Service Begins at 10:45 AM
Quiet. After the welcome and announcements, the rustling settles, the occasional baby noise continues, but the church grows still. We begin our Sunday morning worship at Andover Baptist Church with a few minutes of stillness to speak to God in our hearts and to prepare ourselves for worship with the congregation gathered to honor God in submission to his word and Spirit.
In our frantic age of electronic media, transcontinental flights, and immediate gratification, it can be difficult to consider carefully the things of God. And so we strive to pull ourselves away from the things and pace of the world to listen to and respond to the word of God through the Spirit of God. We do this by praying guided by the Scripture, singing the word and truth of God, reading the Bible to each other, contemplating God’s word through preaching, and by obeying God.
The church service is organized around the passage of Scripture that will be preached. We end our time of quiet meditation by a prayer of corporate confession usually led by an elder and drawn from the morning’s text. We sing hymns in which the doctrine reflects on the day’s text. Our greatest concern in corporate singing is that the music supports the meaning of the words and that the lyrics are rich in truth and significance. The volume and the style of music are designed to assist the congregation to worship God together.
We then listen to God’s word read aloud and confirm our agreement with the truth by a unison or responsive reading of a Scripture passage or occasionally a creed. We then thank God for his goodness to us through prayer and giving.
The sermon lasts for about 45 minutes. Each sermon is crafted around the meaning of the text and contemporary application is developed from the doctrine. Every Sunday morning sermon includes a clear presentation of the gospel from the passage. We carefully teach from both the Old and New Testament. If a New Testament passage is covered in the morning service, an Old Testament passage will be taught on in the evening service. The main preaching diet of the church is a single text of various lengths, but occasionally there are topical sermons.
We close our service with a hymn and a benediction, and then greet each other with the joy that comes from having worshiped God together.
It is our hope that the unity of our church is found in a shared understanding of the Bible and by the Spirit’s work leading us to Jesus Christ. We are a church of less than a hundred members, but we are rich in diversity. Here homemakers worship with mathematicians, construction workers with students, the unemployed with business men, and retirees with children. The unity of the congregation is found in our weekly worship and pursuit of holiness, but the diversity is found in our callings, history, and secondary interests.
Service begins at 5:00 PM
We hold our prayer meeting Sunday evening. We open with a brief prayer and often sing hymns that are new to the congregation. During this time we praise God for anniversaries, graduations, pregnancies, and the like, and we pray for the spiritual and physical health of the congregation. This is also the time that we pray for the evangelistic outreach of the church and her members.
After the prayer meeting there is a sermon that lasts from 30 to 40 minutes, and we close with a hymn and benediction.
Service begins at 7:00 PM
Wednesday night is a group discussion of single text. While it is led by a pastor, the purpose of the study is for the congregation to consider a text together through corporate discussion. Children and adults are encouraged to participate.