Category Archives: Call to Worship

A Call to Worship Based on 1 Chronicles 16:34-36

M:        Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
C:        Save us, God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise.

M:        Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.
C: Amen and Praise the Lord

This call to worship can be followed with Matt Maher’s song “And All the People Said Amen.”

A Call to Worship Based on Psalm 33

A Call to Worship Based on Psalm 33:1-3, 7-8, 12-15, 20-22

M: Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;
C: it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
M: Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
C: Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.
M: He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses.
C: Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him.
M: Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance.
C: From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind;
M: from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth— he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.
C: We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.
M: In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.
C: May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.

A Call to Worship for Thanksgiving

A Call to Worship for Thanksgiving
Based on Psalm 136:1-3

The band plays the song “Forever” by Chris Tomlin during the following readings.

M: Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
C: His love endures forever.
M: Give thanks to the God of gods.
C: His love endures forever.
M: Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
C: His love endures forever.

The congregation concludes by singing “Forever.”

More responsive readings:Lifestyle Worship

A Call to Worship Based on Rev 15:3-4

A Call to Worship Based on Revelation 15:3-4

M: Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty.
C: Just and true are your ways, King of the nations.

M: Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name?
C: For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.

A Call to Worship Based on Romans 15:9-13

M:        Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles;
C:        I will sing the praises of your name.

M:        Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people.
C:        Praise the Lord; let all the peoples extol him.

M:        The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will hope.
All:      May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

A Call to Worship based on Psalm 105:1-4

A Call to Worship based on Psalm 105:1-4

M: Give praise to the Lord,
C: proclaim his name;
M: make known among the nations what he has done.
C: Sing to him,
M: sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.
C: Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
M: Look to the Lord and his strength;
C: seek his face always.

The Importance of the Opening Song

The Importance of the Opening Song


Welcome to Worship

One hundred people enter from all walks of life.  Some are struggling with addictions, some with divorce, some with a job they don’t like, some with mis-behaving children, some with family troubles, some are over-worked, some are in financial ruin, some are dealing with loss, some are looking for work, some struggle with disease, some are overwhelmed, some are near to death, some are depressed, some are insecure, some are feeling heaps of guilt from a signature sin, some are bewildered, some doubt God’s existence, some wonder if God hears their prayers, some need counseling, some are perfectionists, some are burned out, all are sinners, and some actually think they are normal and trouble-free.  These are the people I worship with every Sunday.  I am one of them. Welcome to worship.

“We open this morning’s worship in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.” – Your Pastor

Now that deserves a response! It is time for the opening song.

My favorite song location is the “Hymn of the Day.”  It is sung right before the sermon and to the best of our ability is lyrically spot-on with his message and the scripture readings.

Next to the HOTD, my song of choice is the opening congregational piece because the Spirit can use this song to help prepare the tribe of varied worshippers with their myriad mindsets into a unified group of believers and followers with one common goal – if not only for the next hour.  This is the song that the Holy Spirit can use to level the playing field.  This is the song that helps to prepare our minds for worship.  This is the song that delineates the worship service from the rest of the weekly grind. This is the wake up call.  This is the call to worship. Reveille! This song is the trend setter for the mood of the service to follow. This song is powerful because the Spirit is present in the gathered assembly. You are in worship and your problems, troubles, concerns and thoughts are minimized in comparison to the Almighty.  He can handle all of these burdens before blinking if He so desires.

How To Choose This Song

There are several hints in the preceding paragraph.  It is a wake up call – it can be lively.  It prepares people for worship – it should be edifying and pointing to God. It is used by the Holy Spirit – it needs to be grounded in scriptural truths. It needs to show who is in charge and it’s not you, your family, your job, your financial situation, your anything – it is Christ centered, or Gospel centered, or God centered. It’s like a compass always pointing to the truth.  It is a piece that people can rely on.  It is a piece that helps to carry them through the upcoming week. The song should move their heart, mind, body and soul.

Looking for a Few God Songs?

Meaty Hymns:

  • Blessed Jesus, at Your Word
  • Stand Up! Stand Up! For Jesus – try singing this one      actually standing up for a change.
  • God Himself is Present
  • To Your Temple I Draw Near
  • Now the Silence

New Songs:

  • Gather in His Name – by Gwen Smith and Carl Cartee
  • Enter This Temple – by Leland Mooring
  • Here I Am Lord – Dan Schutte
  • Here With Me – Bart Millard
  • Here for You – by Matt Reman and Matt Maher
  • Here – by Kari Jobe
  • Meet Us Here – Mike Honholtz

Using a Confession of Sins as a Call to Worship

A Call to Worship
Today Your Mercy Calls Us

This is a guest post, written by Pastor Michael Zarling of Epiphany Lutheran Church located in Racine WI. This confession of sins serves as a Call to Worship and was written for use on the seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost. Consider adding CW339 (Today Your Mercy Calls Us) in your list of hymns for the day. You can either have the worship leader read the poetic hymn verses noted below or have the worship team play the hymn softly in the background during the readings and have the congregation sing the verses as they appear.

M: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.
C: And also with you.

Today your mercy calls us; To wash away our sin.
However great our trespass; Whatever we have been.
However long from mercy; Our hearts have turned away.
Your precious blood can wash us; And make us clean today.


M: God invites us to come into his presence and worship him with humble and penitent hearts. Therefore, let us acknowledge our sinfulness and ask him to forgive us.

C: Holy and merciful Father, I confess that I am by nature sinful, and that I have disobeyed you in my thoughts, words, and actions. I have done what is evil and failed to do what is good. For this I deserve your punishment both now and in eternity. But I am truly sorry for my sins, and trusting in my Savior Jesus Christ, I pray: Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.

M: God, our heavenly Father, has been merciful to us and has given his only Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Therefore, as a called servant of Christ and by his authority, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son (+) and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Today your gate is open; And all who enter in.
Shall find a Father’s welcome; And pardon for their sin.
The past shall be forgotten; A present joy be given,
A future grace be promised; A glorious crown in heaven.


M: Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to a sinner’s baptism,
C: have mercy on me, a sinner.
M: Lord Jesus Christ, giving your body and blood to be eaten and drunk,
C: have mercy on me, a sinner.
M: Lord Jesus Christ, trampling down death by death,
C: have mercy on me, a sinner.
M: Lord Jesus Christ, sanctifying our graves by lying in a tomb,
C: have mercy on me, a sinner.
M: Lord Jesus Christ, harrowing hell and releasing the prisoners,
C: have mercy on me, a sinner.
M: Lord Jesus Christ, rising in victory over death and corruption,
C: have mercy on me, a sinner.

M: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade– kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)

Today our Father calls us; His Holy Spirit waits.
His blessed angels gather; Around the heavenly gates.
No question will be asked us; How often we have come.
Although we oft have wandered; It is our Father’s home.

O all-embracing Mercy; O ever-open Door.
What should we do without you; When heart and eye run over?
When all things seem against us; To drive us to despair.
We know one gate is open; One ear will hear our prayer.