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Joining the Team - Mark 2, 1 Corinthians 12

A worship service plan focused on the church as a group of believers who are forged together as a "team" by the Holy Spirit.

Worship Service
Also in this Series

Full Membership

This series explores the importance of worshiping well, the privilege of leading God's people in worship, and the responsibility to carry out such tasks with excellence.

Also in this Series

Full Membership

This series explores the importance of worshiping well, the privilege of leading God's people in worship, and the responsibility to carry out such tasks with excellence.

Also in this Series

Full Membership

This series explores the importance of worshiping well, the privilege of leading God's people in worship, and the responsibility to carry out such tasks with excellence.

Theme of the Service

In keeping with the series of sermons on "Full Membership", this service will focus on the church as a group of believers who are forged together as a "team" by the Holy Spirit. Many teams in our society have spectators, but the church is called by Christ to be a team, not to watch others obey their calling. The theme, therefore, is not only the spiritual unity of the church, but our "task unity" - the calling of each believer to understand that membership in the body of Christ joins us with others in the work and calling of the church.


Prelude: "We Sing the Mighty Power of God", Albrecht [piano]
"Cantad al Señor/O Sing to the Lord", Porter [piano]
"Cantad al Señor/O Sing to the Lord", Kerr [organ]
"Cantad al Señor/O Sing to the Lord", McChesney [handbell choir]

*The Call to Worship:

Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker;
for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.

(Psalm 95:6-7, NIV)

*Song: "We Sing the Mighty Power of God" PsH430

*Our Declaration of Trust and God's Greeting:

Congregation of Jesus Christ, in whom are you trusting?
Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.
Grace, mercy and peace to you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy

*Response: "Cantad al Señor/O Sing to the Lord" PH472, RN74, SNC224, WOV795


The Call to Confession:

The Scriptures tell us that God desire to forgive his people. He sent his Son,
Jesus Christ, to Calvary to pay the price for sin so we can be forgiven.
Let us, therefore, not be afraid to face our sinfulness. Let us confess it
freely and trust ourselves to the grace and mercy of God.

The Law of God teaches us about our sin - PsH p.1016 (see liturgy notes)

Song of Penitence: "God, Be Merciful to Me" vv. 1, 2 [Ajalon, Gethsemane, Petra, Redhead 76: PsH255, TH486; Aberystwyth: RL104]

The Word of Grace - Micah 7:18-20

*Song of Gratitude: "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing" PH355, PsH486, RL449, TH457, TWC45


Sharing Concerns

The Pastoral Prayer

The Offertory: "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing"
Eggert [organ], or David [piano], or Bish [handbell choir]

*Doxology PH591/592, PsH638, RL556, RN83, SFL11


*A Litany of Profession

In our world, bent under the weight of sin,
Christ gathers a new community.
The church is a gathering
of forgiven sinners,
called to be holy,
dedicated to service.

The Spirit empowers each member
to take part in the ministry of all,
so that hurts are healed
and all may rejoice
in the life and growth of the fellowship.
(Our World Belongs to God: A Contemporary Testimony, arts. 37,41,42, © 1987, CRC
Publications, Grand Rapids MI, 1-800-333-8300. Used by permission.)

*Song of Preparation: "If You and I Believe in Christ/If You Believe and I Believe" RN168, SNC274
or: "Lord, Whose Love in Humble Service" vv. 1-3 [Blaenhafren: PH427, Pleading Savior: PsH603, RN286, Beach Spring: TWC426]

The Reading of Scripture: Mark 2:1-5
1 Corinthians 12:4-11

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!

Sermon: Joining the Team
(Full Membership - #4)

The Prayer of Application


Anthem: "We Are Members of Christ's Body", Hurd

The Presentation of Ministry Needs

*The Profession of our Faith - Nicene Creed

*Closing Song: "Father, Help Your People" (Whitworth) PsH607

*The Benediction with Congregational Amen!

*A Moment of Meditation

Postlude: "Trumpet Tune", Stanley

* you are invited to stand

Sermon Notes:

1. Using the concept of "team" to convey the spirit of this message will make its content readily accessible to all. Teams are extremely popular in our society. We all know of, play on, or watch all kinds of teams. (Yet so often we hear sports announcers opining that the trouble with most teams is that there is a small group out on the field working hard, and hundreds or thousands in the grandstand watching and assuming they know exactly how to do it.) Such a contrast gives a good opening to point out the existence of teams in the work of God throughout history (Moses and Aaron, Nehemiah and his laborers, Jesus and his disciples, deacons in Acts 6, Paul and Timothy, etc.)

2. We've included the reading of Mark 2 because it contains a fascinating anecdote of how a group of friends functioned as a team and made a big difference. In explaining this story point out their creativity, persistence, and cooperation, and then notice how Jesus points to THEIR faith (v.5) as the factor that opened the door for healing.

3. The passage from 1 Corinthians 12 is a didactic version of what is pictured in Mark 2 - a group functioning as a unit, each contributing their own gifts. This is God's design (v.7) for the common good (also v.7) and calls for each member of the body to contribute her/his own gift.

