What to Expect

What does worship look like at Bon Air?

 “Read the Bible, preach the Bible, sing the Bible, pray the Bible, see the Bible.”

— Terry L. Johnson, Worship That Is According to Scripture

 

Our main purpose in worship is to contemplate and celebrate the glory of God in Christ Jesus. Our gatherings focus on hearing from God and responding to him. We know the Lord through his Word, and so we come together corporately to pursue him through reading, preaching, singing, praying, and “seeing” the truth of the Scripture. As his Holy Spirit leads us in understanding and pondering the seriousness of our sin, we are also reminded of what a great Savior we have in Jesus and the joy of living for his kingdom in the fellowship of other believers. Worship is a crucial part of our ongoing sanctification; each time we worship our desire to be more like Jesus and to deepen our relationship with him should intensify.


Our preaching is expository in that our pastors seek to proclaim faithfully the intended meaning of the Scriptures. We publicly devote ourselves to prayer as an expression of our dependence on the Lord, and we see the gracious work of God displayed visibly to us through celebrating baptisms and the Lord’s Supper.

 

Arrangement of Service

Structured to Convey the Full Breadth of the Gospel. Our services are intentionally structured along the trajectory of the gospel message: a consideration of the character of God, our own sinfulness before him, the necessary sacrifice of Christ required for our forgiveness, the wonder of being redeemed, the joy of being freed to live as his people, and the privilege of being a part of his mission to the world, all culminating in declaration of God’s glory. Regular elements in the order of service that are vital to this gospel trajectory are songs of worship, regular Scripture reading, regular confession of sin corporately, intercessory prayer, congregational readings from Scripture and historical confessions, the preaching of the Word, the Lord’s Supper, baptism, and biblical blessings. We believe that regular use of these varied elements most helpfully instruct and encourage the congregation.


Appreciative of Christian Worship Past and Present. Our worship service is historically informed, so as to worship the Lord alongside the many thoughtful Christians who came before us by use of their songs, readings, and prayers. We also appreciate the songs and writings of thoughtful Christians of our own day. We prize biblically robust, heart-engaging, and God-exalting resources in our worship services.


Theologically Robust in Song. Just as the order of service emphasizes the breadth of the gospel, so does the content of our songs. We believe in an expositional ministry of the Word as well as an “expositional” ministry of music, meaning that the emphasis of Scripture upon the person and work of Christ to the glory of God is the predominate theme of our singing. We believe that songs teach, and thus view our corporate singing as part of the teaching ministry of the Word. To that end, songs are selected that employ biblical language and themes, including songs both old and new. We value variety in our songs as a way of highlighting the multifaceted nature of our response to the gospel: grief over sin, sobriety regarding judgment, joy for forgiveness, celebration of atonement, boldness to approach the throne, and hope of eternal life. To this end, our pastors and music leaders work together to plan a unified worship service with Scripture-based theological and anthropological themes.


Participatory in Style. Worship should flow in multiple directions. As we worship God, we seek to celebrate his wondrous attributes and his redemptive activity in history; in turn, he speaks to us through his Word and invites us to respond to what he is saying. At the same time, as we wholeheartedly engage in worship, we edify (instruct so as to spiritually improve or uplift) those around us, and they do the same for us. Therefore, the music leader emphasizes the participation of the congregation rather than musical performance in the service. The music leader and the musicians are inconspicuous servants to the congregation. Those on the platform do not worship on behalf of (or in lieu of) the congregation; rather, they lead the congregation in worship. We wish the congregation to be more aware of one another’s singing than they are of the music that facilitates it. With these principles in place, we are free to use varied styles in the collective worship of the God of every age and culture. 

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