The Order of Worship
When you visit our church for worship service you will experience a sequence of events that provide a structure for worship and praise. If you arrive early enough to receive a program from one of our most helpful ushers you can find the Order of Worship for the day and you are more than welcome to follow along. If you arrive, and all the programs are distributed, that's okay too. You can click to this page on your smartphone (yes we know you use them in church), and follow along. You may notice slight differences between what you see here and what takes place during the service on the day you visit. This depends on whether or not there is a special service taking place, or if it is Communion Sunday. The following, however, will give you a good idea of what happens on Sunday morning at Little Zion.
This marks the start of morning worship, when the choir and clergy process down the aisle from the entrance of the church toward the pulpit. Most marches go better with music and this one is no exception. If you know the song, sing along. If you don't know the song, then clap along.
This is also known as the Dialogue, found on the back inside cover of the program. It is a call and response between the worship leader and the congregation. The purpose is to further tune into the praise and worship of God. For more information click here.
Announcing of the Opening Hymn
The worship leader welcomes everyone to service and announces the opening hymn (song). If you are in the sanctuary you may also look at the hymn board above the choir to find the page number of the hymn. It is a good idea to grab a hymnal and turn to the page as it is announced. That way you will also have time to pull out your bible (or grab one from the book rack in the pew) in preparation for...
After the worship leader announces the opening hymn, a reading of the morning scripture commences. Since this is where the Word of God is read aloud (and those words are pretty important) all who are not reading it aloud should be silent. Feel free to place your bookmark on the page, for the preacher of the morning will return to this scripture for the sermon.
Singing of the Opening Hymn
Stand to your feet, open your hymnal and join in the praise of God through song. Don't worry if you are on or off key, this is not American Idol or The Voice. God wants to hear your voice as is.
Someone will approach the altar to lead the church in prayer, a conversation with the Lord. At this point you may bow your head where you are and have a quiet prayer time of your own with God or you can simply remain silent and pray with the person at the altar. Sometimes the whole congregation will vocally align themselves in prayer with the person at the altar and you will feel it before you see it. Do not worry, this is a good thing. Sometimes prayer time is quiet and peaceful. Do not worry; this is a good thing too.
A song that closes out prayer. On a further note please know that God heard your prayer and He will respond.
The second hymn of the morning. The congregation may sit and sing along with the choir here. Yet, if you feel the need to stand and sing along, that is quite alright.
This is usually found on the back cover of our program. It is always found in the book Exodus, chapter 20. You may know it by its more common title...The Ten Commandments (Yes these still offer guidance and assistance in contemporary life, which is why it’s good to review them at least once a week).
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Amen.
The first offering of the morning assists the Missionaries with their work in the community. The offering may also go toward church initiatives and expenses. Congregants need only to sit, sing and give during this portion of the service (clapping and toe tapping are encouraged as well).
All that is scheduled to take place within the church, in our sister churches, and community items that the church is associated with are shared here. Greetings from near and far are also read here. The church clerk handles this, and her young son is usually in tow.
The official “Hello,” to visitors joining us for worship service. Visitors may stand and introduce themselves and also share a little about themselves during this portion of the service. During first Sunday the church clerk reads our birthday calendar for the month and a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” fills the sanctuary.
Tithes and Public Offering
Tithes are rooted in Old Testament tradition, where people took ten percent of their “first fruits” of everything grown (crops) and born (cattle) and donated it to the temple. No longer an agrarian society, contemporary tithes take the form of money and are given by church members during this offering. The public offering portion allows non-members who wish to give a chance to do so.
Immediately following the tithes and public offering, all of the money collected during the service is raised in the pulpit toward the Lord and the congregation offers a praise song of gratitude to the One who supplies all that is needed.
This song prepares the congregation, and the preacher of the hour, for the pending sermon. Sometimes it is a hymn, sometimes it is a song found from another source. It is always a chance to prepare yourself for God’s message.
Remember that scripture read at the beginning of service? Everything that comes out of the preacher’s mouth during this portion of the service is rooted in that scripture, for the benefit of someone in the sanctuary. Everything that comes out of the preacher’s mouth during this portion of the service should have come from the Lord. Since this is God’s message, merely delivered by the preacher, proper respect and behavior is required. Side conversations, playing with toys and all other behavior not dedicated to the delivery and acceptance of God’s message should be performed outside of the sanctuary at this time.
If you feel the message is talking directly to you, LISTEN UP! And do what you are told. If you feel the message is not talking directly to you, LISTEN UP! And remember this is God’s word going forward. If you don’t need it at the time, you (or someone you know) will need it at a later time.
Invitation to Christian Discipleship
We as Christians are called to share Jesus Christ with the world and inform the world of this gift of eternal salvation that God delivered through His only begotten son (See John 3:16). To receive this gift of eternal salvation (that is spending eternity in Heaven with God, the Lord Jesus and the body of believers), all that is required is to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Cut and dry, that is it. So, to ensure that all who attend a worship service at Little Zion have the opportunity to accept this precious gift from God, the Invitation to Christian Discipleship goes forward during each and every service.