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Worship Community
Plan View

Worship
As explained in the introduction, the greatest commandment is to love God. The most concentrated form of expressing love is worship, both in corporate worship and living a life of worship. Therefore, the priority in Worship Community is worship.

Corporate worship is a time for believers to express their love to God together, in concentrated form. Therefore, corporate worship is a church activity geared toward the believer. At Worship Community, the worship will be sensitive to the fact that unbelievers may be present, but the priority will be to glorify God in the context of the relationship with God that believers share. WC believes in the sufficiency of the Word of God to save and transform lives. Gimmicks are not needed and compromise is not an option. However, WC also recognizes that the Gospel is counter-cultural and is generally offensive to the things of this world. As a result, WC will seek to avoid practices that are needlessly offensive to the world, being seeker- sensitive, but absolutely will not compromise on essential Scriptural premises that may be offensive to this world.

Therefore, the corporate worship service at Worship Community will be as much a time of discipleship as a time of worship. Musical style will be appropriate to the particular community, but will be doctrinally sound and edifying. Most-likely, the style will be contemporary with great hymns of the faith added as appropriate. The preaching will be biblical and generally expository, but will have a great emphasis on practical application to everyday life.

Anyone who has had the opportunity to be a part of a church with continually Spirit-led worship knows that the mere observation of true God- centered worship becomes an evangelistic tool. Genuine Christian worship is a peculiar thing. But when it is done in spirit and in truth, unbelievers recognize that there is something special about it and long to be a part of it -- but you can't worship a God you don't know. Worship Community will be sensitive to this, and will be faithful in sharing the Gospel in the services, giving those unbelievers a chance to know God, and join the believers in genuine worship.

Community
The second greatest commandment is to love others. Expressing our love for others should be carried out throughout the week, on a day-to-day basis. However, there should be a time when the people come together as a community and build closer relationships. At Worship Community, this will be accomplished through the small groups. Theologian and church growth expert, Thom Rainer, has repeatedly shown through studies that people who get involved in small groups are much more likely to remain involved in the church. The small groups at Worship Community will function as a fellowship tool, a discipleship tool, and especially as an evangelistic tool. The small groups will be the primary arm for discovering prospects and helping seekers and new believers become a part of the church.

One drawback to using the small group time as the evangelistic arm is that the traditional model places the group time before the worship service, which leads to an expectation that the visitor should stay for the worship service. This is not inherently bad, but does add to the time expectation of someone who may not even be a believer yet. Initially, Worship Community will place the worship celebration before the small group time, in order to alleviate some of the pressure of this expectation. This will be communicated thoroughly to the church members, in order to encourage them to invite visitors to get involved in the small group time first, and at a later date, transition them to the worship celebration.

The morning Small-Group Community hour will be age-graded, ensuring that those in the group will share at least some interests and struggles. However, Worship Community considers families as vital and important. Therefore, at times, all of the small groups will be discussing the same subject, encouraging conversation in families throughout the week. Also, The Living Worship Training classes will not be age graded. These classes will be based on the level of discipleship of the individual. This will encourage interaction between different age groups within the community.

Other ways in which Worship Community will seek to build community include corporate prayer, community outreach activities, and discipleship. Eventually, the WC building will be known as a Worship Community Center, which will strengthen the WC commitment to building the community, while overcoming some of the cultural connotations of the word "church."

Place Specific
The basic premises behind Worship Community are biblical and practical. The specific manner of how these premises will be implemented may vary greatly according to location.

The initial launch for Worship Community will most likely be outside of a major northeastern city. Due to the fact that many residents have a 1 hour or more commute every day, midweek activities will be difficult to maintain. Therefore, the priority activities should all take place on Sunday. This makes Sunday a busy day, but leaves more time for involvement in the community throughout the week.

A typical Sunday prior to permanent facilities may look like:

7:30-8:15am Basic Setup
8:15-8:45am Corporate Prayer
8:45-9:30am Setup and sound-checks
9:30-10:45am Worship Celebration
11am-12pm Small-Group Community
12-12:30pm Clean Up
12:30-5:30pm Afternoon Family Free-time
5:30-6:15pm Living Worship Training (in homes)
6:15-7:45pm Community Touchpoint (visitation)
7:45-8:15pm Worship Celebration (accoustic, public setting)
8:15-8:30pm Clean Up

Other activities that would take place during the week, or at other specially scheduled times are: Worship Team practices, Leadership meetings, New Members classes, Community Outreach, Youth and Children's activities, and other special seminars, meetings or activities as they arise.

The next page will explain more about the process and current progress of making the first Worship Community a reality.

Worship Community Real Thing

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The WC model is an ongoing process and will be under development for several years. Check back often to see the growing vision and detailed plans for how the vision will be carried out.

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