OVERVIEW OF THE WORSHIP EXPERIENCE
When the church gathers to worship, it is not many isolated individuals, but rather one body worshipping. In an orchestra if every musician follows the conductor one piece of music is performed. So too in corporate worship, if everyone is following the conducting of the Holy Spirit one unified expression of worship is placed before the throne of God. Scripture indicated that when God’s people enter into united worship, God’s glory is present. (Psalm 22:3)
Worship is meant to involve the whole man. Often when we think of worship we have the limited perspective of simply singing or praying to God. Literally the term worship means to “prostrate oneself.” As we look at the Old Testament examples of worship, especially in the Psalms, we find that men and women were totally involved in the act of worship. They knelt, bowed down, raised hands and danced. Even though we live in a culture where these activities may seem strange, we at Cornerstone have found that when a believer chooses to practice these methods with the right attitude, it results in a worship experience of richness and depth. Scripture exhorts us to offer “sacrifices of praise.”
Often when we enter into corporate worship we feel enthusiastic about praising God. At other times, the prospect of praising God seems to be the last thing we’d like to do. It is at these times that we realize we must choose to offer “sacrifices of praise.” When we do not particularly feel like worshipping, but still choose to worship, we are offering God our best. In fact, God may be more pleased with this offering than the offering we present to Him when we feel enthusiastic. As you enter into the experience of offering “sacrifices of praise,” the Spirit can draw you into a deeper communion with the Father.
Preparing to Hear the Word of God
Pray. “I will give them a heart to know me…” Jeremiah 24:7
Purify your mind by turning away from worldly entertainment. James 1:21; Philippians 4: 8
Meditate. Stimulate an appetite by meditating on a verse of scripture.
Trust the Lord and the scriptures you already know.
Get a good night rest on Saturday night.
Plan your service participation before coming. Take time before the worship service to discern your role and prepare your contribution. Place high value on our time together. Anticipate entering God’s presence when we meet. Be thankful for the opportunity and honor of worshipping the most high. Pray for those who help with the service (e.g. setup, childcare, helpers, music and worship leaders, etc.). Enter in wholeheartedly.
If you are a visitor there will be a time for you to introduce yourself. Please fill out the visitor’s card and leave it with an usher or greeter before you leave.
Activities of Worship
Cornerstone Community Church endeavors to have an atmosphere in which the manifested presence of the Lord is welcome. Newcomers to this type of open worship often have some questions but find a new sense of release and fulfillment as they experience the presence of the Lord. We acknowledge many ways of expressing praise and worship to God, “…but everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.” 1 Corinthians 14:40
Psalm 95: 1-2- “O come let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. “
Psalm 119:105– “Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.
Joshua 1:8– “This book of law shall not depart from your mouth but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you shall have success. “
Lifting Up Hands
Psalm 134:2– “Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord.”
1 Timothy 2:8– “Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.”
Psalm 95:6– “Come let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our maker.”
Strong vocal praise
Psalm 35:27– “Let them shout for joy and rejoice, who favor my vindication; and let them say continually, the Lord be magnified, who delights in the prosperity of his servant.”
Psalm 47:1– “O clap your hands all peoples; shout to God with the voice of joy.”
2 Samuel 6:14– “And David danced before the Lord with all his might…”
1 Chronicles 15:29– “…Michael…saw king David dancing and playing.”
Singing in the Spirit
At times during worship some people in the congregation might begin singing to the Lord with the spirit, although most people worship with ordinary language. We see this as one way to present our worship to the Lord. 1 Corinthians 4:15, Psalm 149: 6
It is our conviction that apart from infirmity, standing is one posture of worship found in scripture. 2 Chronicles 20:19
At Cornerstone, banner or flag waving can be used during a special time of monthly worship at Pursuing His Presence. Banner/flag waving is used to express our praise and worship to the Lord. During Pursuing His Presence other expressions of praise and worship may be done in an orderly manner.
Manifestations of the spirit
If you are a newcomer to Cornerstone or have never experienced the demonstration of certain expressive spiritual gifts, you may be somewhat uncomfortable at first with some of the practices of our worship. According to scripture, the Holy Spirit works in the midst of a unified body to build up, edify, and strengthen every participant.
We believe that the manifestations of the spirit described in first Corinthians 12 are present, valid, and operational in the church today. We are open to ministry from any believer who moves in the operation of these expressions, if they function in an orderly manner, follow our church protocol, and are subject to biblical correction.
The leaders of Cornerstone encourage each Christian to be open and sensitive to the flow of the spirit during our services. If you have questions about this area of ministry, please seek the council of church leaders.
If you are a baptized Christian at peace with the Lord and his people, we invite you to share the cup and bread with us. If you are unsure about your participation, please feel no embarrassment in not partaking. Communion is shared with the whole congregation on a periodic basis.