This was week four of our series on “Irresistable Influence.” It’s a series about being a church that fulfills the calling of Christ to be the light of the world (Matthew 5:14-16). This week we focused on the idea of defending the cause of the powerless, speaking up for and showing mercy to those without a voice or who just need help. The idea was we need to actually do it, instead of just having pity or compassion. Mercy is an action word, and we focused on how Jesus on multiple occasions challenged the Jews to learn what it meant when it was said that God desires mercy above sacrifice (Hosea 6:6). Our youth pastor preached today, and did a great job.
In light of that, our worship focus was on Jesus as our advocate. In preparing, it seemed that the Bible pointed to three primary roles that Jesus fulfills in being our advocate. (1) He throws open the doors to heaven for us. (2) He interceded for us before the Father for the forgivness of our sins. (3) He holds power over all which allows Him to fulfill this role. Because of this, we built our songs and prayers around these themes.
We also did something new this week, and did a live pre-service song. Normally we just do recorded music, but wanted to try something a little different to see if we could help draw people in a little sooner.
Pre-service song: Beautiful One (C) (Hughes)
Missions Video: Why go on a short term trip (in-house production)
Call to Worship: Ephesians 1:13-14, Job 16:19-20a
Come Thou Fount, Come Thou King (C) (Miller/Robinson)
Nothing But the Blood (A) (Redman)
Your Name (A) (Baloche/Packiam)
Prayer (We had people think of someone who needed to know the power of Christ in their lives or to know Him as their advocate, and then during the prayer we had everyone say the name out loud.)
The Power of Your Love (G) (Bullock)
Prayer for staff member that is moving to a new ministry position
Dismissal (Micah 6:8)
The songs flowed well. A definite high point was reaching the chorus on “Nothing But the Blood.”
As people gave the offering, we asked them to further consider the phrase, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” We began playing “The Power of Your Love” during that time, and then invited the people to sing that as we closed.
It was a good Sunday. We continue to seek God for the freedom of the Holy Spirit to move and draw people toward Him in our corporate gatherings.