What To Expect
For Worship

"What can I expect from worship on Sunday at Chapel in the Hills?"

Often times this is the main question people have when looking for a new church fellowship. Sadly, however, it is not often clear what to expect when visiting a church for the first time. Therefore, we hope to provide you with clear expectations so that you may know what to expect when worshiping alongside us this coming Lord's Day.

Here is the typical outline for the order of service:

  • Corporate Call to Worship
  • Announcements 
  • Corporate Prayer
  • Public Reading of Scripture
  • Baptism (when applicable
  • Music
  • Expository Preaching
  • Communion
  • Response Music
  • Closing Benediction

While this order of service can vary from week to week, this is the general liturgy at the Chapel in the Hills.

Furthermore, the Chapel in the Hills is committed to the regulative principle of worship, which is the historical principle that seeks to follow biblical commands with regard to corporate worship.

Regulative Principle of Worship

Put simply, the regulative principle of worship states that the corporate worship of God is to be founded upon specific directions of Scripture. On the surface, it is difficult to see why anyone who values the authority of Scripture would find such a principle objectionable. Is not the whole of life itself to be lived according to the rule of Scripture? This is a principle dear to the hearts of all who call themselves biblical Christians. To suggest otherwise is to open the door to antinomianism [lawlessness] and license...

Scripture lays down certain specific requirements: for example, we are to worship with God’s people on the Lord’s Day, and we should engage in useful work and earn our daily bread. In addition, covering every possible circumstance, Scripture lays down a general principle: “present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:1–2). Clearly, all of life is to be regulated by Scripture, whether by express commandment or prohibition or by general principle. There is therefore, in one sense, a regulative principle for all of life. In everything we do, and in some form or another, we are to be obedient to Scripture.

However, the Reformers (John Calvin especially) and the Westminster Divines (as representative of seventeenth-century puritanism) viewed the matter of corporate worship differently. In this instance, a general principle of obedience to Scripture is insufficient; there must be (and is) a specific prescription governing how God is to be worshiped corporately. In the public worship of God, specific requirements are made, and we are not free either to ignore them or to add to them. Typical by way of formulation are the words of Calvin: “God disapproves of all modes of worship not expressly sanctioned by his Word” (“The Necessity of Reforming the Church”); and the Second London Baptist Confession of 1689: “The acceptable way of worshiping the true God, is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshiped according to the imagination and devices of men, nor the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures” (22.1).

Where does the Bible teach this? In more places than is commonly imagined, including the constant stipulation of the book of Exodus with respect to the building of the tabernacle that everything be done “after the pattern . . . shown you” (Ex. 25:40); the judgment pronounced upon Cain’s offering, suggestive as it is that his offering (or his heart) was deficient according to God’s requirement (Gen. 4:3–8); the first and second commandments showing God’s particular care with regard to worship (Ex. 20:2–6); the incident of the golden calf, teaching as it does that worship cannot be offered merely in accord with our own values and tastes; the story of Nadab and Abihu and the offering of “strange fire” (Lev. 10); God’s rejection of Saul’s non-prescribed worship — God said, “to obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Sam. 15:22); and Jesus’ rejection of Pharisaical worship according to the “tradition of the elders” (Matt. 15:1–14). All of these indicate a rejection of worship offered according to values and directions other than those specified in Scripture.

Of particular significance are Paul’s responses to errant public worship at Colossae and Corinth. At one point, Paul characterizes the public worship in Colossae as ethelothreskia (Col. 2:23), variously translated as “will worship” (KJV) or “self-made religion” (ESV). The Colossians had introduced elements that were clearly unacceptable (even if they were claiming an angelic source for their actions — one possible interpretation of Col. 2:18, the “worship of angels”). Perhaps it is in the Corinthian use (abuse) of tongues and prophecy that we find the clearest indication of the apostle’s willingness to “regulate” corporate worship. He regulates both the number and order of the use of spiritual gifts in a way that does not apply to “all of life”: no tongue is to be employed without an interpreter (1 Cor. 14:27–28) and only two or three prophets may speak, in turn (vv. 29–32). At the very least, Paul’s instruction to the Corinthians underlines that corporate worship is to be regulated and in a manner that applies differently from that which is to be true for all of life.

