Preparing for Worship – Oct 11

from Mark Hoffman

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus 

and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, 

remembering you in my prayers…

 

As we see in this passage from Ephesians, it is the people’s faith in the Lord Jesus and their love for one another that moves Paul to thanksgiving and prayer for them. As we gather this week, it is also our faith in the Lord Jesus and our love for one another in him that brings us together for worship. We will begin our time of worship in song with Great Things and Jesus. Then as we hear Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:15-23 we will make this prayer our own, and respond in worship to God for the “immeasurable greatness of his power toward us” as we sing Resurrection Power

 

Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids Kindergarten through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew will continue our series in Ephesians, Built Together, with a message centered on this wonderful prayer of Paul for the Ephesian church and how it relates to us today. We will again declare the resurrection power of Jesus as we sing Christ Is Risen, and celebrate the picture of that power through several baptisms. Concluding our service will be a time of Giving, a few brief announcements, and a Benediction
 
 

Will you find a few quiet moments, individually or with others, to prepare for gathered worship? Pray Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1 for yourself, for your family, for our church. Come prepared to gather in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus, who is the “head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.”

 

See you on Sunday!

 

Mark



Preparing for Worship Oct 4

from Mark Hoffman

Lift up your heart!

Lift up your voice!

Rejoice!

Again I say, rejoice!

This week, we gather once again in the presence of our living and loving God, lifting up our hearts and voices to him in worship with Rejoice the Lord Is King. In Ephesians 1:3, Scripture reminds us that God deserves worship like this. He is so worthy to be blessed by the praises of his people because he has so richly blessed us in Jesus Christ. In light of this, we will read together a call to blessing from Psalm 103:1-5 and then respond in song with 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) and Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me.

 

Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids Kindergarten through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew will continue our series in Ephesians, Built Together, with a message from Ephesians 1:3-14. Then, responding to the glorious truth of all that we have in Christ, we will remember the Lord by taking Communion together, and proclaim the hope that we have in him as we sing In Christ Alone. Concluding our service will be a time of Giving, a few brief announcements, and a Benediction

 

Please carve out some time to soak in the truth of the Scripture above. Let God’s Word prepare you for gathered worship on Sunday. May the lifting of our hearts and voices in worship bless him with the glory and honor he so greatly deserves.

 

See you on Sunday! Mark



Preparing for Worship – Sept 27

from Mark Hoffman

All creatures of our God and King

Lift up your voice and with us sing

O praise Him! Alleluia!
 
 

We enter into worship together this week with a song of praise, All Creatures of Our God and King. We are encouraged as we gather to lift our voices in praise of our God – Father, Son, and Spirit. As we see in Ephesians 2:18 & 22, our Triune God is at work, drawing us to Himself and building us together as His dwelling place. In response to this incredible truth we will sing Here For You and What a Beautiful Name.     After we invite our kids up front for a special Kids’ Time, we are pleased to welcome our special guest Stuart Briscoe. Stuart will preach the Word once again from the book of Ephesians as we continue to deepen our understanding of what it means to be Built Together in Christ Jesus. Our response together in song will be Cornerstone. Then concluding our service will be a time of Giving, a few brief announcements, and a Benediction     Please take some time this weekend to prayerfully reflect on the Scripture and songs above. Pray that God would be building us together as a church for his glory and for our good!     See you on Sunday… Mark



Preparing for Worship – Sept 20

from Mark Hoffman

Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Grace be with all who love our
Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible. Ephesians 6:23-24
 
 
This week, Psalm 95:1-2 gathers us together before the Lord in worship. Then our opening song, Our God Saves, gives us a clearly stated purpose: We gather together as a church to lift up the name of the Lord in worship, to call on him as our Savior, and to fall upon his abundant grace. Paul’s words at the end of Ephesians remind us of the peace, love, faith, and grace in which we share as brothers and sisters in Christ. We will share in these gifts together as we greet one another during our Fellowship Greeting, and celebrate them together in worship as we sing Nailed To The Cross and You Never Let Go.
 
