformation, there were many practices in the Roman Catholic Church that were extra-biblical at best and contrary to Scripture at worst. Understanding this, the Reformers sought to regulate the corporate worship of the church according to the Reformation principle of Sola Scriptura. The goal was to free the conscious of the believer by only requiring of him that which the Scripture commands, rather than binding the believer's conscious to the inventions of fallible men. 

 

The purpose of The Regulative Principle of Worship is to free the believer to engage in Biblical Worship; to allow believers the freedom to worship God as He has commanded in His Word.


Elements vs. Circumstances

 

The elements of worship refer to the specific elements carried out in corporate worship (e.g. gathering together, congregational singing, exposition of Scripture, baptism, the Lord's Supper, etc.). Whereas, circumstances refer to the circumstances in which the elements take place (e.g. gathering together in a building, congregational singing with different instrumental accompaniments, using microphones to amplify the exposition of Scripture, etc.).  The Regulative Principle concerns the elements of our worship, not the circumstances of our worship. 


This distinction between elements and circumstances is important in understanding how to apply The Regulative Principle. So, for example, singing in worship is an element that is commanded by Scripture, and the use of electric guitars would be a circumstance that helps to facilitate this element. However, hosting a guitar lesson during corporate worship would be an unlawful element according to The Regulative Principle, as the hosting of guitar lessons is not expressly commanded in Scripture. Again, as an example, the exposition of God's Word is a lawful element of worship in the church, and referencing popular movies to illustrate a point would be a circumstance that aids in that task. However, the exposition of popular movies during the worship service would be an unlawful element according to The Regulative Principle, as the exposition of movies is not commanded by Scripture. 

 

North Clay Baptist Church holds to The Regulative Principle, since our primary concern is obedience to what God has expressly commanded in His Word. The Regulative Principle helps to distinguish between allowable circumstances and unlawful elements, as well as to govern and regulate the lawful elements of our corporate worship (laid out in the Order of Worship above).