For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
SUNDAY FELLOWSHIP MINISTry guidelines
GREETINGS AND OPENING PRAYER
The brother who brings greetings and does opening prayer begin by letting the church stand up and recite the mission statement.
Let him bring a word of encouragement from a Scripture that speaks about the importance of church fellowship. The encouragement should be focussed on the joy and privilege of coming together as a church to worship the Lord, to pray together, to learn and obey God's Word, to fellowship with one another and to minister to each other for one another's encouragement.
The prayer must also be offered with a similar focus.
Note: Remind the people who sit at the back to pull their chair a bit front to avoid damaging the paint on the wall.
The brother's encouragement in the Holy Spirit should stir up the hearts of the people to get ready for the activities in the body of Christ. The time for greetings and opening prayer should not take more than 2-3 minutes.
LEADING WORSHIP SONGS
The brother who is leading in worship songs should know beforehand the songs and the order of the songs. Sister Shalini is responsible to choose and arrange the order of the songs. The songs are basically selected based on the theme of the expository message. Also, they are selected according to the following three categories: Song of Praise, Song of Prayer, and Song of Proclamation.
The brother can offer words of encouragement according to the song or can briefly share the history of the song. Remember that the encouraging words should be based on the song that is going to be sung which is according to the theme of the message. His encouragement in the Holy Spirit should be given in such a way that the congregation would be fanned into flame to sing with joy and vigor. This encouragement must be a minute or so before every song.
OFFERING INDIVIDUAL WORSHIP AFTER EACH SONG
1. Dear brother/sister, consider it a great privilege to offer words of worship unto God in the assembly of the saints. The Psalmist exhorted, "Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the godly." (Psalm 149:1)
2. Remember that you are offering worship on behalf of the whole church. So, be conscious of using the words "We" rather than "I".
3. You may choose to read a short Scripture portion (based on the song that was sung) before offering worship, or you may directly offer worship. But keep in mind that your worship is based on the song that was sung and according to the theme of the expository message. So do know the song beforehand, reflect on it, after which you have to offer worship. You are free to write your prayers and read them for the time being.
4. You are offering worship unto God, so stay focussed on it. Do not offer prayers and other petitions. We urge you not to get sidetracked into other issues. Just focus on worshipping God, recounting His nature, attributes and wondrous works, according to the song, the Scripture that you read, and the theme of the expository message.
1. A believer who follows the Lord and experiences God will have testimonies to share with other believers. The Psalmist exhorts, "Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!" (Psalm 96:3)
2. Three things to consider when giving testimonies:
i. Sometimes testimonies can be an occasion for self-boasting. So it is good for the person to pray to God for humility in heart and share the testimony with humility.
ii. The goal of the testimony is the edification of the church (1 Cor. 14:26). We must not just be excited about giving testimonies, but consider whether it edifies the church. If it doesn't edify the church, then we must restrain ourself from giving any testimony.
iii. Testimonies must exalt the greatness of God and bring glory to His Name. In our testimonies, we must not magnify ourselves or people but only the Lord who uses all things for His glory and for our good.
3. Many testimonies are an expression of material blessings, prosperity in job, and physical healing. Although there is room to share these testimonies, we must consider giving more importance to testimonies of sanctification. This means, testimonies on how we have been convicted and have overcome sin and weaknesses, how our faith is strengthened during afflictions, leading us to become more Christ-like in the Christian life.
4. If any believer wants to share any testimony, they are urged to inform beforehand to an elder. An elder can listen and examine whether a testimony is edifying to the church and glorifying God's name, and after his approval, a testimony can be given before the assembly. Also, due to time limit, only three members can share their testimonies every Sunday. So, informing the elders beforehand would help in scheduling the testimony time for every member who wants to share their testimonies. Let every brother and sister be active in sharing testimonies.
5. The time given for ALL testimonies is not more than 10 minutes. So it is better for a believer to give a testimony for just 3 minutes so that at least three members can share their testimonies every Sunday. Of course, there are exceptions to the time limit based on the significance of testimonies. Let believers talk to the elders beforehand if they require more time to share their testimonies.
THE GOSPEL EXHORTATION
In order for our church to remain Gospel-centered, there is a 10 minute exhortation of the Gospel of Christ Jesus every Sunday. The exhortation must be Gospel-centered, meaning, addressing man's depravity and God's work of salvation through the sacrificial and substitutionary sacrifice of Christ Jesus on the cross. Any believer who wants to give Gospel exhortation must submit their message to an elder for approval. This is to make sure that the expositional message is well prepared and is centered on the Gospel.
Please do cooperate in following the above instructions which are shared to help us all to do our ministries efficiently for the edification of the body of Christ. Even if it is a small activity, let us do it prayerfully and with humble dependence on the Lord.
THE LORD'S SUPPER
The brother who leads in the celebration of breaking bread must begin by reading the Scripture from 1 Corinthians 11:23-32 and 1 Corinthians 10:16-17.
After reading the Scripture, let him, with his two hands, lift up the bread and say, "This bread symbolizes essentially the body of Christ offered for the forgiveness of our sins. This also represents the oneness of the body of Christ, which is the unity of the church." After this, let him, with his two hands, lift up the cup and say, "This cup symbolizes the blood of Christ shed for the forgiveness of our sins."
Let him then lead in thanksgiving and prayer for the body and blood of Christ offered for our sins and also for the church to participate in a worthy manner by being in a peaceful relationship with one another.
Before having the bread and cup pass to the congregation, let him remind:
1. Only believers who are genuinely born-again and are baptized should participate.
2. Encourage the church to examine themselves whether they are at peace with another.
3. Encourage the visitors to participate only if they are in good standing in their local church.
4. Encourage the congregation to meditate on the Gospel of Christ during the participation in the breaking of the bread. May the encouragement be to participate in a worthy manner with the focus on the crucified Christ.
Assisting Bread and Cup: One brother and sister will assist in the breaking of bread and in the offering of cup. They must go and stand immediately with the brother who presides over the celebration of the breaking of bread.
Thank you ALL for your service to the body of Christ. Take every responsibility seriously in the Lord. May the Lord richly reward you for all you do for His church.