here is a whole long list of very useful articles that directly address most of the issues you have raised about church, church order, and worship.

And here is a section dedicated to Ecclesiology - The Doctrine of the Church.

One in particular that describes church offices and their functions in the local body as defined in the Scriptures might be helpful. Your first post in this thread reflects a very common sentiment that most of us, at one time or another, shared before coming to grips with the scriptures.

Rather than run the whole gambit of subjects addressed in this thread (worship, the sacraments, church membership, gifts of the Spirit, and so on), in a single post or thread, let's try to keep to the original subject and use separate threads to talk about the regulative principle, gifts, etc.

Peruse those articles first and then let's discuss them from the scriptures.

-Robin

Last edited by Pilgrim; Thu May 28, 2009 7:40 PM. Reason: Added link to Ecclesiology