We agree with the Westminster shorter catechism that the chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. Worship, broadly speaking, is the work of actively living this out. Historically, worship services did this by gearing all aspects of the service towards teaching about God from the Bible and experiencing His presence. Towards that end, we sing songs of praise, preach Biblical sermons, and participate in sacraments. The reason that we call this “Gospel Worship” is because our sinfulness has a tendency to turn all worship into duties that we indifferently carry out or guilt driven ways to try and earn His favor. But the Gospel transforms our worship into sincere gratitude and products of love.
The Gospel is the good news that God, through Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection has fixed everything. And the fixing of the world is anticipated by the fixing of our own selves. This fixing includes being moved from being objects of wrath to objects of blessing (Justification). And also by having our lives radically changed from the inside out (Sanctification). The gospel not only “gets us into heaven” but “gets heaven into us” as we align every dimension of our lives with its gracious truth. Once we are united to Christ, we receive benefits. One of those benefits is that we are conformed more and more into Jesus’ image each day. We start exhibiting fruit of the Spirit. And as we ourselves, as transformed persons, are driven to also transform the world around us so that God’s will would be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
One of the ways that the gospel blessings have manifested in history is when large swaths of people who normally were at odds with each other, suddenly come together in unity and harmony. In book of Acts it was Jews and Romans, slaves and free, men and women. In the Great Awakenings, it was Whites and Blacks as well as various warring denominations. Gospel creates shalom filled community even amongst warring parties. To this end, we encourage participation in community oriented events. We have small groups as well as various church gatherings. We do these things because we believe that church is not limited to the Sunday worship service.
Gospel Compassion & Service (Mercy & Justice)
The gospel shapes us to be a people who sacrificially serve our neighbors and the poor because of the salvation freely given to us through Jesus’ sacrificial love. We derive our life of active compassion and mercy from our identity with Jesus our King, who came to serve and not to be served. Instead of living to increase our private kingdoms of self-serving power and wealth, our new mode of existence is “power through service” and “wealth through generosity” as demonstrated at the cross. We especially seek to show mercy to the poor and seek justice for the weak and powerless, ministering the gospel through word and deed.