Growing in Grace: A four-week series to get your church education plans off to a great start, page 2 of 2

Commisioning Service for Week Two

Gathering Songs
“As We Gather” SNC 245
“The Steadfast Love” SNC 242


Call to Worship: Psalm 24

Greeting

Response: “We Bow Down” SNC 42

Confession of Sin and Assurance of Pardon (based on John 14, 15)
We have just sung that we will let God be the Lord of our life, yet we are conscious of our shortcomings and failures. Let us confess to God now, that we may be comforted by God’s love and forgiveness.

Lord, you said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.”
Forgive us our lukewarm love and our disobedience.
Lord, you said, “You may ask for anything in my name.”
Forgive us when we think we need to solve all our own problems.
Lord, you said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
We confess that our lives are often consumed by worry and anxiety.
Lord, you said, “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit.”
Forgive us our barren lives, Lord.
Lord, you said, “You must testify, for you have been with me.”
We confess Lord, that we have been too often silent.
Lord, you said, “Love each other as I have loved you.”
In this and in so many other ways, we confess our failures and shortcomings.

Thanks be to God, Christ came to release us from our burden of guilt. Jesus’ words reassure us: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

Song of Thanksgiving
“Not What My Hands Have Done” PsH 260, TH 461 or “Shout to the Lord” SNC 223

Words of the Covenant
As God’s forgiven people, led by his Spirit, let us recommit our lives to walk with him each day, growing more and more into his likeness so that the world will see us and praise his name. This is the word of God for our lives.

[Read Eph. 4:25-5:2]

Song of Commitment
“Lord I Want to Be a Christian” PsH 264, PH 372, SFL 40, TH 530, TWC 563

or “Fill Thou My Life, O Lord My God” PsH 547

or “Take, O Take Me As I Am” SNC 215

The Seeding of the Word

Children’s Message

Song of Response: “The Tree Song” by Ken Medema (www.kenmedema.com)

Sermon: The Joy of Spiritual Maturing

Song of Response: “Lord, Let My Heart Be Good Soil” SNC 79

Offering Our Thanks in Service
A Sower Went Out: A Dramatic Reading and Commissioning Liturgy Based on Luke 8:5-15

Leader: A farmer went out to sow his seed.

Voice 1: Full of hope and dreams, he prayed for a bountiful harvest.

Voice 2: The seed is the Word of God. He plants it in the hearts of listeners.

Voice 1: We are full of hopes and dreams, we pray for a bountiful harvest.

Leader: As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up.

Voice 1: Full of hopes and dreams for a bountiful harvest, the sower mourns his loss.

Voice 2: The seeds along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the Word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.

Voice 1: Full of hopes and dreams for a bountiful harvest, we mourn this loss.

Leader: Some seed fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture.

Voice 1: Full of hopes and dreams for a bountiful harvest, the sower mourns his loss.

Voice 2: Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.

Voice 1: Full of hopes and dreams for a bountiful harvest, we mourn this loss.

Leader: Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants.

Voice 1: Full of hopes and dreams for a bountiful harvest, the sower mourns his loss.

Voice 2: The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.

Voice 1: Full of hopes and dreams for a bountiful harvest, we mourn this loss.

Leader: Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.

Voice 1: His hopes and dreams fulfilled, his prayers answered, the sower rejoices in the bountiful harvest.

Voice 2: The seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the Word, retain it, and by perseverance produce a crop.

Voice 1: Our hopes and dreams fulfilled, our prayers answered, we rejoice in the bountiful harvest produced by the goodness of the Lord.

Leader: Today we honor those who have committed themselves to sowing the seed of God’s word in the soil of our congregation’s hearts: the leaders of the teaching and nurturing ministries in this church. We now ask the teachers and leaders of these groups to stand as we name the ministries: (list all the ministries in your church that are committed to nurturing faith).

You have been asked to use your gifts to sow the seed of God’s Word in hearts, and to nurture it maturity. How do you respond to this call?

Teachers, Leaders: We commit ourselves, with God’s help, to work for a bountiful harvest.

Leader: Go and work in the fields with God’s grace. Learn from the Master Sower, who prayed and loved and taught and gave his life for others. May he equip you with every good gift so that the harvest is bountiful.

[Teachers and leaders are seated.]

Leader: Congregation, please rise. We have had the seed of the Word of God planted in our hearts. We are all learners who have yet to grow into full maturity. Do you commit yourself to learning and growing in faith this year?

Congregation: We commit ourselves, God helping us, to weed and feed the seed of faith that has been planted in us.

Leader: God has provided us with gardeners to nurture the seeds. Do you receive them as gifts from God, and do you commit yourself to supporting them in their work?

Congregation: We commit ourselves, God helping us, to do so.

[Congregation may be seated.]

Leader: May the God of the bountiful harvest bless us in our growth this year. May we bear much fruit for the kingdom of God. Let us pray for this commitment and for God’s blessing on our endeavors.

Prayer of Commitment

Song of Response: “Here I Am, Lord” PH 525, SFL 243, SNC 268

Offering Our Thanks in Prayer and in Our Gifts

Offertory: “Faithful One”

We Leave Blessed

Parting Blessing: Jude 24-25

Parting Song: “My Friends, May You Grow in Grace” SNC 288