At First Church we view all of life as worship. Worship is not contained to the weekly meetings of believers in the house of God, but should flow over into every aspect of those believers' lives, where they willingly live lives of praise and worship. We do however, view our time together each week as special and sacred in the eyes of God. Christ promised that when we gather in His name, He would be present in a special way; He also said that He "inhabits the praise of His people," our goal at First Church is to provide a habitation, a dwelling place for God in the midst of His people's praise opening our own hearts for Him to speak and move as He desires.
In any given worship service we may practice different forms of worshiping God together as the Church. In every service you will find key elements that define our corporate worship of God. Music is a major part of every service as we believe it scripturally admonished as a proper and right way of worshiping our God together. The sermon is central aspect of any service as it is through His Word that God most directly speaks to His people. Along with the sermon, the Bible plays a major role in our services, we read, listen to, and learn from God's inspired Word in every service. In any given worship service, you may also experience one of the Gospel Ordinances, you may learn more about what First Church teaches regarding the Ordinances in our Statement of Faith.
You may ask why we believe these certain practices are necessary for worshiping together as a body or why we choose not to use other forms to worship God with. We believe that God has given all instruction necessary for worshiping Him together as a body through His Word, the Bible. Any deviation or addition to these principles would constitute a "device" or "imagination of man" rendering it non-profitable for a Christian worship service. We practice these certain elements because we believe God has willfully and intentionally designated them as ways in which He is to be worshiped by His Church.
The following is a brief statement regarding our worship together as a body at First Free Will Baptist Church.
We sing together: God commands us to,
“Sing to the LORD, bless His name, tell of His salvation from day to day.” –Psalm 96:2
We shout: God commands us to,
“Shout for joy in the LORD, O you righteous!
Praise befits the upright.” –Psalm 33:1
We clap our hands: God commands us to,
“Clap your hands, all peoples!” –Psalm 47:1
We testify: God commands us to,
“Tell among the peoples his deeds!” –Psalm 9:11
We give to the Lord: God says,
“Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the LORD's; it is holy to the LORD.” –Leviticus 27:30
We lift our hands: God commands us to,
“Lift up your hands in the holy place and bless the LORD!” –Psalm 134:2
We pray together: Christ reminded us,
“My house shall be a house of prayer.” –Luke 19:46
We hear and read scripture: David said,
“My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word!” –Psalm 119:28
The most important aspect of our worship together is hearing the preached Word of God. The Message is the central focus of worship at First Church and is the most important time of the service. Please remember to be respectful during the Sermon. The Psalmist reminds us:
“The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.” Psalm119:160
We have not listed all the aspects of our worship together, but remember that all things should be done in accordance with scripture, to glorify God, and not to bring attention to ourselves or cause a distraction. Paul reminds us:
“But all things should be done decently and in order.” -I Corinthians 14:40