God’s people have been approaching the subject of corporate worship with an understandable kind of uncertainty since the first century; discussions on the format of worship have been in the church for a very long time. The reason for this is that the Bible simply does not give us an exhaustive prescriptive list of do’s and don’ts for corporate worship. There are the basics – the proclamation of God’s Word, the offering up of prayers, the giving of our offerings, the singing of the saints, the baptism of new believers, the eating and drinking at the Lord’s Table, and the loving church discipline of unrepentant saints. But even in these the Bible does not give us specific direction as to length of time, how often, in exactly what order and so forth. When it comes to style of music and worship, too often the gospel is scooted to the periphery of Sunday morning and replaced with entertainment and personal preferences. One way that we attempt to avoid most of the worship wars is to keep in mind that Jesus Christ and his gospel must be the one non-negotiable part of Sunday morning. We like what Bob Kauflin, author of Worship Matters had to say about this:
“Whenever I think I can’t worship God unless “X” is present, I’m making a profound statement. If “X” is anything other than Jesus Christ revealed in God’s Word and the presence of the Holy Spirit, I’ve moved into idolatrous territory. Idolatry is always evil, but the idols we pursue aren’t necessarily evil things. They are evil for us because we value them over God.”
We agree. If worshiping God is our highest joy then we want to be on guard for idolatry on Sunday mornings. Therefore, we believe that an older generation should worship with the younger and the younger with the older. We believe that great old songs of the faith and Christ-exalting new songs, written because of new mercies known each morning, should be blended together in worship.