ANCIENT TRUTH | ACCESSIBLE STYLE
At Back Creek Church, we believe that worship is the most important thing we will ever do. In gathered worship, we give to God all that we are through the praise and honor He deserves as our Creator and our Redeemer. Also, He meets us in worship and gives to us his grace through His Word (which we read, preach, pray, and sing), prayer, and the sacraments (Baptism and the Lord's Supper). We desire our worship services to be ancient in substance and accessible in style. Here's what we mean:
God-Focused. Our worship is exclusively for the glory and enjoyment of God. The Triune God of the Bible: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is the only object and aim of our worship. It is by focusing on God, not our own experience, that his people are blessed.
Christ-Centered. On our own, we are unworthy and incapable of approaching the one, true God. He is holy and we are sinful – so we need a Mediator, a High Priest who gives us access to Him. Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, is that Mediator. Clothed in his righteousness alone by faith, we can approach and worship the Lord. Acceptable worship of redeemed sinners is worship with Christ at the center.
Spirit-Empowered. God is seeking worshipers who will worship him in spirit and in truth. The Holy Spirit is the source of truth (revelation) and the One who makes our spirits, once dead in sin, come alive to respond to God in worship. We cannot worship apart from the empowering grace of the Holy Spirit.
Word-Saturated. The Word of God, contained in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct humans how we may know, worship, glorify, and enjoy God. Every part of our worship is saturated with Scripture, as we aim to pray the Word, read the Word, preach the Word, sing the Word, and see the Word made visible in the sacraments.
Gospel-Shaped. The structure of our worship tells the good news of Jesus Christ: a story of a glorious, holy God (Call to Worship, Prayer of Adoration, Songs of Praise) and a sinful humanity (Confession of Sin/Faith; Pastoral Prayer) with an infinite gulf between, which is only bridged through the righteous life, atoning death, and victorious resurrection of God’s only Son (Assurance of Pardon, Reading and Preaching of God’s Word, the Sacraments, Benediction). We rehearse the story of our redemption each time we gather for worship, even as we stand firmly in the tradition of Reformed worship.
Participatory. We gather for public, corporate worship on the Lord’s Day at His command, and the entire covenant community is to participate. God speaks to us through his Word and by His Spirit, and as a Body we speak back to him through prayers, confessions, songs, hymns, and spiritual songs – as a faith family, we revel in our union and communion with the Lord and with each other.
Evangelistic. Everyone is welcome to come to our worship services! Our prayer is that through the clear demonstration of the Gospel and God’s presence with us in worship, that many would come to know Jesus as Savior and Lord.
Simple. In our worship we desire to do what God has commanded – nothing more, nothing less. All the elements of our worship are warranted by the Scriptures, not by human tradition or innovation. Worship is at its most beautiful and profound when it is simply what God desires.
Consistent. Our style in worship is consistent with our unique identity as Back Creek Church. Originally planted in 1802, Back Creek has deep roots in our ancient faith which is expressed in a traditional, Reformed order of worship. We are also located in one of the youngest, fast-growing, and most diverse areas of Charlotte – which is reflected in our contemporary, come-as-you-are feel. Our substance will be consistently fixed, our style will be consistently flexible.
Contextualized. Our area of Charlotte has changed significantly in the last 20 years – from farm land to suburban and semi-urban; from culturally, ethnically, and religiously homogenous to diverse in every category. By God’s grace, Back Creek has also begun to grow in cultural and ethnic diversity. Because style is not prescribed in Scripture, we hold it loosely, willing to change in order to facilitate the worship of our members and connect our community with the hope of the Gospel. This especially has implications for music in worship: our desire is not to be tethered to a particular style of music, but to facilitate the worship of God through music for our members and guests. So it will necessarily seek to include a mixture of styles: Hymns (ancient and modern), Contemporary, Gospel, African, and more. We desire to celebrate the cultures that are already represented at Back Creek, and extend that celebration to those in our community we want to connect with the hope of the Gospel.
Ordered. God is not a God of confusion, but of order – so his worship should be ordered and orderly. This serves the glory of God and the edification of the believers, as it protects from confusion and chaos in worship.
Free. In worship, we have freedom of conscience, knowing that what we are doing is only that which is expressly commanded in God’s Word. We also value the freedom of the believer to respond to the Lord with our heads (intellect), hearts (emotions), and bodies (physicality). Expressions of this freedom are welcome in our service, as long as they are conducive to worship and edifying (rather than distracting) to our brothers and sisters.
Singable. When it comes to music, we value participation, not performance or preference. We are commanded to make a joyful noise to the Lord – to teach and admonish one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. The entire congregation lifting voices and hearts in praise to God is our priority in musical worship, and therefore our song choices must seek to be singable for the average person.
Hospitable. We want our every guest to feel as welcome and loved as possible – because they are! You are welcome here!