 
Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids Kindergarten through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew will lay the groundwork for our upcoming series in Ephesians with a message which provides an introduction to and overview of this theologically rich pastoral letter of Paul. In response to God’s Word we will sing Jesus Firm Foundation, and conclude our worship with a time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.
 
 
Please take some time this week to prayerfully reflect on the Scripture and songs above. As we begin our study of Ephesians, be praying that it would bear much fruit in you and in the life of our church.
 
 
See you on Sunday… Mark


Preparing for Worship – Sept 13

from Mark Hoffman

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,

let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely,

and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus,

the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him

endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 

Hebrews 12:1-2

We begin our worship this week with a prayer set to music, Be Thou My Vision. As we sing together, we pray that the Lord would become everything to us, that He would fill our vision with the greatness of who he is and all that he has done for us. Hebrews 12 helps us to continue this theme in our worship, as we cast aside all else and look to Jesus, singing ‘Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus and Yet Not I But Through Christ in Me.

 
 
Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids Kindergarten through 4th grade are invited to attend) we are excited to have special guest Cisco Cotto wrap up our Joining Christ On His Mission series with a message entitled “Fruitfulness In Christ’s Mission.” His focus will be in John 15 and Galatians 5. In response to the Word, we will sing Build My Life as a prayer of dedication and commitment to the Lord. Concluding our worship will be a time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.
 

Please find a few moments to pray and prepare for gathered worship this week. Pray for Pastor Andrew and our Elders who are all on retreat together this weekend. Pray for Cisco Cotto as he prepares to preach the Word to us. Prayerfully reflect on the Scriptures above and on the message of the songs we will sing together. May our worship bring glory to the Lord and build up his church!

 
See you on Sunday! Mark


Preparing for Worship – Sept 6

from Mark Hoffman

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it! –Psalm 118:24
 
Each day gives us a new opportunity to rejoice in the goodness and faithfulness of our God! We gather once again to do just that as we receive this call to worship from Psalm 118 and respond in song with Today Is the Day.  As we heard Christ’s call last week to COME, ABIDE, FOLLOW and GO, we recognize that Christ doesn’t call us because we are perfect. In fact, the same disciples whom Jesus initially commissioned were in that very moment struggling with doubt and hardness of heart! (see Matt 28:17 and Mark 16:14-15) And if we’re honest, we can acknowledge that we are no different. But Christ’s call to us is a call of grace. His call is gracious not only to save doubting and hard-hearted people just like us, but also to commission us, in spite of all our imperfections, to be his representatives and to proclaim his gospel message to the world! We will rejoice in this grace toward us as we sing Grace Alone and Grace On Top of Grace.
 
 
Children’s Church is back! Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids Kindergarten through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew will continue to focus on our role in joining Christ’s mission with a message from 2 Corinthians 8:1-15. We will conclude with a response of God You’re So Good, a time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.  
 
 
Set aside some time to prepare for gathered worship this Sunday. Humbly confess your own doubts and hard-heartedness to the Lord, and then receive the grace on top of grace that is in your Savior Jesus Christ! Reflect on the Scripture and songs above and pray that God would bring you to church on Sunday ready to receive from him and to rejoice in him. And don’t forget — plan to stick around after the service for one of our new Know-Love-Become courses!
 
 
See you on Sunday… Mark


Preparing for Worship – Aug 30

from Mark Hoffman

Praise the Lord, His mercy is more!

Stronger than darkness, new every morn

Our sins they are many, His mercy is more!

We gather once again this week in response to God’s invitation to worship. The Lord continually calls his people into his presence to receive from and respond to him in worship. We will hear and respond to this call with the song Jesus I Come. As 1 Timothy 1:12-17 reminds us of God’s great mercy to us in Christ, we will echo this truth as we sing His Mercy Is More. And it is the abundant mercy of God in Christ that then leads 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 taking of the elements representing Christ’s body and blood, we will proclaim in song Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me.

 
All our kids will again remain in the service for one last Sunday while our Children’s Church volunteers finish up a much deserved break. (Nursery and Toddler ministry is still available.) Pastor Andrew’s message this week will focus on Joining Christ’s Mission as he compares the five “Commission” passages of the New Testament. We will respond together with Mighty To Save and conclude with a time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.
 

