Guiding Biblical Principals

Guiding Biblical Principles for Worship at Lombard CRC

The congregation together offers worship to praise, remember and call on the Triune God. We value worship that intentionally awakens us to the presence of God through liturgy, the preaching of the Word and the celebration of the sacraments We desire worship to be authentic and expressed in the present while rooted in the context of the global Christian church and the church of all ages. Our worship gatherings will be hospitable, accessible and inclusive to all who come, and will inspire, encourage, and send us out to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, love our neighbor as ourselves, and love one another, the church, as Jesus so loves us.

  1. Our worship focuses on the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Initiated by the Spirit, worship is a dialogue in which God speaks and the people respond. (John 4:23-24, Psalm 96:7-9, Psalm 100:4-5)
  2. Our worship will accent participation. Worship is a verb. Recognizing the validity of different expressions and styles in worship, we value the full, conscious active participation of all worshipers because the Holy Spirit leads and involves all worshipers in the actions, words, and meaning of worship. (1 Cor 14:26, Rom 15:1-2)
  3. Our unity is found in Christ. We are one in the mission he gave us and to which he sends us out in the Spirit. We may not easily relate to everything in worship or in the church mission, but we do have to support it since we are commanded to love one another. We recognize that God speaks to believers in many different ways and so we value all worship elements that engage members of our congregation, even if some fall outside of our own personal preferences. (John 15:12-13, 1 Cor 12:4-7, Rom 12:10)
  4. Prayer is foundational to our mission and to our worship. We look for ways to encourage participation in and the practice of prayers of confession, adoration, intercession, and commitment before, during and after the worship service. (Mark 11:17, Lord’s Day 45, QA 116)
  5. Our worship both recognizes and resists our cultural environment. Worship should strike a healthy balance among four approaches or dimensions to our cultural setting: worship is trans-cultural (examples where worship is beyond cultural boundary: the gospel and message of grace apply to all peoples, all are called to pray, each is commanded to be a steward, etc), contextual (examples where our worship reflects the culture we live in: our worship behavior and many practices reflect the pastoral concerns of our local community: starting on time and being time conscious, the way we pray, what we emphasize, our musical, artistic and dramatic preferences), cross-cultural (examples where we are called to worship in a way that breaks down barriers of culture: welcoming the stranger, being sensitive that our language and the way we refer to matters doesn’t exclude some people, being concerned for needs beyond our suburban environment, making room for the poor), countercultural (examples when worship resists the idolatries of its cultural context: offering times, confession times, discerning use of media and technology, even the gospel message).  (Eph 5:19, Col 3:16, Rom 12:1-2)
  6. We will be hospitable in worship. Christian worship is immeasurably enriched by warm, Christ-centered hospitality (giving preference to the stranger) for all people. Because God is and makes himself known as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we will look for ways to worship intergenerationally and break down barriers of culture and disability. (Matthew 22:32, Mark 12:26, Luke 20:37, Acts 3:13)
  7. The preached gospel of grace is central to our worship. Christian worship is immeasurably enriched by deep engagement with Scripture through reading, prayers, preaching, music, sacraments, and visual arts. (1 Cor 1:23-24, Isaiah 6:5-7)
  8. The sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper confirm our faith. Our celebrations will be joyful and solemn, remembering the sacrifice of our Savior for our forgiveness. (Luke 24:30-35)
  9. Our worship makes us aware of God’s greatness. Our worship cultivates a vivid awareness of the beauty, majesty, mystery, and holiness of the Triune God. Preference will be given to artful expression about God or directed to God; artistic elements will be chosen that connect with either the theme for the day or the appropriate worship action for the moment (praise, thanksgiving, confession, faith response, etc). (Psalm 96:9, 2 Cor 13:14, Isaiah 6:1-4, Col 3:16)
  10. Our worship will send us out as witnesses. In obedience to our Lord we are called to make disciples of all nations, in this key way our worship continues beyond the worship hour on Sunday. (Matthew 28:17-20, Isaiah 6:8)
  11. We understand worship is formative. Worship should increase our faith, and we will be transformed in heart, mind, soul, and strength so that we may carry out God’s will day to day. Worship is not just a Sunday activity; it is a lifestyle and mindset that occurs throughout each week so that our hearts are prepared in anticipation of Sunday morning. We are called to submit our will and desires so that we may worship ‘in spirit and in truth.’ (Rom 12:1-2, Lord’s Day 25, Q 65)