The Call to Worship begins the public worship service and sets the tone for the entire worship service. It reminds us who we are and why we gather together. It can begin with a welcome or a passage of scripture or even a song. If a welcome is given it should be followed by a scripture reading. If a scripture is read first then one may follow it with a welcome and a couple of brief comments on the passage.
It is best to then conclude in prayer seeking God’s blessing on the gathering. It is to be welcoming, encouraging, can be centered on a theme, but most of all calling and reminding the people of the purpose for gathering. It can be formally read or be very informal. One can also tie it to the sermon topic if that is known ahead of time.
The Confession of Sin
The Confession of Sin is a time to remind us of our sinful nature (recall who we are apart from Christ), our continuing ongoing sinful actions, and of the abundant grace and forgiveness found in our Savior. It is not to regain forgiveness; we are already forgiven. It is not to pay penance (penalty) for our sins. It is to remind us of what He has done and to keep us humble before God. It is a time to repent (turn away from or renounce our sins).
Confession of Faith
This is a time to remind us about what we believe particularly about God. We confess the truths about God including who He is and what He has done. This could be reading a formal confession individually or corporately or reading another confessional passage from Scripture and expounding briefly on it.
Intercessory Prayer, sometimes referred to as a pastoral prayer
We should remind one another of the things for which we have to give thanks. This is an essential part of worship, to praise and honor God by giving thanks and giving thanks for specifics.
As we prepare to re-enter the world and conclude our worship time, we should take the prayerful requests of the people of God to His throne. We should intercede for one another, for our church, our communities, and our nation (including those who lead). This can be done numerous ways: by having individuals pray as led by God, by assigning specific prayer requests to members of the congregation, or having the congregational leader simply guide the people through each request.
The benediction closes the public worship of the church. It is a prayer calling upon God for divine care and favor. It can include a passage of Scripture, a prayer and an invocation of a blessing upon the people of God. The benediction is a blessing (opposite of a curse) which speaks God’s well-being upon the congregation.