Preparing for Worship – Jan 10

from Mark Hoffman

We welcome you with praise! We welcome you with praise!

Almighty God of love, be welcomed in this place!

We come together this week in worship, invited and welcomed by God into his presence through faith in our Savior Jesus Christ. Because he first welcomes us, we respond in praise singing Here For You. Psalm 146 continues to call us into worship and further expresses reasons why we gather to praise the Lord. The song 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) provides another sung response and leads us into a time of spontaneous prayer. Feel free to openly pray aloud, “Lord, I praise you because…” giving your own reason for praising him. We will then join voices again to sing How Great Is Our God.

 
 
 
Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids 5 years old through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew will address the question “Does Life Have a Purpose?” as we begin the Explore God series. Responding to what God’s Word has to say regarding this important question, we sing together the song of commitment, Living for Your Glory. Concluding our service will be our regular time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.
 

  Please take some time this weekend to reflect on the Scriptures and songs above. Come ready to be welcomed in worship by our almighty, loving, and saving Lord. Please pray for all those leading and speaking in the service. Pray also that those who come in response to the Explore God initiative would be powerfully impacted by the truth of God’s Word and by experiencing worship of Him among His people. May the Lord build His church this Sunday!

 
I look forward to seeing you then… Mark


Preparing for Worship – Jan 3

from Mark Hoffman

 
Happy New Year!  As we gather for worship this week, we begin the new year proclaiming that Today Is the Day that the Lord has made… let’s rejoice and be glad in it! This song echoes the words of the salvation song of Psalm 118, which finds its ultimate fulfilment in our Savior, Jesus Christ. The words of this Psalm and the song Jesus Messiah point us to the gospel of Jesus and lead us 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. After proclaiming Christ’s atoning death through communion, we proclaim his resurrected life together in song, singing Christ Is Risen.
 
 
Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids 5 years old through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew will lay the foundation for the upcoming Explore God initiative with a message centered on Christ’s “Great Commission” found in Matthew 28:16-20. We will also spend time in prayer together for Explore God.
 
 
Responding to the message, we will sing Build My Life, asking that the Lord would lead us in his love to those around us who need the good news of Jesus Christ in their lives. We will close the service with our regular time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.
 

Will you come prepared to worship this Sunday? Reflect on the songs and Scripture above and on the saving message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Will you continue to draw near to the Lord with an attitude of worship day by day throughout the coming weeks? It is our hope that many people will be coming to our church in January and February to “Explore God” in our Sunday services. We want them to not only hear the truth of the gospel, but to experience authentic worship among people like us who have been transformed by the truth of the gospel. Our worship can be a powerful testimony to the existence of God and to the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Please pray with me to this end as we gather for worship this week and beyond…

 
 
See you on Sunday!
Mark


Preparing for Worship – Dec 28

from Mark Hoffman

Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad    and say evermore,“Great is the Lord, who delights in the welfare of his servant!” Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long. 

Psalm 35:27-28

These verses from Psalm 35 describe how we want to end the year at Meadows Christian Fellowship — by proclaiming the greatness of the Lord and telling of his righteousness and faithfulness toward us. We begin our time of worship in song with Great Are You Lord, and then allow Psalm 35:27-28 to lead us into a time of testimony. Please come ready to share how God has worked in your life in 2018. Our response will be to sing Come Thou Fount Come Thou King.

After a special Kids’ Time, Pastor Andrew will then move our perspective from looking back at God’s blessing to looking forward to the year ahead in prayer. Following our regular time of Giving, we close together singing All Glory Be to Christ.
 

In his book, True Worshipers, Bob Kauflin says, “Worship and edification are two sides of the same coin.”  In other words, when we worship together, we are building up (edifying) the church. And any time we build up the church, that is an act of worship.

Spend some time reflecting on how you have seen God at work in your life this past year, and come ready to encourage and build up the fellowship by sharing your testimony to God’s faithfulness. Reflect on the songs and Scripture as well, and let’s all come prepared to end 2018 in the best way possible — in worship of our our great Lord, who delights in the welfare of his people.

See you on Sunday,

Mark



Preparing for Worship – Dec 20

from Mark Hoffman

It’s almost Christmas, and we have some special things happening at Meadows!     On Sunday morning we will have our Meadows Family Christmas service. If you haven’t been to one of these services in the past, come ready for a relaxed Christmas celebration together as a church family.  We will enjoy breakfast goodies in the atrium to the music of some of our student musicians, light the Advent candle, sing traditional Christmas songs, have a gift exchange, hear a brief devotional message from Andrew, and take a “family picture.” It’s always a great time of worship and fellowship, and the fun starts at 9:30am.

