Why do we gather for service? Why do we have preaching? Why do we lift our hands? Why do we have altar calls?
1. Why gather for service?
The word "church" in the Greek is "ekklesia", literally meaning, "those called out to gather together with God."
We believe that only in our gathering for worship is the church made real.
"For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them." (Matthew 18:20)
2. Why worship and praise so vibrantly?
"With trumpets and the sound of a horn; shout joyfully before the LORD, the King." (Psalms 98:6)
"Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises." (Psalms 98:4)
"Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!" (Psalms 32:11)
"I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God!" (Revelation 19:1)
"And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, 'Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!" (Revelation 19:6)
"Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they has seen." (Luke 19:37)
3. Why clap your hands?
"Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph!" (Psalms 47:1)
4. Why have musical instruments?
"Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with loud cymbals; praise Him with clashing cymbals!" (Psalms 150:3-5)
5. Why lift up your hands?
"Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven." (Lamentations 3:41)
"Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name." (Psalms 63:3-4)
6. Why Pray together out loud?
"So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: 'Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them." (Acts 4:24)
We find the disciples coming daily to join in prayer in the temple. (Acts 3:1, 6:4)
At Pentecost, for ten days the church gathered and prayed until the Holy Ghost came; and when it fell, it was manifested by audible praise and prayer. (Acts 2:1-4)
7. Why speak in tongues?
"And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;" (Mark 16:17)
"And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." (Acts 2:4)
8. Why praise and pray in tongues?
"For if I pray in tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the result then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding." (1 Corinthians 14:1-15)
9. Why have gifts of the Holy Spirit?
"Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant...There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit...for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues." (1 Corinthians 12:1, 4, 8-10)
"And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy..." (Joel 2:28)
"Therefore, brethren, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues." (1 Corinthians 14:39)
10. Why take an offering?
"Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessings that there will not be room enough to receive it." (Malachi 3:10)
"Honor the LORD with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase," (Proverbs 3:9)
"On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper..." (1 Corinthians 16:2)
11. Why have preaching?
"For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God...it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe." (1 Corinthians 1:17-18, 21)
"But has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior," (Titus 1:3)
"Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and teaching." (2 Timothy 4:2)
12. Why have an altar call?
It was common throughout the Bible to require people to make a public decision. Moses did this when he drew a line and called upon the people to decide which side they were on. Joshua did this when he declared, "Choose you this day whom you will serve." (Joshua 24:15)
Elijah forced a whole nation to make a choice when the fire fell and the prophets of the false god, Baal were destroyed. Peter also demanded a decision on the day of Pentecost and three thousand people came forward, gave their lives to Christ, were saved, then baptized!
"Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 10:32-33)
"He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy." (Proverbs 28:13)
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)
"Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." (James 5:16)