At Beckwith Hills Christian Reformed Church, our worship is Biblically centered, thematic and conversational. Our conversation is with God and each other. Themes may be centered around seasons throughout the church year or based on a particular sermon series. We use the 10 Core Convictions of Christian Worship as written by the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship as a guideline to challenge and encourage:
Christian worship is immeasurably enriched by:
A vivid awareness of the beauty, majesty, mystery, and holiness of the triune God.
Worship cultivates our knowledge and imagination about who God is and what God has done. Worship gives us a profound awareness of the glory, beauty, and holiness of God. Each element of worship can be understood through a Trinitarian framework. Worship renewal is best sustained by attention to the triune God we worship. (Ps. 27:4; Ps. 63:2)
The full, conscious, active participation of all worshipers, as a fully inter-generational community.
Worship is not just what ministers, musicians, and other leaders do; it is what all worshipers “do”—through the work of the Spirit in worship. In vital worship, all worshipers are involved in the actions, words, and meaning of worship. God’s covenant promises endure “from generation to generation.” Worship that arises out of an intentionally inter-generational community, in which people of all ages are welcomed as full participants, and whose participation enriches each other, reflects that worship breaks down barriers of age. (Neh. 8:1,6,7,8,12; Ps. 148:12-13)
Deep engagement with scripture.
The Bible is the source of our knowledge of God and of the world’s redemption in Christ. Worship should include prominent readings of Scripture, and engage worshipers through intentional reading practices, art, and music. It should present and depict God’s being, character, and actions in ways that are consistent with scriptural teaching. It should follow biblical commands about worship practices, and it should heed scriptural warnings about false and improper worship. In particular, Christian worship should be deeply connected to its ancient roots in psalmody. (Col. 3:16)
Joyful and solemn celebrations of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
The sacraments are physical signs of God's nourishing action in creation through the Holy Spirit. In baptism, God puts his covenant mark on his children, adopts them into the church, and calls them to a lifetime of dying and rising with Christ. In the Lord's Supper, God physically and spiritually feeds his people. These celebrations are not just ceremonies, but gifts of grace and signs of God's ongoing work. (Rom. 6:3-5; 1 Cor. 10:16-17)
An open and discerning approach to culture.
Worship should strike a healthy balance among four approaches or dimensions to its cultural context: worship is trans-cultural (some elements of worship are beyond culture), contextual (worship reflects the culture in which it is offered), cross-cultural (worship breaks barriers of culture through worship), and counter-cultural (worship resists the idolatries of its cultural context. (Rom. 12; Matt. 5:13; Rev. 5:9)
Disciplined creativity in the arts.
Worship is enriched by artistic creativity in many genres and media, not as ends to themselves or as open-ended individual inspirations, but all disciplined by the nature of worship as a prophetic and priestly activity. (Exod. 25:30-35)
Collaboration with all other congregational ministries.
Congregational worship is mutually enriching to the full range of congregational ministries, including pastoral care, education, spiritual formation, and witness. (1 Cor. 12:12)
Warm, Christ-centered hospitality for all people.
A central feature of worship is that it breaks down barriers to welcome all worshipers, including persons with disabilities, those from other cultures, both seekers and lifelong Christians, and others. (Rom. 12:13)
Intentional integration between worship and all of life.
Worship fosters natural and dynamic connections between worship and life, so that the worship life of Christian congregations both reflects and shapes lives of grateful obedience, deeply engages with the needs of the world, including such specific areas as restorative justice, care for the earth, and many other areas. (Rom. 12:1)
Collaborative planning and evaluation.
Worship involves a collaborative process for planning and evaluating services in the context of an adaptive approach to overall congregational leadership. (Acts 20:28)