The result? Particular elements of worship are highlighted: reading the Bible (1 Tim. 4:13); preaching the Bible (2 Tim. 4:2); singing the Bible (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16) — the Psalms as well as Scripture songs that reflect the development of redemptive history in the birth-life-death-resurrection- ascension of Jesus; praying the Bible — the Father’s house is “a house of prayer” (Matt. 21:13); and seeing the Bible in the two sacraments of the church, baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38–39; 1 Cor. 11:23–26; Col. 2:11–12). In addition, occasional elements such as oaths, vows, solemn fasts and thanksgivings have also been recognized and highlighted (see Westminster Confession of Faith 21:5).

...Within an adherence to the principle there is enormous room for variation—in matters that Scripture has not specifically addressed (adiaphora). Thus, the regulative principle as such may not be invoked to determine whether contemporary or traditional songs are employed, whether three verses or three chapters of Scripture are read, whether one long prayer or several short prayers are made, or whether a single cup or individual cups with real wine or grape juice are utilized at the Lord’s Supper. To all of these issues, the principle “all things should be done decently and in order” (1 Cor. 14:40) must be applied...

What is sometimes forgotten in these discussions is the important role of conscience. Without the regulative principle, we are at the mercy of “worship leaders” and bullying pastors who charge noncompliant worshipers with displeasing God unless they participate according to a certain pattern and manner. To the victims of such bullies, the sweetest sentences ever penned by men are, “God alone is Lord of the conscience, and hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are, in anything, contrary to His Word, or beside it, in matters of faith or worship. So that to believe such doctrines, or to obey such commands out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience: and the requiring of an implicit faith, and an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience, and reason also” (WCF 20:2). To obey when it is a matter of God’s express prescription is true liberty; anything else is bondage and legalism.

*This article is borrowed from our friends and Ligonier Ministries

Expository Preaching

Expository preaching is the proclamation of God’s Word, for the glory of the God of the Word. It is a proclamation that finds its sole message rooted in Scripture. As MacArthur notes on expositional preaching, “[it is] preaching in such a way that the meaning of the Bible passage is presented entirely and exactly as it was intended by God.”[1] It is a message that is discovered through accurate, exegetical study that determines the text’s meaning within its historical and literary contexts.[2] It is preaching that consistently applies a literal, historical-grammatical hermeneutic to the passage within its context.

What is meant by a literal, historical-grammatical hermeneutic, though? Bryan Chapell provides a helpful description for this method of interpretation by explaning two important terms, “literal” and “historical-grammatical”:
 Discovering the “literal meaning” does not mean that we disregard the figurative, poetic, colloquial, metaphorical, or spiritual ways in which the biblical writers sometimes communicate. Literal interpretation occurs when we explain what a biblical writer meant within the literary and cultural context of the original words and do not try to impose meanings drawn from outside that context… Our task as preachers is to discern what the original writers meant by analyzing the background and grammatical features of what they said. Using grammar and history to discern a text’s original meaning is called the ‘grammatical-historical method.’[3]

The literal, historical-grammatical method of interpretation, therefore, it that method which seeks to understand the author’s plain and intended meaning by analyzing both the text’s grammatical features and by placing the text within its original historical context.

Finally, the task of expositional preaching is not completed until the preacher applies the message to the lives of his contemporary hearers. Lloyd-Jones writes, “Any true definition of preaching must say that man is there to deliver the message of God, a message from God to those people.”[4] It is preaching that addresses both the mind and the heart, and then calls people to action. Lloyd-Jones goes on to write, “Preaching is that which deals with the total person, the hearer becomes involved and knows that he has been dealt with and addressed by God through the preachers.”[5] It is an application that is delivered in the power of the Holy Spirit, Who employs the unique personality and skill of the preacher. It requires a preacher who has prayerfully contemplated the passage and has sought the leading of the Holy Spirit throughout his life, his study, and his preaching.

