A Gospel-Shaped Gathering

Liturgies of Grace

What is our purpose in gathering together as a body each Sunday? Depending on who you ask, the answers will vary. Fundamentally, we gather to worship God in light of what He has done for us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Mike Cosper argues the gospel story should be the focal point of everything we do in the weekly gathering. Anything that distracts ought to be removed. But what does this look like practically for church leadership? Mike joins Mark Mellinger to discuss how liturgies focus both the preparation and execution of the Sunday gathering to experience afresh the story of the gospel.

Mark Mellinger is the Indiana Public Affairs Director for Bott Radio Network and talk show host for 1090 Today, a radio program that showcases local ministries and encourages Christian living. Mike Cosper is the Pastor of Worship and Arts at Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

What comes to mind when you think of "liturgies"? How did you react to Mike's way of describing them?
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As you consider the place of liturgy, what are some ways it could bring about a positive influence in your church? In what ways might it have a negative influence?
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Mike mentioned the importance of both the preaching and worship pastors organizing each weekly service together so that it flows cohesively from beginning to end. Is such teamwork present among the leadership at your church? If not, how could you work to encourage it? What difference would it make in the life of your church? If you do have good teamwork, how has it impacted your service planning?
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Mike encouraged an approach to worship planning that emphasizes equipping the congregation rather than offering an entertaining Sunday experience. Where would you say your church is on the spectrum between equipping and entertaining? What is being communicated through the worship? What changes need to be made in light of this discussion?
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The redemptive story of the gospel needs to be our weekly focus in each Sunday gathering. From prayer to worship to the preaching of the Word and taking of the Lord's Supper, all of it can point to the finished work of Jesus Christ for the edification of His people. Take some time to consider what your weekly service communicates and ask God to give you clarity and boldness to make adjustments where needed. 

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