Worship at White Oak
Creating our worship services here at White Oak is truly a labor of love: one that excites, exhausts, and challenges myself and other members of our team on a weekly basis.
Occasionally I am asked what is involved with designing worship experiences at White Oak, and the answer is always one that—I hope—can give some insight into the approach taken when crafting Sunday Morning.
Vision for White Oak Worship Gatherings: Deep and Wide
The vision for Sunday Mornings at White Oak hinges on two key principles: GOING DEEP AND GOING WIDE. Every decision for every service, from the sermon to the song choices to the videos we show, etc. etc., goes through this filter.
Why is this important?
Because, while biblical worship services at their core are an assembly of those who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (believers who have received salvation and are filled with the Holy Spirit), the modern church is also an evangelism tool where non-Jesus followers are freely invited to hear the Good News of Jesus.
With this in mind, it is important to cast a WIDE NET for those who have yet to accept Jesus, and yet always remember to not sacrifice DEPTH for Christ followers who are being discipled within these same walls.
What does this mean?
This means we do not hesitate to worship as the church did at the very beginning, by taking Communion, (Acts 20:7), offering up prayers, (1 Corinthians 14:15–16), singing songs to the glory of God (Ephesians 5:19), giving our offerings, (1 Corinthians 16:2), reading the Bible, (Colossians 4:16), and hearing a message from the Word of God (Acts 20:7).
And yet, in our approach to how we carry out these devotional acts in our worship services, we must remember that non-believers are present when we gather. This means that:
WE DO NOT ASSUME they understand what Communion is or that it is for Christ Followers only, so we explain these truths…
When we pray we pray with a genuineness, an authenticity, and a respect.
Our approach to music is such that the songs are embraceable:
* (our song choices at White Oak consist of the most popular, singable songs that contain the strongest biblical and theological lyrics).
We consistently show and speak about Life Change in our Offering Moments, so it is evident that a person’s investment in the church is making an impact.
When we read The Bible and preach the Word of God, we do not assume people know Moses, or Paul, or David, or who preached The Sermon On the Mount—but take the time to give some background make sure no one feels excluded.
Finding the Right Balance
Ultimately we want to create environments for God to work in the lives of everyone who walks through the door or watches us online, whether they have been a Christian for 50 years or know nothing about God.
That means we evaluate every aspect of all three of our environments (Colerain Campus, Ross Campus, Online): our presentation, our look, our sound, the content being offered, our words, length of services, songs we sing, how we welcome, how we communicate, etc., etc., so we stay faithful to our approach.
We want messages that offer Biblical teaching (deep) and practical life content (wide). We want our Worship music to rock (wide), but also to foster connection to Jesus through communal, collective vibrancy (deep); we want the lyrics to flow from the heart of scripture (deep), but also be sensitive to a whole room of people from different walks of life who need to be able to connect with it at all levels at that moment (wide).
A Final Word
As you can imagine, the challenges of a Deep and Wide Approach are enormous. Are we always successful in accomplishing this? NO. Do we get into ruts and seasons where our Worship Experiences feel dry? YES.
But the beauty of having a Vision of Worship based on the Mission of White Oak:
OUR MISSION: CONNECTING PEOPLE TO FULL LIFE IN JESUS.
is that every prayerful decision we make—whether it is met by criticism, whether it is ultimately successful or not—is a decision driven by our Lead Pastor Nathan Hinkle, blessed by our Elders, and in line with the Mission of our church:
CONNECTING PEOPLE (all people) TO FULL LIFE IN JESUS.
Our hope is that, the more you experience worship at White Oak, the more excited you will be to be a part of these environments where God can be glorified, discipleship can flourish, and Life Change can be seen!
We encourage you to find out how you can be a part of any of our serving teams that help make these weekly services possible. If you are interested in serving on any of the Worship or Tech Teams, please contact Darin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ross Worship Pastor & Programming Manager
White Oak Christian Church