 
 

On Monday evening is our Christmas Eve candlelight service. Pastor Andrew will use John 1 as our guide as we focus on Jesus Christ, our Savior who WAS, IS and IS TO COME. We will gather for this special time of worship to reflect on Scripture (John 1:1-5, Matt 1:18-23, Luke 2:1-20, John 1:9-14) and to respond in prayer and in song (Unchanging, O Come All Ye FaithfulWhat Child Is This, O Little Town of Bethlehem, Go Tell It) as we center our hearts and minds on Jesus Christ. This hour-long service of worship begins at 8:00pm.

 
 

I hope you will plan to come and celebrate the birth of the Savior with us this week! Mark



Preparing for Worship – Dec 13

from Mark Hoffman

“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”  Luke 2:14 (NKJV)

The well-known Christmas carol, It Came Upon A Midnight Clear, speaks of PEACE. The whole song refers to the peace that was proclaimed by the angels at the birth of Jesus Christ. But it also refers to the promised eternal peace which we long for at the return of Christ to the earth. This song will open our time of worship together and point us to the Advent message of PEACE. Bob and Phyllis Harrison will light the third Advent candle representing PEACE, and our sung response of worship will be You Are Holy (Prince of Peace) and Unchanging.
 
 
We are very pleased this week to welcome our very own JD & Candace Goding to share with us about their mission work with YWAM in Australia. You may also greet them at Wednesday Nights prayer meeting starting with dinner at 6pm. After Children’s Church dismissal (all kids 5 years old through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew continues our Advent series with a message called “The Savior Who WAS, IS and IS TO COME.” His text will be from Revelation 1:4-8 & 4:8-11.
 
 
Following our regular time of Giving, we close in response with O Come Emmanuel.
 
 
Advent is a time of anticipation, as we look to the coming of Christ our Savior. We remember his first coming… it was humble and crude, born to common people sheltering in a stable for the night. And we also look forward to his second coming… in great power and glory, making all things right and all things new. Let’s enter into this sense of anticipation this week. Prayerfully reflect on the Scripture and songs above as we prepare to join together in worship of the Prince of Peace, our Savior who WAS, IS and IS TO COME!
 
 
I look forward to worshiping with you on Sunday…
 
Mark


Preparing for Worship – Dec 6

from Mark Hoffman

He rules the world with truth and grace

And makes the nations prove

The glories of His righteousness

And wonders of His love

The classic Christmas hymn Joy To the World gathers us together this week to worship the Lord on this second Sunday of Advent. We will continue to reflect on the “wonders of His love” as Caleb and Katie Copeland light the Advent candle representing LOVE. Our response to this love, displayed to us in the birth of Christ, is to sing We Have a Savior and Reckless Love.
 
After Children’s Church dismissal (all kids 5 years old through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew continues our WAS, IS, and IS TO COME Advent Series with a message called “The Savior Who IS.”His text will be Colossians 1:27-28.  
 
Following our regular time of Giving, we close in response, asking Christ to come to us and abide with us as we sing O Little Town of Bethlehem.  
 
This week, be reminding yourself of the love that God demonstrated to us through the coming of Jesus. It’s not an abstract love, but God’s very real love come down for us in the person of Jesus Christ. Let’s come prepared to worship Him this Sunday!
 
See you then,
Mark


Preparing for Worship – Nov 29

From Mark Hoffman

“He has caused us to be born again to a living hope…” 1 Peter 1:3

 

This week begins our celebration of Advent, as we look forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas. Throughout this Advent season, our theme will center on Jesus Christ, our Savior who WAS, IS, and IS TO COME. In keeping with this theme, our first song, Unchanging, allows us to begin by lifting praises to our unchanging Lord Jesus Christ. We also will be lighting a candle on the Advent wreath each week to show the light of Christ getting brighter as we near Christmas Day, and to explore the traditional themes of the Advent season. This week, Darla Hummel will light the candle that represents HOPE.

What Child Is This reminds us of the ultimate purpose behind Christ’s birth, and points us 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. Our response of praise is Living Hope.

After Children’s Church dismissal (all kids 5 years old through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew will begin our WAS, IS, and IS TO COME Advent Series with a message called “WAS – Christ in the Flesh.” His text will be Romans 5:12-21.

Following our regular time of Giving, we close in song declaring the truth that Jesus Christ was Born That We May Have Life.
 

Christ came in the flesh to bring hope and salvation into a world that desperately needs it. Since it can be so easy for us to get swept away by the busyness of the season, we must be intentional about making our Christmas experience be centered on this message of hope in Jesus. You can start by finding a few quiet moments to prayerfully reflect on the songs and Scriptures above, and prepare your heart and mind to gather for worship this Sunday.

