As a member of the evangelical church, people from the outside of our community tend to ask me about our worship service. So, if you’ve been interested in this question for a while, then go ahead and join us, as I’m about to tell you the answer!
So, how do Evangelicals worship? Each church does it differently, but the general format is the same everywhere. The worship service usually starts with worship in music, a teaching based on the Bible (sermon) which is given by a pastor, prayer time, reflective personal prayer, last song, and blessing (also known as closing prayer).
During the worship in music, usually, there’s a welcome given by a lead musician. Then, a sermon is provided by a pastor. Next, the pastor prays aloud for the church, community, and world. Then comes reflective personal prayer, where people can pray together either aloud or silently. The last song is played to close out worship. And in the end, there comes a blessing which is usually given by a pastor or a leading musician.
Now, where does it usually happen, you might ask. Well, this is an excellent question, as there are many different places to worship at.
Where Do Evangelicals Worship?
- House Churches
Recently, the number of house church meetings increased and spread to different parts of the world.
As it is still impossible to gather and worship publicly in Muslim or communist countries, people meet at their houses. For example, Christian worshipping is forbidden in China. Still, there are around 52 million people who have evangelical house church meetings weekly as they don’t want to give up their religion.
The meetings take place in private, secret homes as those who are found worshipping religions that are not allowed can easily end up in jail.
Megachurches, or churches where more than 2,000 people can gather every Sunday and worship, are quite popular as well. But 2,000 is definitely not a limit. There are gatherings where up to 10,000 people come weekly for the worship service. A great example would be Lakewood Church in the United States, Texas.
- Student Groups
Lots of people say that modern youth is not interested in religion and what it has to offer. Indeed, nowadays, fewer young adults decide to step on the path to God.
Even so, some of them are still interested, and in order to help others, they create evangelical groups on campuses. These groups exist in more than 150 countries, and students in there are allowed to share their ideas on the Bible. A perfect example of one of those organizations will be IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students).
Another group is called Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship International. This group includes Christian businessmen. They usually hold meetings in restaurants or hotels where they can talk about their faith.
What Are The Origins Of The Worship Service?
Christian worship services originated from Jewish worship. They were taught by Jesus and Paul of Tarsus. The Scripture says that Jesus shared the teachings and disciplines, prayers, and singing as a new form of worshipping, whereas Paul of Tarsus stated the general principles which makes them extremely clear. These principles include worship, praise, pray, and sermon.
What Is The Difference Between Evangelicals And Reformed Evangelical Worship?
At first glance, the worship services of Evangelicals and Reformed Evangelicals are pretty similar. And this is true, the general format of worship is the same. However, there are two fundamental differences between their ways of worshipping, and I believe they’re worth discussing here. Keep reading if this is something you’re interested in!
- Understanding The Presence Of God In The Service
This might be a quite strange issue to discuss. However, it definitely deserves to be put on top as one of the most important differences.
Sure, every Evangelical believes in God’s presence with His people during the worship. However, the way He is present and active is not similar.
For Evangelicals, God is present in worship to listen. At first, it might seem like He is not there at all, but this is not true as He is always there to observe and hear people He loves. He listens to their prayers and praises carefully, sees their observance of the sacraments, and hears what they’re sharing. He makes sure that the teachings during the worship are faithful and accurate.
It increases the sense of involvement in every participant and creates a sense of warmth, understanding, intimacy, and love in the community.
For Reformed Evangelicals, it is still crucial for God to listen to their worships. He always hears and observes his people, but He is also there to speak. God becomes an active participant who speaks through the Word and the sacraments.
Obviously, Reformed Evangelicals do not believe God answers them right away. Instead, He speaks through the means that he has appointed for his church.
God also actively uses sacraments to speak to his people, which are rather about Him than the people.
Therefore, Reformed Evangelicals don’t focus on creating a warming atmosphere in the community but instead on speaking to God and meeting Him as a community. It ensures that God is the main focus of the worship service.
- Understanding of Ministerial Office In Worship
The differences in the ministerial office are closely tied to the recognition of God’s presence in the worship service.
For Evangelicals, the ministers are mostly seen as gifted, educated, and open-minded members of the church who are chosen by God to lead and teach His people. We use their talents to help and instruct other church members.
However, the ministers are not seen as people who speak for God or from His authority. Rather, their authority allows them to teach and guide those who need it.
It creates a democratic character of the worship service in which the participation of members of the church in leading the service is always a plus. The gifts that are given to people by God should be shared so that others can learn as well.
On the other hand, for Reformed Evangelicals, the ministerial office is quite different. The ministers are chosen by God to lead the service through His authority. During the worship, the minister speaks the Word of God to people and the word of people to God. However, when all the members raise their voices to God as the service goes, people speak the word to God for themselves.
This is because Reformed Evangelicals believe that the minister is the only gifted member who’s allowed to speak for others.
It creates the anti-democratic nature of worship. Reformed Evangelicals need the sense of meeting with God in a proper way and through the authorized person. Therefore, if somebody is untrained but still becomes the minister, the church members become suspicious of him as they want to hear the Word of God and not other members’ speeches.
The primary purpose of this article is not only to help you, fellow reader, understand how evangelical worship goes but also to expand your knowledge and explain where Evangelicals worship and how we are different from others.
The goal of this article is not to demean any religious group in any way but rather to show the differences. I believe us, Evangelicals, and Reformed Evangelicals have very similar views; therefore, Reformed Evangelicals are our friends. However, the differences in the way we worship God are quite significant, so, in my opinion, they were worth discussing in order for everyone to see and realize the fundamental differences between one another.
If you are interested in learning about other Religions in the world, then check out this book on World’s Religions on Amazon.