Sunday Worship, from the perspective of Scripture & Pentecostal history & theology should be open to the Spirit, rooted in the Word & centred on the Table. Since its inception Pentecostal worship has never chosen between these three things. In fact it is the combination of these three things that makes Sunday worship truly Pentecostal. The following liturgy I am working on & presently seeking to model is very much designed with this in mind. It is designed to help us be what we are.
The longest section in the NT dealing with corporate worship is found in 1 Corinthians & it runs from chapter 11 to 14 (in fact it may even begin in chapter 10). After dealing with issues’ including The Lord’s Supper & spiritual gifts Paul finishes this whole section with the words; “But all things should be done decently & in order.” This is exactly why most churches have intentional liturgies. Yet at the same time the very context of these words encourage us to leave room for the gifts of the Spirit in our liturgy. Paul remember is writing to a church in chaos – the Lord’s Supper was chaotic & the use of spiritual gifts was chaotic, but he doesn’t ask them to stop either of these. For the problem was not with the Lord’s Supper or spiritual gifts, the problem was that there was no order. So he doesn’t forbid spiritual gifts or participation in worship, in fact he encourages it & then concludes; “but all things should be done decently & in order.” In Paul’s mind there is clearly no tension between having order & being open to the Spirit. In Paul’s mind liturgy – order in worship – enables everything to flow better. That is what this is all about.
Let me also make clear that I am not claiming the following order is the one Biblical way to do Sunday Worship, that would be the height of arrogance. However what I have done is make sure that all we do in our time together is rooted in Scripture as well as being considerate of how Christians have ordered Sunday worship down through the centuries. There is no perfect liturgy & I’m not trying to invent one. Paul didn’t give the Corinthians a complete order of service; he gave them some clear directives for sure but then he left them to work the rest out. We’re in the same boat. The following is very much designed with Sunday Worship at Amazing Grace in mind, & its aim is not only to shape our times together but also to help shape the rhythm & priorities of our everyday lives as Gospel believing people. Also this is a work in progress not the finished article.
A Liturgy for Sunday Worship Amazing Grace
John Fitzsimmons, pastor at Amazing Grace Fellowship