I am currently on a mission trip, traveling with three brothers whose work to advance the Gospel is well-known and wide-reaching. Maybe when we get back, I’ll be able to share some of the great things the Lord did. In the meantime, I’ve enlisted jeans-wearing singer Gerald Malloy, Pastor of Worship Ministries at HGBC’s North Campus, to share some of his thoughts on worship. And deep thoughts, they are. Follow him at www.themindofmalloy.com.
I am privileged beyond belief to call Hickory Grove my home and to serve alongside some of the godliest men and women. I believe that the prayers of faithful people in our church are being heard by a mighty God, and He is moving! These are great days at HGBC. I serve at North Campus as Worship Leader. My family and I are blessed each week by the outpouring of affection and adoration to the Lord by our faith family.
Each time we meet, it is an opportunity for us as a part of creation to glorify the Lord. You’ve heard several of our staff say from time to time that we will always sing songs TO GOD or ABOUT GOD. No other criteria are as important as those. We are blessed to have a pastor who believes in the power of God’s Word so much that when we leave a service, we have heard more about Jesus and the life-changing power of the Gospel than anything else.
As a worship leader, I reinforce that with the music selections. Our services have a flow about them that takes us from adoration and praise all the way to confession and repentance. We believe there is nothing more urgent than that: bringing people to the throne of God as He leads us to turn our hearts to Him. We will not sing songs that don’t pertain to either Jesus or the Gospel. Here’s how a given Sunday service is structured:
The Call to Worship: Returning to the Things of the Lord. Ephesians 2:11-14 gives us a clear picture of how we were away from God and then how we can be close to God. This invitation from the Lord to draw close to him causes an overwhelming feeling of joy as we begin to sing. We are to ask the Lord to look inside of us to remove those bitter roots that Pastor spoke of in last week’s message. The Lord’s work in our hearts then brings us to repent and turn to Him.
Our Confession: Giving Adoration to the Lord. We then confess with our mouths that Christ is King. He is the Source of everything that we have and all that we need. When we clap our hands in applause at the end of a song, it shouldn’t be for the band or the singers; we are agreeing together (as a chorus of “amens”) on what we just sang in worship.
Pastor’s Sermon: a Message from God’s Word. During the sermon, we hear about the Lord and how we are to live. The Gospel is always presented during these times of Bible study. Pastor Clint does not preach on topics, only to tack on the plan of salvation at the end. His message, straight from the Word, has the story of redemption and restoration for all people. From there, we respond.
Invitation: Repentance and Faith. Romans 8:12-14 urges us to turn away from our sinful nature in response to the Lord. I once heard someone say that worship is our unrestrained, uncalculated response to the greatness of God. If this statement is true, then we will respond to his invitation by surrendering our lives to Him. By the end of the service, the Gospel has been laid out so plainly in both Word and song, thus completing a true experience and encounter with the Creator of the World. We can then rejoice and give thanks for what He has done by the power of His Word.
These are some of the thoughts that go into putting a service together. There is intention in our services: to honor the Lord and give Him our sacrifice of praise. We want to give all glory and honor to God every time we meet.