Notes and quotes from Christ-Centered Worship by Bryan Chapell.
1. This is probably the book that has influenced my thinking about what and at what point and why we do what we do when we gather on Sundays. The gospel shaped liturgy which it promotes and encourages is what we’ve been using at Banstead Community Church for almost a decade.
2. “We are to be informed by tradition; never are we to be ruled by it.”
3. All churches have a liturgy.
4. What is a liturgy? Liturgy “simply describes the public way a church honours God in its times of gathered praise, prayer, instruction, and commitment.”
5. “Because they have not been taught to think of the worship service as having gospel purposes, people instinctively think of its elements only in terms of personal preference: what makes me feel good, comfortable, or respectable.”
6. Congregations have always been composed of three groups: communicants (believers eligible for communion), catechumens (those learning the gospel), and seekers (those seeking to know whether the truths of the Christian faith are for them).
7. The Regulative Principle states that only what is mandated by explicit instruction of Scripture or logically required as a good and necessary consequence of Scripture’s statements was appropriate for the public worship of God.
8. There are foundational truths in the gospel that do not change if the gospel is to remain the gospel.
9. “The corruption and weaknesses of our natures make it vital that we preach the gospel to our own hearts every day.”
10. “If gospel principles do not determine worship choices, the people’s preferences will tear the church apart.”
11. We would be naïve to simply mimic or idolise past worship practices. It is also naïve to presume the Lord could teach us nothing from the wisdom of centuries of saints who have preceded us.
12. The gospel is communicated in the worship patterns of the church. We tell the gospel by the way we worship.
13. Liturgy of the Word = part of the worship service that culminates in preaching // Liturgy of the Upper Room = part of the worship service that includes the Lord’s Supper.
14. A good liturgy follows New Testament worship patterns and reinforces the message of the gospel.
15. “Christian liturgy has a gospel pattern, not because someone’s rulebook demands it, but because believers express their love to God by responding to the way that he has expressed his for them.”
16. “Corporate worship is nothing more, and nothing less, than a re-presentation of the gospel in the presence of God and his people for his glory and their good.”
17. All the historical liturgies of the Word have a sequence in common: Adoration, Confession, Assurance, Thanksgiving, Petition, Instruction, Charge, and Blessing.
18. “The Call to Worship should call the people to “do” something: praise, adore, gather, give thanks etc. If the words of Scripture do not expressly include this charge, then the minister should add words that make the text a Call to Worship.”
19. Rubrics are instructive transitions that tell the congregation what to do and why.
20. To read the Bible really well is a difficult task.
21. “When love for Christ dominates our affections, sin loses its allure and, consequently, loses its power.”
22. “A Benediction can be a powerful instrument of pastoral care. With the Benediction, a pastor can communicate the care of the Heavenly Father with such tenderness and power that the worshippers leave the service full of confidence and joy for their work in the world.”
23. Pastors need to take the Benediction seriously. It is the means by which God sends His people out with the promise of His “pardon, presence, and peace.”
24. How should we receive the Benediction? If we see it as God’s speaking to us, sometimes “we would bow in humble thanksgiving,” while at other times “we would look up and lean forward as toward the embrace of a loved one.”
25. People may advocate a musical style because they find it appealing or because they believe it appropriate.
26. Many of the tunes we are accustomed to singing to were not originally attached to the words we know.
27. The Reformers were willing to borrow musical forms from the secular culture to encourage congregational singing.
28. What are the different aspects of Christ-centered worship?
Adoration (recognition of God’s greatness and grace).
Confession (acknowledgement of our sin and need for grace).
Assurance (affirmation of God’s provision and grace).
Thanksgiving (expression of praise and thanks for God’s grace).
Petition and Intercession (expression of dependence on God’s grace).
Instruction (acquiring the knowledge to grow in grace).
Communion/Fellowship (celebrating the grace of union with Christ and His people).
Charge and Blessing (living for and in light of God’s grace).