PHILOSOPHY OF WORSHIP
As we were seeking to communicate the philosophy of worship at Grace Baptist Church, we found the following statement (with slight revision) on the website of Christ Fellowship Baptist Church in Mobile, AL, and with permission have included it to describe the worship at GBC:
Worship is of the utmost importance at Grace Baptist Church, and not just any worship. Majestic, historic, Word-centered, God-centered, Christ-centered worship – is our central passion. It has been rightly stated, ‘Great theology produces great hymnology, which in turn produces great doxology.’ This is the heartbeat of GBC, to present a transcendent, God-honoring worship. It requires a sacrificial offering of praise to God producing both a reverence and awe. Moreover, there is an inseparable bond between the centrality of the Word of God and the worship of God. To this end, the prolific pastor and noted author, James Montgomery Boice writes, “To worship God we must know who God is, but we cannot know who God is unless God first chooses to reveal Himself to us. God has done this in the Bible, which is why the Bible and the teaching of the Bible need to be central in our worship.” God’s Word is wholly sufficient in that it provides Scriptural elements, which are essential to the corporate worship of GBC – namely Scripture reading, preaching/ teaching, prayer, singing, baptism, and communion.
As determined by God Himself, the purpose of worship is the exaltation of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit by His redeemed. Worship is thus a celebration of God, His work and His character. As such, our services provide a worship perspective that is primarily transcendent in nature, rather than superficial and man-centered. With this in mind, the Cambridge Declaration makes this statement regarding the status of worship in today’s church: “The loss of God’s centrality in the life of today’s church is common and lamentable. It is the loss that allows us to transform worship into entertainment, gospel preaching into marketing, being good into feeling good about ourselves, and faithfulness into being successful…We must focus on God in our worship, rather than the satisfaction of our personal needs. God is sovereign in worship; we are not. Our concern must be for God’s kingdom, not our own empires, popularity or success.”
Therefore, it is the desire of Grace Baptist Church that there be a reformation in the worship of the Church – returning to the foundational themes of the Protestant Reformation: Scripture alone (sola Scriptura), grace alone (sola gratia), Christ alone (solus Christus), faith alone (sola fide), and glory to God alone (soli Deo Gloria).