Preparing for worship – Mar 22

from Mark Hoffman

I am blessed, I am called, I am healed, I am whole

I am saved in Jesus’ name

We gather once again this week to worship the Lord for all that he has done for us! As we begin by singing God You’re So Good, we proclaim the goodness of our God in all that he has given to us through faith in Jesus Christ. The familiar, yet powerful truth of John 3:16 reminds us of the love, life and forgiveness shown to us in Christ, and we respond again in song with My Victory and Nailed to the Cross.     

 

As March Missions Madness continues here at MCF, we are extremely excited to have missionaries Clint and Vivienne Smith with us! We will hear an update from them, and following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids 5 years old through 4th grade are invited to attend) Clint will preach a message from Matthew 16:24-28. Our response to the Word will be the song The Wonderful Cross. To close out our service, we will worship through our Giving, and conclude with some brief announcements and a Benediction.    
 
Take some time this weekend to prayerfully reflect on the Scripture above. Familiarize yourself with the songs so that we can join our voices in response to the Lord. Please be in prayer for our leaders, our worship team (Dan Kyriak and Jim Herold are leading this week) as well as our missionaries. When we gather with our hearts and minds prepared for worship, it’s like an invitation to the Lord to work powerfully in his church.     
 
Looking even further ahead, I wanted to give you a little idea of what we are preparing for at MCF as Good Friday and Easter are fast approaching! Starting on Sunday, March 31st, we will be making available a Lent/Easter devotional guide called “Journey to the Cross.” (You can find a preview of the guide here.) The guide contains daily devotional thoughts from a variety of Christian leaders and writers beginning the day before Palm Sunday and continuing through the day after Easter Sunday. We hope that using this guide together as a fellowship will inform our worship and our conversations as we move through Holy Week together. We will observe Good Friday together with a time of worship we are also calling “Journey to the Cross.” Our theme for Easter Sunday, “Remember and Believe,” is taken from John 2:22. There is much to look forward to, and much to be in prayer about as well.  
 
I look forward to worshiping together with you all this Sunday! Mark


Preparing for Worship – Mar 15

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalm 23:6

This Old Testament verse proclaims New Testament truth… that God continually pursues us with goodness and mercy through Jesus Christ, and that by faith in him we have the promise of eternal life with him! This week, we begin our time of worship by singing Goodness Love and Mercy and reading together the truth of Psalm 23. The songs How Deep the Father’s Love and Your Love Defends Me help us to frame our response to this truth in light of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

 
Following a video update from missionaries Dave & Andrea Hutchings and our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids 5 years old through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew brings us a message from Matthew 7:1-6 entitled “Guard Against Overconfidence.”  We will respond together in song with Lord I Need You. Following our regular time of Giving and some brief announcements, we will pray for and send off our short-term Japan missions team, and be sent out ourselves with a Benediction.
 

Find a few quiet moments this weekend to reflect on the gospel message of the songs and Scriptures above. Prepare your heart and mind for gathered worship of our great God and Savior. Be in prayer for our time together, for our church, for our leaders, and for our missionaries. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!



Preparing for Worship – Mar 8

from Mark Hoffman

To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus,

called to be saints together with all those who in every place

call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:2-3

As we read these words of Paul addressing the church in Corinth, we hear Scripture directly addressing us as well. For we also are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints, gathering this week along with believers across the globe to call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are united in worship because of the gospel of Jesus – the message of life and forgiveness through faith in him. The song Nailed to the Cross gathers us around the message of the gospel as we begin our time of worship this week. Then, 1 Corinthians 1:2-3 leads us to respond together in worship with And Can It Be and Grace Alone.  

 
 

Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids 5 years old through 4th grade are invited to attend) and a short video profile of Elder candidate Bill Buchanan, we are excited to welcome church planting partner Josh Young as he preaches God’s Word to us from Matthew 5:43-48. Responding to Christ’s command to love our enemies, we sing Build My Life. We will also worship through our Giving, and conclude with some brief announcements and a Benediction.       Will you prepare for gathered worship this week? Prayerfully reflect on the Scripture and songs above. Prepare to gather as God’s people to call on his name together, and to experience and celebrate the grace and peace that is in Christ Jesus.  

