Several years ago our session of elders read and was profoundly challenged and encouraged by a book called "The Lord's Service" by Jeffrey Myers. The book is a biblical rationale for a form of worship that Myers' calls "covenant renewal." In the five minute video (below) Pastor Doug Wilson briefly explains the essence of the covenant renewal pattern. And then farther below is an excerpt from our weekly bulletin explaining the same.
The essence of true worship is covenant renewal. Lord’s Day worship is a time when God reaffirms His covenant relation to His people, communing with, informing and transforming them, and then re-sending them into the world in order to remake the world after the heavenly priorities, patterns and protocols revealed to them in God’s presence.
The rhythm of worship is antiphonal: Throughout the service, God speaks to us and we respond.
The mode of worship is spiritual and incarnational: We worship God with our spirits, our hands, and our voices, employing various appropriate bodily postures.
Call to worship: God comes near and calls His people out of the world to gather in His presence. He graciously takes hold of us and brings us near to Himself
Confession and Forgiveness: God reminds us what He has done for us in Christ and declares His interest in restoring us again to His favor in Christ. We confess our sins and God absolves us of guilt. God graciously reminds us that we bear the name Christian and are members of His family in Christ. He tears us from our old sinful ways and renews His love for us in Christ.
Consecration: God speaks to us through his Word read, sung and preached. We, His people, respond by giving ourselves and our gifts as fitting offerings.
Communion: God invites us to commune with Him at His Table, and we respond by memorializing His covenant and enjoying His faithful provisions at the family feast.
Commission and Benediction: God blesses us and charges us to extend His kingdom into the future and into the world, making disciples of all nations. We are dismissed from God's special presence, transformed, renewed and equipped for this task.