Expository preaching, therefore, is the endeavor to remove every obstruction that lies between the Word of God, the preacher of God, and the people of God. 
[1] John MacArthur, Preaching: How to Preach Biblically, Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2005, 18.
[2] Roy B. Zuck, Basic Bible Interpretation: A Practical Guide to Discovering Biblical Truth, ed. Craig Bubeck Sr. (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 1991), 20.
[3] Bryan Chapell, Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon, Third Edition. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic: A Division of Baker Publishing Group, 2018), 60-61.
[4] D. Martin Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers, 40th ed., (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011), 64.  
[5] Ibid., 66-7.


One of the most contentious issues in the modern church has been the issue of music. Notice, we are careful not to refer to this section as "worship" as worship is more than music. Worship should comprise every part of a believer's life. With regard to corporate worship, it involves every act from the corporate call to worship to the closing benediction (see sample order of service at the top of the page).

An important verse for our consideration is Romans 12:1, which reads, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service." Thus, the Christian is a living sacrifice and is to be "holy, acceptable to God." Thus, a holy life is the Christian's "reasonable service" (or worship).

With specific regard to music, we are commanded to make a joyful noise unto the Lord (Ps. 98:4), to sing unto Him a new song (Ps. 33:3), and to be filled with the Spirit through signing (Eph. 5:19). It is to this final reference that we now turn our attention.

Here is a helpful article on the topic:

Ephesians 5:18–19 says, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart” (ESV). Colossians 3:16 continues that idea: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” So what is the difference between psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and how are they to be used?


The book of Psalms is the collection of songs written under the direction of the Holy Spirit (Mark 12:36; 2 Peter 1:21) by ancient Jewish leaders such as David, Moses, and Solomon. These inspired songs were part of the Hebrew Scriptures and used in corporate worship. The word psalm means “praise.” Although many of the psalms are cries for help, laments over Israel, or questions about God’s plan, the major theme in all of them is worship. Even when the psalmist was crying out his questions or frustrations to the Lord, he usually ended with a call to praise God in spite of everything (Psalm 42:11; 43:5; 71:13–14). The psalms have a timeless quality and are as relevant to our lives as though they were written yesterday. Many people find great comfort in reading or praying the psalms when they have difficulty finding adequate words to express their hearts to God. We can encourage, challenge, and extend comfort to ourselves and others by memorizing and sharing a psalm. Many of our modern worship songs are based on the psalms, and when we sing them, we are singing God’s Word.


A hymn is a song that gives praise, honor, or thanksgiving to God. Unlike psalms, hymns are not written by divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit and are not considered part of Scripture. However, the best ones often incorporate portions of Scripture and are filled with rich doctrinal truth. Hymns are often metrical poems arranged to be sung corporately. Even in Jesus’ day, hymns were part of Jewish worship. After the Last Supper, Jesus and His disciples sang a hymn (Matthew 26:30).

Spiritual Songs

The term spiritual songs is more general. Believers are to express their faith in song—but not just any song; Scripture indicates the songs of believers must be “spiritual.” That is, the songs of the church deal with spiritual themes. They might not directly praise God, but they will teach a doctrine, encourage the body, or prompt others toward love and good works. A spiritual song might express the joy of one’s salvation, revel in the grace of Christ, or exalt the greatness and power of God—in short, a spiritual song can communicate a wide variety of sacred themes.

From Psalms to Revelation, the Bible encourages us to “sing a new song to the Lord” (Psalm 96:1; 144:9; Isaiah 42:10; Revelation 5:9; 14:3). Psalm 40:3 says, “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.” A new song is one that arises from the spirit of a person whose heart overflows with adoration for God. Paul’s instruction to the Ephesians about music is preceded by the command to “be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). When we are filled with the Spirit, then psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs are the natural expression of our hearts. A Spirit-filled person is a singing person. One clear indication that a person is filled with the Holy Spirit is a natural desire to sing and praise God. Musical ability has little to do with it. God created us to find great spiritual expression through music (Psalm 135:3; Judges 5:3). Scripture is filled with music, and God delights when we use what He created to worship Him (Deuteronomy 31:19; Psalm 33:2; 149:3).

Music finds its highest purpose when used as a tool to extoll the greatness of God. It can console, encourage, teach, and even admonish those who are away from God. Music is a biblical way of expressing our worship of the Lord. Spiritual music gives voice to our joy and adoration unlike anything else. Whether a psalm or a hymn or a spiritual song, the purpose of music is to glorify God, and He wants us to use this gift as a means of worshiping Him.

