The following is a list of our expectations of the worship leaders and workers. They are based mainly upon God's commands to worship "in Spirit and in truth" (John 4:24) and also "in decency and order" (1 Cor. 14:40). Leading in the public worship service is an assigned duty for volunteers, but also is a great privilege for dedicated Christian men.
We must always remember that the purpose of our assembling is to praise and glorify God, and to build up and encourage one another. We should always conduct ourselves with these goals in mind.We expect all worship leaders and workers to be early for worship service. We meet in the office 5 minutes before worship times on Sunday morning and on Sunday evening, to coordinate our efforts. If you are not present 5 minutes before worship, your assignment may be given to another person.We also expect proper apparel to be worn - most workers in the worship service should follow at least a "business casual" guideline - the kind of clothing one would wear to a white-collar job. A suit (jacket and tie) is always preferred, especially for the speaker, song leader, and the man doing the announcements - in today's culture, people tend to pay more attention to a person wearing a suit, and we are to dress in respect of the occasion.
We publish a list of the worship assignments each month, to plan for who will be involved at each assembly. The bulletin published each week may have changes as well. Please make a point to get a copy of the list and bulletins and to mark on your calendars the dates and times when you will be serving. If you have a conflict with the dates for which you are scheduled, please contact the deacon in charge of Worship and let him know that you will be out so that we may find a substitute.
If you are scheduled to speak, please prepare your remarks in advance. Rehearsing your lesson, out loud, ahead of time is highly recommended. Lessons are usually one half-hour in length on Sunday morning and evening, and 5 minutes (just enough for 1-2 points) on Wednesday evening.Stay behind the microphone and speak clearly. If you don't, people in the nursery or training room may not hear you. Also, contact the Song Leader ahead of time to arrange for any special songs you may want to sing, to go along with the lesson, or to coordinate an invitation song. Appeals are more effective when the spoken invitation is followed by a convicting song on the same subject.After speaking, during the invitation song, please stay at the front to receive anyone who comes forward. If you are not comfortable with this, please let the person in charge of worship know, and we will arrange for someone to meet anyone who may come forward.
Finally, if you are speaking on a Sunday, please select a passage to be read by the Scripture Reader.
The Song Leader
The Song Leader sets the order for worship. In the meeting immediately before, the Song Leader will present the order. An example would be - announcements, then 2 or 3 songs, the Lord’s Supper, giving, another song, a prayer, a scripture reading, the lesson, an invitation song, closing song and closing prayer. There is no real preference for any specific order. Please post the song numbers on the board at the front of the auditorium before each of the Sunday services, as some have trouble hearing the numbers spoken from the pulpit. Coordinate with the speaker before choosing the songs, as the speaker may request certain songs that go along with the lesson. Be sure to announce the number of the invitation song before the speaker takes the pulpit. At the appropriate time, please mention by name the person assigned to lead prayer or read scripture. This will give them a gentle "heads-up" in case they have been momentarily distracted. Also, please make mention of the Lord’s Supper prior to its being served. It can be helpful to have some extra "response" songs ready, for when someone comes forward to be baptized. We usually sing while the person is getting ready, and immediately after the baptism.
It is a very good idea to practice your songs before services.
Begin the service at the appointed time. Greet everyone. Welcome the visitors and ask them to complete a visitor's card. List some of the dates that are in the bulletin for upcoming events. Add any points of interest (updates on people, etc.) that are not in the bulletin. Thank-you cards should be read aloud beforehand (if possible). Read them verbatim. Try to ad lib HOW you announce, not WHAT you announce.
The congregation has read the bulletin or will read it - the announcer should not repeat everything in the bulletin. Finally, the announcer usually leads a prayer to start the worship service.
Greet everyone (especially visitors) as they enter the foyer. You make our "first impression," so make it a good one. Smile and look people in the eye. Hand visitors a flyer/packet and a bulletin, and try to remember their names (repeat it back to them). Know where the fire extinguishers, fire panel, and phone are in case of emergency. Recommend open seats to late-comers and encourage them to enter the auditorium BETWEEN acts of worship (before/after a song or prayer).
Obtain verse/passage from the bulletin or from the speaker. Read it aloud to yourself at least once. Try to make eye contact with the audience as you speak into the microphone.
Please be at the front before "your turn." Pray for "us" and "ours," not "I" and "mine." Remember those who were listed in the announcements (taking a list is authorized) and those on our prayer list. Watch the use of "catch phrases" - "Guide-guard-and-direct-us", etc.
Remember - you are talking to God (the Father) for us (the congregation) through the authority of Jesus Christ. Please end the prayer with an "In Jesus’ Name" or appropriate wording, and an "Amen".
Serving the Lord's Supper/Collecting the Contribution
We do these sequentially, but they are separate acts of worship and they require different thoughts and emotions. Pray for what you are serving (bread, fruit of the vine). Please call it "the fruit of the vine" and neither "grape juice" nor "wine" - those last two are almost guaranteed to disturb someone. If communion occurs early in the worship service, set aside one tray of each emblem in the office for late-comers to partake.
There may be a song which separates the Lord's Supper from Giving. If not, try to say something like, "Separate and apart from the Lord’s Supper", "Now we have the opportunity to give to the Lord," or similar comment to separate the two. Also, you may want to make a note that this is not meant to be a solicitation from our visitors; it is an opportunity for the members to give to support the work of the church. Pray to give thanks to God for the gifts/blessings He has given to us, and for this collection/gift which we give back to the Lord.
See Brian Kidd, Cris Brown, and/or Kevin Lowry. Ask questions and learn from others. If in doubt, DON’T.
Please prepare communion before Sunday AM services (preferably just before Bible class). Please fill all inner rings of each tray with cups of grape juice, and at least every other in the outer ring. When filling the cups, please add juice only until filled level with the surface of the tray. Overfilling raises the chance of spilling and the distraction and embarrassment that go along with it.
Helpers with Baptisms
We need at least 1 man to help the person doing the baptizing, and 2-3 men/women to help the person being baptized. Waders are inside the doorway to the baptistery. Gowns are in bins in the opposite room. Towels should be made available, and you may want to help them up and down the stairs - it will be wet and might be slippery. Prepare them that it will be cold, and that they may want to bend their knees a little when being baptized to make it easier to go under the water. Offer help and yet privacy, too.
Please ask! Questions can be answered by the deacon in charge. If he is not available, one of the other deacons or elders can be asked.