by Paul and Cindy Erlandson
Fellowshippers shall enter the sanctuary garrulously, centering their attention on each other, and gaily exchanging their news of the past week.
If there be an overhead projector, the acolytes shall light it.
The Minister shall begin Morning Fellowship by chanting the greeting, “Good Morning.”
Then shall not more than 50% and not less than 10% of the fellowshippers respond, chanting in this wise: “Good Morning.”
And NOTE, that if it be a hot day, the Minister shall at his discretion add:
The Glad-handing of the Peace
Then may the Minister say: “Why don’t we all shake hands with the person on our left and on our right and say ‘Good morning.’”
The glad-handing may be omitted, provided it be said on any Sunday when at least one visitor is present, and on Mother’s Day and Missionary Sunday.
When the general hubbub has subsided, the Minister shall say:
“You may be seated.”
Then, if there be any visitors present, the Minister shall embarrass them by commanding: “Will all of our visitors this morning please stand up and introduce themselves.”
The Old Hymn and Special Music
During the last stanza of the Old Hymn (not to have been composed before 1900 nor after 1950) the accompaniment tape shall be slipped into the sound system, or the organist shall warm up with a few lively runs up the keyboard.
Then shall be sung the Special Music appointed for the day.
Then shall be read an arbitrary Scripture passage of the Minister’s choosing, so long as it does not relate to the time of the Church year.
The Sharesicles, Prayersicles, and Praiseicles of the Day here may be inserted as a time for individual fellowshippers to give their testimonies and share what the Lord has just really done in their lives.
Then, if the fellowshippers be charismatically inclined, shall follow:
Here, many loud prayers, in English and other prayer languages, shall be offered simultaneously.
Prayer for the State of a Bunch of Individual Christians.
And after these, followeth a long pastoral prayer, the people devoutly sitting. The Minister shall begin with “O Lord, we just really praise you,” and continue with selected prayer requests, as many as he can recall from memory, for no less than ten and no more than twenty minutes, being sure to avoid such vain repetition as the Lord’s Prayer.
The Offertory Sentences
“Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your blessings, see what God has done.”
The Arminian Creed
The Sermon Hymn
The Songleader shall then stand and say (in case any of the fellowshippers are unable to follow the instructions in the bulletin):
The Minister shall expound on any of his pet topics for no less than forty-five and no more than sixty-one minutes, or until a handful of fellowshippers have fallen asleep, whichever comes last.
The Blurtus Interruptus
At unspecified intervals, various fellowshippers shall interrupt the sermon with the words “Ay-men”, “Preach it brother”, and other such phrases deemed by them to be appropriate.
The Invitation (to coffee and donut hour)
Except in the event that an Evangelist has given the sermon, in which case he shall forget the Benediction and proceed directly to:
The Divine Service of the Holy Altar Call
I. The Preface
The Evangelist shall say: “Poor, helpless Jesus has been knocking on the door of your heart for so long, wanting so badly to come in.”
II. The Uncomfortable words
“If you’ve been putting off this decision, remember that you could walk out this door after the service and get hit by a truck”.
III. The Prayer of Consternation
“Oh, Lord Jesus, if there’s anyone in this room who’s never gotten saved by saying the Sinner’s Prayer and inviting You into their heart, vouchsafe to remind them that this could be their only chance.”
IV. The Sursum Handus
“I want every head bowed, every eye closed, no one looking around. Nobody’s going to see you if you slip up that hand. If you’ve never asked Jesus to come into your heart and be your personal Lord and Saviour, you’re on your way to Hell. So slip up that hand. I see that hand. Yes, I see that hand, too.”
NOTE, that the organist, in the event the Evangelist has not finished his plea by the time she has played sixteen stanzas of “Just As I Am”, shall continue playing something very slowly while he pleads.
V. Benedictus Qui Venit (Blessed Is He That Cometh Down the Aisle)
“If you want Blessed Assurance that you’ll go to Heaven when you die — If you want to be there When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder — you just come forward as we sing the seventeenth and final stanza of “Just As I Am.”
The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals exists to call the church, amidst our dying culture, to repent of its worldliness, to recover and confess the truth of God’s Word as did the Reformers, and to see that truth embodied in doctrine, worship, and life. For information about ACE resources, conferences, or broadcasts, call 1-800-956-2644, or visit our web site: http://www.christianity.com/ace.