Q&A about our Sunday Gathering
Why do you love corporate gatherings at Randolph Street?
Few things thrill me as much as a people, bound together by a passionate love for the gospel, engaged in the worship of our great God and Savior.
Why do we pray before the gathering?
The corporate gathering of God’s people is a serious and important aspect of our body life. The time of pre-gathering prayer is our attempt to seek His help as we long for God to put on display His glorious presence among us.
Why do we publicly confess our faith together?
We do this to remind ourselves of the core truths of the faith that bind us together. Confessing the truth of God’s Word through the ancient catechisms and confessions also reminds us that we are standing on the shoulders of a long line of godly men and women who have went before us. The truth we love is not new, but has been embraced by the church for almost two thousand years.
Why do we publicly read the Scriptures?
We read the Scriptures publicly for three reasons. First, it is a clear command and practice of the early church (1 Tim 4:13). Second, publicly reading the Scriptures together focuses us on God and His authority over our lives. Third, it is the Word of God that strengthens, rebukes, convicts and encourages us. A more proper question might be, “Why would we not read the Scriptures publicly?”
Why do we sing the songs we sing?
Singing is an important expression of our praise to God. Choosing what we sing is guided by the following principles:
God-centered: By this we mean two things. First, we sing songs that direct our attention to God, His holiness, justice, grace, mercy, etc. Second, we seek to sing songs that are theologically deep and accurate. For too many years the American church has been plagued by theologically shallow, man-centered songs.
Gospel Saturated: We love songs that are infused with the gospel, songs that take us close to the cross and remind us of who we are outside of Christ and the blessing we have being in Christ.
Multi-generational: We desire the older generation to continually learn new songs while teaching the younger generation the great hymns of the faith.
Congregational: There are many good songs we will never sing because they are not designed for a congregation. We call this our corporate gathering because we want active participation of everyone in our faith family. While the 'singability' of any song depends on the person, our elders have been blessed by the way our children quickly pick up on the new songs we introduce. Those who would like more help learning the Sunday songs can find a preview link each week at www.randolphonline.org/nextsunday.
Heart & Mind: Heartless or mindless worship is not glorifying to God. We pick songs that are truth filled and given to passionate worship, songs that draw our minds to remember and our hearts to praise.
Why is preaching central to our gathering?
The truth of God’s Word is central to everything we do, especially when we gather together as God’s people. We long to hear the living Word that transforms us more into the image of Jesus Christ. Biblically and historically the proclamation of God’s Word has always been central to the gathering of God’s people.
Why do we have our children present during the gathering?
What happens on Sunday mornings during corporate gathering cannot be reduplicated anywhere else in life. No club, para-church ministry, organization or even the family is ordained by God to do the things the gathered church is to do. So, it is important for our families to experience the gathering of the local church together. Few things encourage me more than seeing parents explaining the sacraments and the preached Word to their children or seeing families standing together singing with other families, experiencing the beauty of Body life. Visit www.randolphonline.org/children
What about physical expression during worship?
We encourage physical expression during worship such as the raising of hands and public affirmations such as “amen,” etc. Genuine expressions of gratitude and praise to God that do not detract from the unity of our gathering brings much glory to God. We value the diversity of people and personalities who have gathered in unity around the gospel here at Randolph Street Church.