Welcome to John Knox Presbyterian Church. We are pleased that you are considering worshiping with us. Our service is a classic worship service in the tradition of Reformed (or Presbyterian) Protestantism. Given the diversity of styles of worship today, what we do is unfamiliar to many of our visitors. We offer the following explanations as an aid in understanding the meaning of each part of the service.
- First Things
- The Elements of Our Worship
- The Order of Our Worship
- The Day of Worship
- Worship is the most important thing we do.
- Our aim in worship is to glorify God.
- Our worship consists of the Word of God read, preached, sung, and prayed.
- We read systematically and preach expositorily through books of the Bible.
- We sing Psalms and biblical hymns.
- We are committed to a full diet of prayer, praise, thanksgiving, confession, and petition.
- Our gatherings for worship are on the Lord’s Day.
- We administer the Lord’s Supper weekly.
The Elements of Our Worship
Our worship is simple, consisting of the few biblical elements that God has commanded. Our approach to worship means that:
We read and preach the Word – Approximately three biblical passages are read in addition to the text that is preached in each service. Normally our sermons are sequential, verse-by-verse expositions of whole books of the Bible.
We pray the Word – Our prayers are filled with the praises, the confessions, and the promises of Scripture. We offer a full-diet of prayer in each service.
We sing the Word – We try to incorporate at least one metrical Psalm (the biblical Psalms translated and rhymed for singing) in each service. We also sing biblically rich hymns.
We receive the Visible Word – The sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the word of God made visible and perceivable by our senses.
Our services join together that which is so often separated: reverent worship and biblical preaching. We see this as the distinctive benefit of our ministry: God-centered worship and Bible teaching at the same place and at the same time.
The Order of Our Worship
The design of our worship is driven by what one might call “gospel logic.”
- A cycle of Praise (call to worship / hymn / prayer of praise / Creed / Gloria Patri); is followed by . . .
- A cycle of Confession (pastoral prayer / recitation of the Law of God / confession of sin both individual and corporate / assurance of pardon / exchanging the peace with one another); which is followed by . . .
- A cycle employing the Means of Grace (Scripture readings / sermon / hymn / sacraments); which is followed by . . .
- A cycle of Thanksgiving and Blessing (concluding hymn / benediction)
The Day of Worship
- We worship on Sunday because the first day of the week is the Lord’s Day, the Christian Sabbath, a day devoted to worship and rest.
- Sunday morning is somewhat formal in tone, with more “fixed forms.”
- Robes are worn by the ministers not as priestly attire (pastors are not priests), but as a simple covering while performing sacred duties. Similarly, we encourage our members to wear their “Sunday best,” that is, that they dress nicely and neatly, as they do for other important occasions. Visitors are warmly welcomed to come as they are.
We trust that you will find at John Knox Presbyterian Church a well-ordered service that is offered in “spirit and truth” (Jn 4:23), conducted with “reverence and awe” (Heb 12:28), and characterized by both emotional discipline and holy joy (Ps 2:11; 1 Cor 14:32,40).