OUR HIGHEST PRIORITY – WORSHIP
Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God acceptable worship with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire” Hebrews 12:29
At Providence Baptist Church we believe that worship is our priority as redeemed human beings. Therefore, we strive to maintain a joyful yet reverent atmosphere. We ask that children use the restroom before the service starts.
OUR PATTERN FOR WORSHIP
At Providence Baptist Church we believe that the Word of God is central to all that we do. Therefore, we believe that the Bible is the sufficient guide for our corporate worship, as well as our individual lives. This has sometimes been called, “the regulative principle of worship,” that is, the Bible alone regulates our worship of God. The basic assumption, derived from Scripture, is that God alone determines how He ought to be worshipped.
What this means in practice is that we seek to do in worship only that which is warranted in God’s Word, recognizing the fundamental difference between the essentials of worship and the circumstances of worship. As a result, we believe in the beauty and simplicity of New Covenant worship (John 4:21 -24; Phil. 3:3). Our worship services are comprised of the reading of God’s Word (1 Tim. 4:13 ), the singing of God’s praises (Eph. 5:19 ; Col. 3:16), the offering of our prayers and supplications (1 Tim. 2:8) and the preaching of God’s Word (2 Tim. 4:1-4). We also observe the Lord’s Supper and water baptism, as ordinances which have been given to the church (Matt. 28:18-20; 1 Cor. 11:23 -32).
WHAT GOD HEARS FROM US – OUR PERSPECTIVE ON WORSHIP MUSIC
We believe that the dichotomy today between “traditional” and “contemporary” worship is a false and unhelpful one. There was a time when Isaac Watts was contemporary worship music! The real issues are whether or not the songs are God-centered and exalting, doctrinally sound, have appropriate melodies and are generally singable by the congregation. Just as there are bad choruses, there are bad hymns. The regulative principle does not compel us to adopt one “style” over another; rather it compels us to judge all things by the Word of God.
We understand that many brethren apply the regulative principle differently than us, according to conscience. Our plea is that we would recognize in each other a genuine attempt to be biblical in our worship and demonstrate charity and brotherly love, knowing that to our own Master we stand or fall.
The music exists to accompany and carry the singing. Whether piano alone or with other instruments, it should complement and not overpower or overshadow the singing. We always want the music to be well done and beautiful, whether simple or complex; it functions as the servant for the congregation.
WHAT WE HEAR FROM GOD – OUR PERSPECTIVE ON PREACHING
We believe that God-breathed Scripture is what brings life and faith (Rom. 10:14 -17; Jas. 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23-25). The Scriptures are also what sanctifies and sustains life and faith (Jn. 17:17; 1 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Psalm 119). Therefore, we must preach the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27; 1 Cor. 1:17 -2:5; 2 Tim. 4:1-4). We believe that the main, although not exclusive, diet of God’s people should be consecutive, expository preaching, through a book or a unit of God’s inspired Word. There are times when we deal with things doctrinally, topically, etc., but even then, we are subject to the Word of God and sound exegesis and exposition.
WHO HEARS FROM GOD – OUR PERSPECTIVE ON CHILDREN IN WORSHIP
Children should be in service, worshipping God, sitting under the ministry of the Word, with their parents, as a family. The Bible is clear that families should worship together (Josh. 24:15). Children heard the Word of God in times past (Josh. 8:33 -35; Neh. 8:1-4; Eph. 6:1; Col. 3:20). If the Word of God brings faith and life, then why send our children out before the sermon to colour or hear an innocuous Bible story? Children need to learn how to worship God and how to hear the Word of God. There is a staffed nursery provided for children who are under 3 during both Sunday school and worship. However, we encourage families to worship together.
There is a Training Pew” available behind the sanctuary for nursing mothers and those who are training their children to sit through the worship service. The Training Pew is in the foyer behind a glassed partition separated from the main sanctuary where children can be taught to sing, pray, and sit still. Note: The Training Pew is not a place to allow the children to play around or for parents to visit. It is a part of the sanctuary and a preparatory place for the children to learn how to worship God.
WHAT ABOUT CHILDREN DURING THE WORSHIP SERVICE?
When the Apostle Paul was addressing the congregations in Colossae and Ephesus, he directly addressed the children (Col. 3:20; Eph. 6:1). Evidently, the Apostle assumed the children were in the assembly!
In striving to be as Biblical as possible, we have the children in the worship service.
There is nursery care for infants and toddlers through age 3. As the nursery is staffed and to comply with child protection policies, parents are not generally permitted to remain in the nursery with their child.
We encourage parents to start training their children to participate in congregational worship at age 4 – 5 by using the Training Pew—the pew in the foyer behind the sanctuary. On the Training Pew children can learn to sing, pray and sit still. The Training Pew is not a place to allow the children to play around or for parents to visit. It is a part of the sanctuary and a preparatory room for the children to learn how to worship God.
If as a parent you feel some hesitation about having your children in service because of potential behavioural problems, please take the following advice:
• Read “The Family: Together in God’s Presence.”
• Prepare your children by teaching them what prayer is, and why we’re quiet during prayer (we are talking to God); what worship is (we’re singing to God); what preaching is (God is speaking to us through His Word).
• Be firm in instructing them to be respectful of God and others during the service. Be consistent in your discipline.
• Reinforce the importance of worship, prayer, etc. Help to build them up in looking forward to the Lord’s Day.
• Use the Training Pew or the back of the church, where training, and if necessary, discipline, can be administered without causing a distraction.
*Children can’t take in a sermon geared for adults.
Children comprehend much more than we give them credit for. We believe in the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word. He can grant them more understanding than many adults! Third, the children are consistently addressed in the ministry of the Word.
*Children are a distraction; they will only disrupt the service.
Jesus Christ heard the same complaint (Matt. 19:13 -14).
Jesus replied, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me.”
For more information on children in worship, we recommend downloading the sermon by Dr. Brian Borgman (Grace Community Church, Nevada) titled “Semper Reformanda: Children in Worship” .
Our passion is the supremacy of God! And we desire to see God made supreme in the lives of our children. Having children through the entire service, we believe, is a step in the right direction. May God bless our little ones as they learn to worship God in joyful reverence!