 
 

See you on Sunday, Mark 



Preparing for Worship – Mar 1

from Mark Hoffman

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing,

but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:18

The saving power of the gospel brings us together for worship once again this week! It is the gospel of Christ that wrapped up our Explore God series, and it is this same message of life and forgiveness in Christ that brings us into our month-long focus on missions we are calling March Missions Madness!  We begin by proclaiming the truth of the gospel and responding in praise as we sing Resurrection Power, This Is Amazing Grace, and Living Hope. Then, as our first official guests of March Missions Madness, we have the pleasure of welcoming Marty and Susan Larsen on the occasion of their retirement from ministry.

 
Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids 5 years old through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew will kick off our missions-focused sermon series with a message from 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 entitled “Focus on the Fundamentals.” We will take Communion together, respond in song with Man Of Sorrows, and conclude with a time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.  
 
 
We are excited about March Missions Madness! Please prepare for our worship gathering by prayerfully reflecting on the gospel truth of the Scripture and songs above. Pray for our missions focus this month. Pray that the Lord would build us up as a church and use us to reach out to our community and to the world with the powerful, saving message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
 
 
See you on Sunday! Mark


Preparing for Worship – Feb 22

from Mark Hoffman

For I am not ashamed of the gospel,

for it is the power of God for salvation

to everyone who believes.

Romans 1:16

The heartbeat of the Bible is the gospel — the message of forgiveness and new life in Jesus Christ. This gospel message isn’t just a mere collection of philosophical ideas. It is so much more. The gospel of Jesus is truth, and it is power. The song Come Thou Fount Come Thou King gathers us this week for worship, and then Romans 1:16 reminds us of the saving power of the gospel as we respond with Once And For All and Death Was Arrested.  

 
 
Following a special Kids’ Time, Pastor Andrew will wrap up the Explore God series by addressing the final question, “Can I Know God Personally?” In response, we lift our voices to sing O Come To The Altar and In Christ Alone. Concluding our service will be our regular time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.   And don’t forget to stick around after the service for lunch and the business meeting!    
 
 
Use the Scripture and songs above to reflect on the truth and power of the gospel in your own life. As you prepare for worship in this way, also pray that the Lord would glorify himself and build us up in faith as we gather to worship him together.
 
 
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Mark



Preparing for Worship – Feb 15

from Mark Hoffman

You spoke and worlds were formed, You breathed and life was born You knew that one day You would come So far from Heaven’s throne, Clothed in human form You showed the world the Father’s love

This week, we begin our worship together with the song You Gave Your Life Away. The song allows us to proclaim the same truth we explored last week – that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, who came on a rescue mission to restore our relationship with him through his death and resurrection. Scripture from 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 (NLT) reinforces this gospel truth and prompts us to respond in worship as we sing Hallelujah! What a Savior and Because He Lives (Amen). In light of the new life we have through faith in Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:14-15) we will welcome one another with a Fellowship Greeting and continue praising him in song with Christ Is Enough.               Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids 5 years old through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew will continue thExplore God series by addressing the question “Is the Bible Reliable?” The answers we discover lead us to confident praise as we sing Jesus Firm Foundation. Concluding our service will be our regular time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.               Intentionally take some time this weekend to soak in the truth of the gospel. Be reminded that Jesus Christ – fully God and fully man – came and lived a perfect life, shouldered our sins on the cross, and rose again in victory over the grave. Allow the songs and Scripture above to strengthen you in the truth of the gospel and to prepare your heart and mind for gathered worship on Sunday.               I look forward to seeing you then! Mark



Preparing for Worship – Feb 8

from Mark Hoffman

Last week as we explored the question “Is Christianity Too Narrow?” this distinction became clear: RELIGION is humanity’s attempt to reach God, but CHRISTIANITY is God’s attempt to reach humanity. God reached out to the world in the person of Jesus Christ. And Christ’s death and resurrection accomplished everything necessary to bring us, through faith, into eternally restored relationship with the true and living God. This truth is what compels us to worship this week, and it is why Jesus Christ is at the center of all of our worship — through prayer, Scripture (Galatians 2:20 and Romans 8:11) and song (Jesus, My Victory, Jesus Paid It All and Glorious Day.)

  Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids 5 years old through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew will continue the Explore God series by addressing the question “Is Jesus Really God?” Our response to the answers we discover will be to sing What a Beautiful Name. Concluding our service will be our regular time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.   Take time this weekend to prepare for gathered worship. Use the Scripture and songs above to gather your thoughts and focus your heart and mind on Christ. Pray for our church, pray for our leaders, pray for our visitors, and pray for our time of worship together. May the Lord build up his church on Sunday!

 
See you then, Mark


Preparing for Worship – Feb 1

from Mark Hoffman

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

Lamentations 3:21-24

This week, the song Our God Saves gathers us into God’s presence, leading us in worship to “lift up Your name, to call on our Savior, to fall on Your grace.” In light of last week’s question of why God allows pain and suffering, God’s Word to us in Lamentations 3:21-24 leads us to both humility and hope. In response we sing Your Love Defends Me and You Never Let Go.  
   
 
Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids 5 years old through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew will continue our Explore God series by addressing the question “Is Christianity Too Narrow?” As we explore biblical answers to this question we come face to face with the good news of Jesus Christ. The forgiveness and reconciliation found through faith in him is what we remember as we come to the communion table. At MCF, we invite all believers in Christ to take of the bread and cup. Please hold the elements when they are passed so that we may take them together. Mighty To Save will be our sung response. Concluding our service will be our regular time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.      
 
Draw near to the Lord this week. In all circumstances, find your joy and fulfilment in him. He has demonstrated his great love for us in Christ through his atoning death and life-giving resurrection. May this gospel truth lead us all into worship together this week.
 
 
See you Sunday! Mark


Preparing for Worship – Jan 25

from Mark Hoffman

Who am I that the highest King

Would welcome me?

I was lost but He brought me in

Oh His love for me!

As we gather for worship this week, we come into the presence of God singing Praise To The Lord The Almighty. It is an incredible privilege that the King of creation would invite us into his presence and welcome us! The love he shows to us through Jesus Christ draws us to him, brings us together, and compels us to worship, singing Who You Say I Am and Good Good Father.                

As we have been welcomed by him, we welcome one another (Romans 15:5-7) during our Fellowship Greeting. We will again lift our voices together to declare Lord I Need You, and then we invite all children up front for a special Kids’ Time. Pastor Andrew’s message this week will address the question “Why Does God Allow Pain and Suffering?” as we continue to Explore God together. In response to the answers we find in God’s Word, we will sing Blessed Be Your Name. Our worship gathering will conclude with a time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.    
 
 
Worship is gracious gift of God. Will you accept God’s invitation and prepare to engage in the privilege of worship together? Reflect prayerfully on the songs and Scripture above. Pray for our time of worship together. Pray for all those who lead and for all who will attend. Pray that the Lord would be glorified and that his church would be built up!  
 
 

See you on Sunday, Mark



Preparing for Worship – Jan 17

from Mark Hoffman

Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever.   Psalm 145:2

 

Last week, as we examined the question of life’s true purpose, we came to the conclusion that each one of us was created to know and love our creator God and to reflect him in the world. Life is meaningless without God, but God gives everything meaning. We will enter into worship of our great God this week singing All People That On Earth Do Dwell. Then, Psalm 145 will guide us in our worship, as we weave together the message of this Psalm of praise with songs of response singing Hallelujah To My King, Be Thou My Vision, and All Creatures Of Our God And King.

 
Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids 5 years old through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew will continue the Explore God series by addressing the question “Is There a God?” Our response to the evidence for God is awe, wonder, and praise as we sing together in worship to our all-powerful, amazing, Indescribable God. Concluding our service will be our regular time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.  
 
 
Will you prepare for worship this week? Prayerfully reflect verse-by-verse on the message of Psalm 145. Allow these words of Scripture to shape your understanding of who God is and your relationship to him. Familiarize yourself with the songs so that they may become an authentic response of worship we can all share in on Sunday.  
 
I look forward to seeing you then! Mark