From Joel Beeke
Our English word worship is derived from the word worth. Worship is really “worthship” and reminds us that God is worthy of receiving our praise and honor. Consequently, godly sobriety dominates worship in the HRC out of deep reverence for God and His holy congregation. We see ourselves as guests in His house, praying that we will worship and exalt Him in a pure, unalloyed manner, supremely for His glory, and will remember that true worship is what God enjoys and commands and has a right to expect. Our worship must be corporate, Christ-exalting, and celebrative; above all else, it must be thoroughly Biblical. This “regulative principle of worship,” requiring that every part of worship must be grounded in Scripture, is assiduously adhered to as the only principle that can withstand today’s sweeping tide of false forms of unbiblical, shallow, worldly, informal, and innovative human worship. Everything in divine worship must be warranted by Scripture. We believe that in worship we enter into a dialogue with God whereby we humbly bring our adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplications to Him. We do that through prayers, congregational singing of the Psalms, offerings, and benedictions, which take up half of a typical worship service. The other half of our service is devoted to the reading of Scripture and preaching the whole counsel of God’s Word—both law and gospel, both death in Adam and life in Christ, both divine sovereignty and human responsibility. Through the reading and preaching of His Word, God speaks to us, instructing, strengthening, equipping, chastising, and warning us for our good. We strive to ensure that all the Biblical aspects of worship are included in our services: proclamation and learning of truth, adoration, repentance, intercession, dedication and thanksgiving.
We believe that it is critical for the preacher to conduct the service with the consciousness that he is in the presence of Almighty God. All self- or man-centeredness, casual demeanor, chatty and superfluous comments must be avoided in public worship when in the presence of the King of kings. Reflective of the church’s calling, preaching must be Biblical, doctrinal, experiential and practical.