See you then,

Mark



Preparing for Worship – Nov 23

 

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;    for his steadfast love endures forever!  Psalm 118:1

 

This is the time of year that we intentionally set aside time to be thankful. Thankfulness is always appropriate in our worship because, throughout Scripture, God’s people are called to be a people who give thanks. Scripture from Psalm 92:1-4 and our opening song Today Is the Day point our hearts and minds in this direction. We will respond together with expressions of thanksgiving during a special Kids Time and an open time of sharing what we’re thankful for. God’s Word from Psalm 118 once again calls us to give thanks, and the song Great Is Thy Faithfulness (Beginning To End) continues our expression of thankfulness and praise.

 

Hymn of the Holy Spirit is a sung prayer that prepares us to hear the preaching of the Word this week. Pastor Andrew’s message, “The Holy Spirit and Multiplication” is his final message in our Holy Spirit series. His text will be taken from Acts 2.

 

We will respond to God’s Word as we worship through our Giving and as we close in song with Build Your Kingdom Here.

 

I love Thanksgiving because it is a wonderful time where worship breaks in to everyday life in very tangible ways. As we share a meal with our family and friends, we worship the Lord through our thankfulness. I hope you are finding this to be true this Thanksgiving week. Let’s keep the thanksgiving going this Sunday as we gather together for worship.

 

See you then! Mark

 



Preparing for Worship – Nov 15

From Mark Hoffman

The Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake,

because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself.

1 Samuel 12:22

As we gather in worship this week singing Here For You, we proclaim the beautiful truth that God has made us a people for himself and that we are here for him. We belong to him, and we belong to each other. Scripture from Titus 2:11-14 and 1 Peter 2:9-10 reinforce this truth with the gospel of Jesus Christ as we continue in worship, singing Be Thou My Vision and What a Beautiful Name.
 
Following some brief announcements and our Children’s Church dismissal, we will collect offerings and Connection Cards during our regular time of Giving. Then, Pastor Andrew continues his Holy Spirit sermon series with a message entitled “The Holy Spirit and Care.” Included in his message will be real life stories of care happening in our fellowship today. This week’s sermon text is from 2 Corinthians 1:1-5.
 
The song Man of Sorrows is both a gospel response as well as a bridge to the celebration of Baptisms. We look forward to celebrating this picture of new life in Christ with two new families this week.
 
Please plan to stay for lunch and our Business Meeting following the service!
 
I have come to believe that preparation for worship is of great importance. Our mindset and expectations walking in the door on Sunday morning set a tone for our hearts and establish a direction for our worship. Will you set aside time to prepare for worship this weekend? Prayerfully reflect on the Scripture and songs above. Ground yourself in the truth that, as God’s people, we belong to him and we belong to each other. Then, come with a humble and expectant heart, ready to worship our great God and Savior.
 
See you on Sunday,
 
Mark


Preparing for Worship – Nov 8

from Mark Hoffman

Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples!

For great is his steadfast love toward us,

and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord!   Psalm 117
 
 
We gather this week to worship our God of love and faithfulness. We begin by hearing God proclaim Himself to us through Scripture in Exodus 34:5-8. We then respond back to Him in worship by declaring in song Your Grace Is Enough and by lifting up the words of Psalm 117 in praise. This Psalm again points us to the love and faithfulness of God and further fuels our worship as we sing Great Is Thy Faithfulness (Beginning To End).
 
 
God’s Word from 1 John 1:5-9 reminds us that God’s greatest demonstration of love and faithfulness is seen in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is in Christ alone that we find restored fellowship with God and fellowship with one another. Our Fellowship Greeting time is a response to this truth.
 
 
This week, we want to take a special opportunity during our service to thank all of our veterans this Veterans Day. Following some brief announcements and our Children’s Church dismissal we will collect offerings and Connection Cards during our regular time of Giving. As we learn a new song, Hymn of the Holy Spirit, may it prepare us to hear God’s Word as Pastor Andrew continues his Holy Spirit sermon series with a message entitled “The Holy Spirit and Fellowship.” His sermon text will be 2 Corinthians 13:11-14.
 
 
The song As You Go sends us out in the power of the Spirit to give glory to God with our lives.
 
 
This weekend, will you prepare your heart and mind for worship? Prayerfully reflect on the Scripture and songs above, and come with a sense anticipation as we gather in the presence of the living God to worship him for who he is and for all that he has done for us in Jesus Christ!
 
See you on Sunday,
Mark