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Thrust into Mission - Acts 1, 2

The second service plan in a Pentecost series entitled "Catching God's Wind." This service focuses on the specific ministry of the Holy Spirit to give power to the church and thrust it into mission to the world.

Worship Service
Also in this Series

Catching God's Wind

This series of worship services explores how the church receives the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Theme of the Service

This is the second Sunday of the Pentecost Season. This service will continue with the focus on the work of the Holy Spirit. Whereas last Sunday focused on the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Christian church, today we focus on the specific ministry of the Holy Spirit to give power to the church and thrust it into mission to the world.

We aim to view the wide scope of the church's mission, and express the church's plea for the power of the Holy Spirit and its commitment to missional obedience.


Prelude: "Jesus, We Love to Meet", Peery [handbell choir]
"Cantad al Señor / O Sing to the Lord", McChesney [handbell choir]
or: "Variations on 'Aberystwyth' ", Linker [organ]

The Call to Worship

*Opening Litany:

By sending down a confusion of languages,
the Most High scattered the nations.
By distributing the tongues of fire,
God calls all peoples into unity.
In harmony we glorify the Holy Spirit.
In a mighty wind rushing down from the heavens,
the Most High trumpets good news over the earth.
And those who once cast nets to fish into the sea
now cast your Word to fish among people.
We worship and glorify the Holy Spirit.
May the Savior who opens the gates of Paradise
open our hearts to wisdom and truth.

(From Church of the Servant Pentecost liturgy)

*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 Spirit.

*Song: "Wind Who Makes All Winds That Blow" PH 131, SNC 169, TWC 294


The Call to Confession

Our Prayer of Confession

Our God, we come in humility, confessing who and what we are.
We are often unresponsive for we are afraid.
When your Spirit speaks, we turn deaf ears,
for we fear what you might call us to do.
When your Spirit touches our lips,
we close our mouths,
embarrassed to speak your Word.
When the wind of your Spirit blows,
we close the windows of our hearts,
afraid the breeze will disrupt our ordered lives.
When the fire of your Spirit touches us,
we quench the flame, afraid of the new life it might bring.
Forgive us, O Lord..
(Sung Prayer) "Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying" PsH 625, SFL 54, TWC 629, WOV 775
(from RW 39, p.33, used by permission.)

The Assurance of God's Pardon

Song of Thanks and Praise: "Blessed Assurance: Jesus Is Mine" vv. 1, 2 PH 341, PsH 490, RL 453, TH 693, TWC 514, WOV 699 (PH has text in Korean)


Anthem: "Pentecost Fire", Cool

The Reading of Scripture: Acts 2:1-13

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!

The Prayer for Illumination

Sung Prayer: "Now Holy Spirit, Ever One" RN 284, SFL 186


(Catching God's Wind - #2)
Text - Acts 1:8; 2:11


The Pastoral Prayer

Our Affirmation of God's Plan for Us:

The Spirit thrusts God's people into worldwide mission.
He impels young and old, men and women,
to go next door and far away into science and art,
media and marketplace with the good news of God's grace.
The Spirit goes before them and with them,
convincing the world of sin and pleading the cause of Christ.

From Our World Belongs to God: A Contemporary Testimony, Article 32, ©1987, CRC Publications, Grand Rapids MI, 1-800-333-8300. Used by permission.

Song: "Lord, You Give the Great Commission" vv. 1, 2, 5 PH 429, PsH 523, RN 305, TWC 715, WOV 756

Our Professions of Faith:

Personal Public Profession of Faith

Corporate Profession of Faith

(insert Apostles' Creed or Nicene Creed)

Mission Reports to Hear of the Work of God's Spirit

(reports by missionaries who are home; by those in local mission projects; or reports about missionaries by those who are local.)

Prayer of Thanksgiving and Intercession for Mission Causes

Offertory: "Lord, You Give the Great Commission", Afdahl [handbell choir]
or: " Lord, You Give the Great Commission", Hobby [organ]

Offertory Prayer


*Sending Song: "Go to the World!" SNC 294

*God's Words of Sending - Acts 1:8; Matthew 10:26-28

*The Blessing:

Now to him who by the power at work within us
is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine,
to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations
forever and ever. Amen.
(Ephesians 3:20)
The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make his face to shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.
Alleluia! Amen!(Numbers 6:24-26)

Postlude: "Go to the World!", Hobby

* - You are invited to stand

Sermon Notes

It's necessary that this message be introduced as a "companion" to the message of last week. The observance of Pentecost continues in this service, and the proclamation of the truth of Pentecost also continues.