4. Both passages teach us to think of the local church as a team that will be healthy and true to its calling only when all the members join in an active way. Our ecclesiology must be shaped in this way. Once this application has been made two other considerations may be presented:

-illustrations from the life of the local congregation that exhibit how effective ministry is accomplished only when all function as a team, and
-an explanation of the "covenant of membership" that each Christian ought to commit to when becoming a part of the body. If your congregation does not have such a "covenant of membership" we suggest you begin efforts to formulate one, or consult the questions from the baptism services and profession of faith services that express such commitments. You might want to consider a statement that includes commitments of belief (about Christ, Salvation, Scripture, and the Life of the Church) and commitments of Christian obedience (such as Worship, Stewardship, Prayer and Christian Service.)

5. The sermon should conclude with an encouraging plea for all to take their "place", some instructions and insight on how to find their calling, and examples of the rewards that are found on the team!

Music Notes:

Glossary of Hymnal Abbreviations:
PH The Presbyterian Hymnal (Presbyterian Church USA; Westminster/John Knox Press)
PsH The Psalter Hymnal (Christian Reformed Church; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
RL Rejoice in the Lord (Reformed Church in America; W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Company)
RN Renew! (Hope Publishing Company)
SFL Songs for LiFE (children's songbook; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
SNC Sing! A New Creation (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Christian Reformed Church, Reformed Church in America; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
TH Trinity Hymnal (Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church in America; Great Commission Publications)
TWC The Worshiping Church (Hope Publishing Company)
WOV With One Voice (Augsburg Fortress)

Music Level Key: E = Easy, M = Medium, D = Difficult

  1. The prelude suggestions provide a variety of transcriptions based on the opening two hymns. "Kingsfold" and "Cantad al Señor" are usually set in E minor and work very well together. If you choose to incorporate the settings suggested here, you will achieve variety through the different colors of the instruments used.
  2. - "We Sing the Mighty Power of God" [Kingsfold] is arranged for piano by Mark Albrecht in "Timeless Hymns of Faith" published by Augsburg 11-10863 [1998] (E-M)
    - "Cantad al Señor" arranged by Rachel Trelstad Porter for piano in "Day by Day", published by Augsburg 11-10772 [1996] (E-M)
    - "Cantad al Señor" arranged by J. Wayne Kerr for organ in "I'll Praise My Maker", published by Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7570-3 [2003] (E-M)
    - "Cantad al Señor" arranged by Kevin McChesney for 2-3 octave handbell choir, published by Augsburg 11-10690 [1996] (M).

  3. An alternate piano setting by David Cherwien for the congregation's singing of "We Sing the Mighty Power of God" can be found in "Let It Rip! At the Piano", published by Augsburg 11-11045 [2000] p. 108.
  4. Alternative accompaniments for "Cantad al Señor" can be found in:
  5. - "Cantad al Señor" by David Cherwien, published by CPH 97-6628 [1999] for piano
    - "Cantad al Señor" by Robert A. Hobby, published by Morningstar MSM-20-712 [1994] for organ, brass and percussion
    - "As Though the Whole Creation Cried" by Michael Burkhardt, published by Morningstar MSM-10-555 [2001] for organ.

  6. An alternative piano accompaniment by J. Bert Carlson for the singing of "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing" can be found in "Let It Rip! At the Piano", published by Augsburg 11-11045 [2000] p. 127.
  7. The offertory music on "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing" can be found in the following resources:
  8. - "Partita on 'Nettleton' " by John Eggert, published by Concordia 97-6862 [2000] (E) for organ
    - "Here I Am, Lord" by Anne Marie David, published by Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7566-5 [2002] (M) for piano
    - "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing" by Diane Bish, published by Fred Bock BG0798 [1986] (M) for 4-5 octave handbell choir.

  9. The anthem is a setting of the text of SNC 178 with the melody (and arrangement) of Julion found in PsH 321. This unison setting is ideal for the spirit of the text. The descant can effectively be played by a treble C instrument.
  10. The postlude can be found in "Suite for Organ" by John Stanley, published by Oxford [1945] (M).

Liturgy Notes:

1. The service of confession (God Reconciles Us to Himself) includes a responsive reading of the ten commandments (as found in the Psalter Hymnal, p. 1016, #4: As a teacher of sin; see note 2 below for copyright information). The law of God can be used for two purposes - as a teacher of sin and as a guide for our life of gratitude. It is wise to vary these uses. In this service we are suggesting it be used as a teacher of our sin. After the congregation reads the law responsively, our immediate response is a sung prayer of confession.

2. Our World Belongs to God: A Contemporary Testimony is a contemporary formulation of faith and commitment that was adopted by the Christian Reformed Church in 1986 for use in its worship (PsH pp. 1030-1032). For copyright permission, please contact CRC Publications at (616) 224-0819, 1-800-333-8300 or

3. Most congregations need some time within the worship service to share joys, needs and concerns in preparation for prayer. These joys and concerns are quite different from "announcements" which usually do not fit comfortably into a worship service. The time immediately before the pastoral prayer is the most appropriate time to share concerns for prayer. The pastor or a lay leader may inform the congregation of the needs that have come to their attention, or worshipers may publicly state such needs. It is very important that such needs and joys are included in the pastoral prayer, and it may be appropriate to invite worshipers to meet in a designated room or chapel for a time of personal prayer before or after the service.

4. Since the focus of this service is the importance of all members working together as a team, it would be an excellent time to present current needs for workers/volunteers for some ministry. Providing information concerning the ministry needs, calling for volunteers, and challenging them to make a commitment will be an effective way to respond to the message with action.