A Great, Ready-Made Service Order for You

We work to have services at TCBC that are intentional, allowing us to read the Bible, sing the Bible, pray the Bible and preach the Bible on a particular theme each week. It’s certainly preferable to just “winging it.” I used to plan the services. Now Joe Tyrpak, our assistant pastor, does it, and he does a great job.

CWesleySunday’s service order may very well have been my favorite ever. We sang several of the songs written by Charles Wesley. Now, often services which are organized around a particular song-writer can be very man-centered. However, Joe organized this service around the person and work of Christ, and it was ideal. I commend it to you. The songs will wear out your voice, but they’ll stir your heart and point your mind Christ-ward!

Celebrating the Person and Work of Jesus Christ: Hymns of Charles Wesley

  • Call to Worship: Hymn 2, Come, Christians, Join to Sing
  • Prayer to Prepare our Hearts
  • Jesus’ Birth: Hymn 199, Hark the Herald Angels Sing
  • Jesus’ Death: Hymn 134, And Can It Be
  • Jesus’ Resurrection: Hymn 273, Christ the Lord is Risen Today
  • Jesus’ Session: Hymn 299, Arise, My Soul, Arise
  • Jesus’ Second Coming: Hymn insert, Lo! He Comes (sung to the tune from Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah)
  • Corporate Prayer of Adoration
  • In Christ Alone
  • Sermon
  • Concluding Hymn 15, O For a Thousand Tongues

A couple notes:

  • The hymn numbers are for our Majesty Hymnal.
  • In Christ Alone obviously fit our theme focusing on Christ, though it’s not Wesleyan. We sang it today in part because it’s our hymn of the month.
  • O For a Thousand Tongues would be a great call to worship as well. We sing Come, Christians, Join to Sing weekly, however, and have found it to be a great way to start our service.
  • Our corporate prayer of adoration is a time during which several people from the church—usually between 5 and 8—respond to what we’ve been meditating on with an “extemporaneous” prayer of thanksgiving. This non-scripted portion of our service has become a favorite time during our service.
  • We post our service orders on-line (here), allowing those who would like to prepare their hearts ahead of time to do so.

17 Responses

  1. but… where’s the announcements? and the potluck?

    Just kidding!

    Sounds like a great day.

    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  2. Ironically, I had a LOT of announcement before the message, including a moving family, prayer requests, a schedule change for next week, etc.

    It wasn’t a blessing.

  3. Also ironically, I whacked the Wesleys for their perfectionism (which related to our text) during the message.

  4. Joe,

    We do things very similarly here at Grace. If you want to move down to Tampa, I think that you would love it. It was about 80 today. It is really not good to be in one place for very long. My phone number is 813.470.8104. We can talk on or off the record, if you know what I mean.

    Chris’s Good Buddy,

  5. “Come, Christians, Join to Sing! Alleluia, O-HI-O”!

    Oh, never mind!

    After a Michigan / OSU game several years ago when OSU won, our organist played “Come, Christians, Join to Sing” as the postlude. Near the conclusion, 2 friends of mine, and I were standing in the rear of the auditorium, and did the “O-HI-O” part of the song. She vowed to NEVER play that song again on a Michigan / OSU football Sunday!

  6. Add a few Scripture readings (OT, Psalms, NT, and Gospel [in specific order], for examples) and maybe you could call it a “liturgy”? I knew it, Chris, you have the old Reformation-style worship somewhere in there. :)

  7. Joe and Andy,

    A few things…

    I have a sermon outline from Andy’s sophomore year. I can show it to you, or even better, post it here. That might influence your decision. It’s REALLY alliterated.

    Should you still be tempted, I’ll show you his “tongue” Vintage picture.

    If those things don’t convince you and you still go, TCBC gets financial compensation and two draft picks.

  8. Dale,

    Nice catch. We always have a pretty length Scripture reading, and consider it to be an important part of our worship service. Yesterday, we changed things up. Joe read appropriate texts before every hymn.

    Anyway, there’s plenty of Scripture reading during our services. We’re practically Presbyterians. :)

  9. Joe,

    After much further reflection, I think that we are pretty well set here at Grace. Have a great evening.

  10. Chris,

    Thanks for the insight into your worship. How long does the prayer and singing generally last? Do you often sing that many songs? And I can’t believe that you skip any stanzas. Do the folks have any breath left to give you a witness during the sermon? Now I know why you’re a marathoner. Seriously, it looks very helpful and edifying. Blessings.

  11. Chris, I love it! Presbyterian, indeed!

  12. I want to know how you get anyone down the aisle with “O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing” after the message.

  13. Sam,

    This might be one more hymn than usual, but we do sing a lot of hymns. And you’re right: we don’t skip verses.

    We start at (or a little after) 10:30. I’m usually in the pulpit by 11:15, if not earlier. And I preach til after noon, though I really am trying to study better so I can preach shorter. (sigh)

    Suffice to say that it’s a long service. We don’t do a lot of special music, so that helps. We may incorporate more, but only as it advances the theme of the service. We’re pretty intentional about being…intentional.

  14. I mentioned in a previous comment that I addressed the Wesley’s mistaken notion of perfectionism during the morning’s sermon. A friend has suggested that that error is more accurately attributed to John than Charles Wesley. I’m not certain, but it’s something I hope to research. I do know that John says “we” a lot in his A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, which I’m currently reading. At any rate, if I was wrong in attributing the error to Charles, I apologize.

  15. Hi Chris

    Just coming back to the subject of announcements: check out this post over at the Bayly Bros. blog

    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  16. Nice, Don. Now, if you make announcements the way Luther did—complete with calling your congregation “ungrateful beasts” and “swine”—I’ll gladly let you give the announcements as much prominence in your service as you’d like.

  17. Yeah, I’m thinking on it…

    A whole new vista of liturgy is opening up before me.

    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

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