The setting for this message can be created by asking the question about what it means that the Holy Spirit "came" at Pentecost. Was he not there in the Old Testament? And what about all the evidences of his work in the Old Testament? (Cite them) So what does Pentecost really mean, and for what purpose did he "come"? Or is it unnecessary?

Drive down to the very bottom line of the Pentecost truth - the Holy Spirit was poured out for the purpose of empowering the church and thrusting her into mission. Jesus promised that in Acts 1:8. The crowd at Pentecost sensed and observed that; see Acts 2:11.

After clarifying that the coming the Holy Spirit was to empower for missions, we suggest that you walk your hearers through the book of Acts and help them see how this truth is exhibited before our eyes in the early church. Begin with this story. Then watch Peter in 4:8, and the church in 4:31; 8:1-5; 9:31; 13:46-49; 15:8-11; all of Paul's journeys; and 26:19-21. See all of these as an exhibit of 1:8 and an expansion of what they observed in 2:11.

From this biblical information we can draw the conclusion and challenge for the church today: Pentecost is about witnessing power among lay people to open church doors locally and beyond.

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. You will notice that all the hymn suggestions for this service focus on the Holy Spirit and the mission and service of the church.
  2. The prelude options focus on handbell choir or organ for this service. The handbell pieces are representative songs of faith from around the world. "Jesus, We Love to Meet" by Charles Peery is arranged for 3 octaves of handbells plus percussion, published by AGEHR AG-35064 [1991] (M). Cantad al Señor, arranged by Kevin McChesney for 2-3 octaves of handbells, has an optional percussion part. This piece is published by Augsburg 11-10690 [1996] (E-M). The organ selection is taken from "Suite for Holy Week" by Janet Linker, published by Beckenhorst OC5 [1989] (E-M). This set of variations on the tune "Aberystwyth" corresponds to the opening hymn.
  3. The unison anthem "Pentecost Fire" by Jayne Southwick Cool is published by Choristers Guild CGA502 [1990] (E). This setting of the Pentecost narrative could be sung as a solo by a child, or by either an adult or children's ensemble or choir.
  4. The offertory handbell anthem on "Lord, You Give the Great Commission" is titled "Abbot's Leigh" and arranged by Lee Afdahl. It is published by Agape 2103 [1999] (M) for three to five octaves. The organ arrangement of the same hymn tune can be found in "Three Hymns of Praise" set 3 by Robert A. Hobby, published by Morningstar MSM-10-757 [1994] (E-M).
  5. The postlude music based on "Engelberg" can be found in Robert A. Hobby's "Three Hymns of Praise" set 1, published by Morningstar MSM-10-512 [1997] (M).

Liturgy Notes

1. The Prayer of Confession for this service can be handled in various ways. What is printed here can be read by the worship leader, or it can be printed for all to pray in unison, or it can be turned into a prayer of responsive reading. The response ("Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying") can be sung at the beginning and conclusion, or only at the conclusion, or interspersed several times within the prayer. For copyright permission for the Prayer of Confession, please contact CRC Publications at (616) 224-0819, 1-800-333-8300 or

2. The Affirmation of God's Plan for Us is an opportunity for worshipers to audibly acknowledge and commit themselves to obedience to this call. These words are taken from "Our World Belongs to God: a Contemporary Testimony" of the Christian Reformed Church, and included in the Psalter Hymnal (p. 1028). For copyright permission, please contact CRC Publications (see above).

3. The most meaningful response to this sermon should be a time of worship that evidences the mission of the church. It would be ideal if public professions/affirmations/confirmations could be included. Even more significant would be adult baptisms. These should be followed by a corporate profession of faith with either the Apostles Creed or Nicene Creed. Then invite missionaries to report on God's blessing on their work. Conclude with a prayer of thanks by a lay person involved in the mission of the church.