Please create some space in your busy weekend to reflect on the Scriptures and songs above. Prepare your heart and mind to respond in worship to the great mercy of God in Christ, and to respond to the commissioning call of Christ in the New Testament.  See you on Sunday! Mark



Preparing for Worship – Aug 23

from Mark Hoffman

Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”  John 20:26 

This week, the song Great Things invites us to come before Jesus and to worship him together as our risen and victorious Lord and Savior. Just as the living Christ stood among his disciples declaring peace to them, Jesus stands among us as well, pronouncing his peace over us through the gospel of his death and resurrection. In the flow of long-standing Christian tradition, we share with one another the peace of Christ through our Fellowship Greeting time. Then, the songs Death Was Arrested and Glorious Day continue our celebration of the gospel of Jesus.
 
After we invite our kids up front for a special Kids’ Time with Pastor Andrew, we are excited to welcome one of our Elders, Tim Copeland, as he wraps up our Know-Believe-Live sermon series with a message from John 21. We will respond in praise to the Lord as we sing Living Hope. Concluding our service will be a time of Giving, a child dedication, a few brief announcements, and a Benediction. 
 

Please find some quiet moments this week to prayerfully reflect on the Scripture and songs above in preparation for gathered worship. Please pray for Tim and for the worship team. Also be praying that our study of the Gospel of John would bear fruit in our church as we move into the fall ministry calendar.  See you on Sunday! Mark



Preparing for Worship – Aug 16

from Mark Hoffman

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples,

which are not written in this book; but these are written

so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,

and that by believing you may have life in his name.  {John 20:30-31}
 
 
  As we come together for worship this week, we’ll begin by proclaiming the gospel truth that our sin was Nailed To The Cross, and that by faith in Jesus Christ we have forgiveness and life forevermore. Drawing near to the end of our exploration of John’s Gospel, we’ll get to hear the story of the resurrection once again and return to the great purpose statement found in John 20:30-31. Of the many signs done by Jesus, there is none more significant than the resurrection! We will sing in praise to declare that Christ Is Risen and that he has conquered sin and death Once And For All.
 
For the month of August, we’ll be giving our Children’s Church volunteers a much deserved break, so all our kids will again remain in the service this week. (Nursery and Toddler ministry is still available.) Pastor Andrew’s message in our Know-Believe-Live series is rooted in John 20 this week, and our sung response is to sing in faith, This I Believe. Concluding our time of gathered worship will be a time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.
 

In terms of the traditional church calendar, we are far removed from Easter. But the glorious truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ reaches far beyond just a day on the calendar. When we come to faith in Christ, we are spiritually regenerated – in other words, we are “born again.” This is a wonderful reality, but physically we still remain in our fallen, fleshly state. Here, then, is the victory of the resurrection! Because Jesus has risen, we live in the confident hope that in him, we will also one day be resurrected. On that great day, we will finally be regenerated both spiritually and physically – having been made fully and completely new by the God who saved us. Allow the message of the Scripture and songs above to fill your heart and mind this week, and come prepared to celebrate “Easter in August” on Sunday!   See you then, friends… Mark



Preparing for Worship – Aug 2

from Mark Hoffman

Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, 

“Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 

Jesus said to them, “I am he.” When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” 

they drew back and fell to the ground. John 18:4-6

This week we begin our worship together in song, praising Jesus Christ as both The Lion and the Lamb. He is a powerful King and at the same time a humble servant who came to give his life for us. In response to who Christ is and all that He has done for us, we continue in song with Jesus and Jesus Firm Foundation.
 
Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids Kindergarten through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew will preach the next message in our Know-Believe-Live series from John 18. Our worship continues 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. We will follow this up with a song of faith, Cornerstone, and then conclude our worship with a time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.
 

Will you prepare your heart and mind for gathered worship this week? Read John 18 and listen to this week’s songs. Pray for Rob Valentine as he will be leading worship this week and for Pastor Andrew as he will be preaching the Word. Come ready to gather in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, eager to receive from Him and to respond in worship.  Mark