Worship Distinctives

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1

Among the many legitimate expressions of worship, at Cornerstone we will endeavor to emphasize two during our weekly corporate gatherings by providing ample time for them. Those two are: expressing our praise and adoration to the Lord corporately in music and hearing from God through the preaching of His Word. For both expressions of worship, we will seek to be: 1) God-Centered, 2) Word-Focused, 3) Spirit-Empowered, 4) Expectant, 5) Engaged, 6) Focused, 7) Blended, and 8) Unified.

God-Centered: Worship is all about Jesus! We aim to have a high priority of the vertical focus of our Sunday morning service on God. The ultimate aim is to so experience God so that He is glorified in our thoughts, words, and affections. If it does not glorify or point people to Jesus, we will not do it.

Our intent is that each worship service glorifies the triune God. We will strive to avoid a man-centered approach to worship which focuses on the talents and abilities of others. Although our corporate worship involves the talents and gifts of many people, our focus will center on God alone.

(Ps. 7:17; 29:1-2; 47:1-2; 95:1-3, 6-7; 117:1-2; Is. 12:1-2; 25:1; John 4:23-24; Heb. 12:28; Rev. 4:11)

Word-Focused: The content of our singing, praying, welcoming, and preaching will conform to the truth of Scripture. The content of God’s Word will be woven through all we do in worship. The Word will be the sole source that drives, focuses, and guides the direction of our worship services. Therefore, all texts sung will be consistent with Scripture and doctrinally sound (Col. 3:16). We choose to let Scripture guide and permeate our corporate worship.  We joyfully submit ourselves to God’s word.  

We believe that all essential elements of worship are given to us in the Scriptures. God’s worth is declared in love, adoration, confession, thanksgiving, praise, and service. We approach worship prayerfully, carefully, and reverently take our direction from the Scriptures. As a result, our gatherings will be totally saturated by God’s Word. We sing it, read it, pray it, and preach it. 

(Deut. 29:29; Is. 55:10-11; Heb. 4:12-13; Rom. 15:4; Col. 3:16; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:19; Rev. 22:18-19)

Spirit-Empowered: Because we value a place for spontaneity and service to the body, we will cultivate a sense of waiting on, engaging with and being empowered by the Holy Spirit in worship. We believe that the Bible is the primary means through which the Spirit not only reveals God’s glory to us, but also transforms us into greater and greater glory as well.

We recognize the fact that any degree of spiritual transformation is impossible without Divine intervention and empowerment. We know that it’s only through the Holy Spirit that we can draw near to God and grow in Jesus’ image and in our unity, experience healing, and empower mission. So, we saturate our gatherings with prayer. Sometimes prayer is led by a pastor or a worship leader, and other times it’s carried out silently by everyone in attendance – but no matter how it’s executed, prayer is always a vital part of our worship gatherings. As we seek and are empowered by the Holy Spirit, we believe that God will transform us through our time of worship together.

(John 14:26; Acts 2:42-47; Rom. 5:5, 8:6; 1 Cor. 2:10-11; 12:13; Eph. 1:13-14; Heb. 9:14)

Expectant: We do not just direct ourselves toward God. We earnestly seek His drawing near. We believe that in worship God draws near to us in power and makes Himself known and experienced for our good and for the salvation of unbelievers. We meet together for corporate worship, expecting to sense His presence and hear from Him. Our worship will encourage an expectancy and eagerness for God to draw near to us in reviving and renewing power.

(Ps. 95:2; 2 Cor. 4:13-15; Phil. 1:20; Phil. 3:20; Heb. 4:16; Heb. 10:25; James 4:8;)

Engaged: We will encourage whole-hearted participation by the entire congregation in all parts of the worship service as the defining sound of Cornerstone’s worship becomes the singing voices of all God’s people praising Him. We encourage everyone to avoid passively observing worship and to actively participate in the worshipping the Triune God with all our heart, soul, and mind. All music will therefore be appropriate for the occasion and inspirational (Eph. 4:29).

We’re convinced that our worship isn’t complete until it’s physically, passionately, and joyfully expressed and shared. As we enter into the presence of God, encounter His glory, remember His Son, and reflect on His gospel, our response will be an expression of joy, celebration, and awe rivaled by no other. We want our expressions of praise to be proportionate to the glory that’s been revealed and to the degree in which God has blessed us in his Son, Jesus Christ. In other words, we believe theological depth and Biblical accuracy in our worship service should produce passionate and joyful worship in us toward God. We want our worship gatherings to be times for those affections to be expressed fully – with freedom and without fear of what others might think.

(1 Chron. 16:9; Ps. 22:3; 34:1; 50:14; 107:15; 150:1; Is. 12:6)

Focused: We will seek to sing, play, pray and preach so that our attention and affections are focused on God alone without distractions. Natural, un-distracting excellence will let the truth and beauty of God shine through. 

We will strive for excellence in our worship experience.  Those who lead the congregation in worship will maintain a quality of worship that will draw people’s attention toward God. It is spiritual and proper that the leader’s direction and example is followed by the congregation. We will attempt to provide order to the worship services.  Orderliness reflects the nature of the God whom we worship.  

 (Ps. 50:23; Luke 10:40; 1 Cor. 7:35; 1 Cor. 14:26; 1 Cor. 14:40; Col. 2:5; Titus 1:5)

Blended: And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old” (Matt. 13:52). We minister to a multi-generational church family of worshippers through a balanced, intentional combining of traditional and contemporary music. We will continue to be an inclusive people that cherishes all the richness and freshness that comes from God.

Though Scripture prescribes elements of worship: love, adoration, confession, thanksgiving, praise, and service, it does not prescribe forms or styles of worship.  Our unity in the Lord and our desire to worship Him in spirit and in truth are much more important to us than our choice of music styles. Since we are a blended body of believers, made up of people with a wide variety of musical preferences, we will embrace various musical styles and employ them in corporate worship in a way that reflects all people who make up our family as our worship coincides principally with what the Word of God has directed.

(Ps. 33:3; Ps. 40:3; Ps. 98:1; Ps. 149: 1; Isa. 42:10; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Rev. 5:9)

UnifiedWe will humbly submit to one another and look to other’s interests so that we can keep the unity of the Spirit.  (Eph. 5:21 Phil. 2:3-4; Eph. 4:1-2; Rom. 12:10).  Our relationships of love for each other will lead us to patiently support and rejoice with those who appreciate other styles, believing that God is able to meet us in the context of any Christ-exalting worship style.

While our worship is directed toward God, our minds are also focused on how we might build up, encourage, and strengthen our brothers and sisters as well. We do this by singing spiritual songs to each other, speaking the truth in love, confessing sin, reminding each other of the gospel, praying together, and serving one another with our talents and resources. 

(Acts 2:42-47; Rom. 12:4-8; 1 Cor. 12:12-24; Eph. 4:1-6; 11-13; Col. 3:15-16; Heb. 10:24-25)