What does worship entail at the Portico Church?
The reading of the Scriptures, expository preaching and hearing of the Word of God, the teaching and admonishing of one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord; as well as the administration of baptism and the Lord's Supper, are all parts of the worship of God. These are to be performed in obedience to Him, with understanding, faith, reverence and godly fear.
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Liturgy is taken from the Greek leitourgia, which means, work of the people. Worship is not a spectator event: it’s meant to be participatory. All churches have a liturgy, whether formal or informal. There is an order to how and why things are done.
Portico Church believes that the true worship of God is regulated by His revealed will in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments; therefore, because God is holy and we are sinners, there must be reverence and formality. Because we love and serve a personal God, we come together on the first day of the week, not simply to receive, but to actively bring to Him what He has revealed in Scripture to be good and acceptable and perfect. Just as Jesus Christ came not to be served, but to serve; so too, Christians must come into the Lord’s House prepared to actively participate in service to our God and King.
To see our weekly liturgy, click here.
The purpose of the Lord’s Supper is not to merely remember but to receive the effects of Christ's sacrifice for us. “The cup of blessing that we bless,” says Paul, “is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?” (1 Corinthians 10:16) Therefore, says the apostle, we must examine ourselves and properly discern the body so that we do not eat and drink judgment.
At Portico Church we practice a “close” rather than a “closed” communion. The Lord’s Table is open to all Portico members in good standing. In addition, Christians are welcome to participate in the Supper who:
- have been baptized after making a creditable profession of faith in conformity to God’s Word
- are members in good standing or vitally connected to a biblical local church
- are not under the corrective discipline of any local church
Before partaking in the Supper, guests must meet with the pastor in order to give a personal testimony of faith in Christ, and affirm chapters 14.1, 28, and 30 of the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. Unless you meet these criteria, we ask that you kindly refrain from participating in the Supper until such time as you can meet with the pastor and affirm our doctrine.
We participate in this Supper every Lord's Day following the preaching of the Word and after an exhortation from the officers to personal repentance and a time of self-examination. We receive this means of grace by coming forward, taking the bread and cup offered, and returning to our seat to eat and drink together. We use Matzo, flat bread that has no leaven in it, to remind us that Jesus is the Lamb of God without spot or blemish. We also use wine, as this is what was served at the Passover meal, which our Lord shared with His disciples on the night when He was betrayed, and instituted this ordinance for His people and for the strengthening of their faith.
The worship of God in the local church is a corporate experience. We believe that the Scriptures do not prohibit or discourage the practice of young children worshiping together with their parents and older brothers and sisters. Rather than separating little ones from the adults who came to hear our Lord preach, Jesus rebuked His disciples for trying to keep the children from Him. “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
Parents who are actively training their little ones to sit quietly in the service are asked to make use of the back two rows of our sanctuary. For those children who are not quite ready to be with the rest of the congregation, we provide a staffed nursery for children between 0-4 in a room adjacent to our sanctuary. We also have a private room where mothers can nurse their infants while continuing to listen to the sermon.