*This article was borrowed from our friends at GotQuestions.org

Based upon the biblical teaching, then, it is important for churches to have a blended liturgy when it comes to music. Therefore, the Chapel in the Hills employs various musical styles on Sunday morning to meet the Bibles diverse commands with regard to singing and praise.

Our music team is mixed with traditional and modern instrumentation, employing psalters, hymns, and contemporary music during the corporate gathering for worship.

Communion & Baptism

The final section worthy of mention is the two ordinances commanded by our Lord: Baptism and Communion. While many churches refer to these ordinances as "sacraments," we prefer the term "ordinance" as it is not to be confused with the traditional understanding of sacrament - that which confers grace to the participant (whether his or her heart is engaged in the act or not).  

Here is a helpful article on the issue of ordinances versus sacraments:

Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and a few Protestant denominations use the term sacrament to refer to a rite through which God’s grace is conveyed to an individual. Many evangelical churches prefer the word ordinance, which can be defined as a “God-ordained ceremony.”

A sacrament is often thought of as being a means of God’s grace—as a worshiper performs a certain religious rite, he or she receives divine blessing, either for salvation or for sanctification. An ordinance is usually not considered a conduit of grace but simply a practice commanded to be performed by the Lord. In other words, a sacrament, at some level, involves a supernatural work of God. An ordinance is simply an act of man in obedience to God.

Complicating the issue somewhat is the fact that some churches do see the ordinances as means of grace; other churches consider the sacraments as symbols of spiritual reality and not the reality itself. In those cases, the words ordinance and sacrament are virtually synonymous.

The Roman Catholic Church teaches there are seven sacraments: baptism, confirmation, holy communion, confession, marriage, holy orders, and the anointing of the sick. According to the Catholic Church, these sacraments “are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament” (The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd edition, p. 293). Also, “The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation” (Ibid., p. 292). This teaching reveals a works-based system of salvation and a sacerdotal approach to worship.

The Bible, in contrast, tells us that grace is not given through outward symbols, and no ritual is “necessary for salvation.” Grace is the blessing of God, freely given to the undeserving. “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:4–7, NKJV).

Protestants and evangelicals reject the notion that sacraments can offer salvation. Rather, most see them as signs and signifiers (and sometimes seals) of grace already received. To help avoid communicating the idea that their religious activities are channels of grace, most evangelicals prefer to call them “ordinances.” They see the ordinances as symbolic reenactments of the gospel message. Rather than being requirements for salvation, ordinances are visual aids to help us better understand and appreciate what Jesus Christ accomplished for us in His redemptive work, and they are testimonies that we indeed believe in Christ. Ordinances are determined by three factors: they were instituted by Christ, they were taught by the apostles, and they were practiced by the early church. Baptism and communion (or the Lord’s table) are the two rites that most evangelicals consider ordinances, and neither of them is a requirement for salvation. Scriptural support for baptism is found in Matthew 28:18–20, and support for communion in Luke 22:19.

*This article was borrowed from our friends at GotQuestions.org


Every Christian is commanded to repent and be baptized (cf. Act. 2:38). It is not an activity that is only reserved for Christians who are "serious" about their faith. Rather, baptism is commanded as the initiatory declaration of every Christian. Baptism is also an essential component in the Lord's "Great Commission."

Matt. 28:19-20, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Therefore, we hold that Baptism is the initiatory ordinance for the believer and Communion is the continuing ordinance for the believer.
For more information on our view of Baptism, please visit the "What We Teach" tab on the main menu. 


At the Chapel, we partake of Communion every week in accordance with the teachings of 1 Cor. 11:17-20, 33-4, which give instructions to Christians for when they "come together." While there is no explicit command to partake of Communion every week, a convincing argument can be made for the regular practice of communion in the corporate gathering of the church. Historical Christianity provides further evidence that communion ought to be practiced whenever the church gathers for corporate worship.

Furthermore, communion is available to any believer who claims the name of Jesus Christ. Thus, we do not require membership at the Chapel to participate in communion. That said, we hold every participant accountable to the guidelines provided by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:17-34, whereby communion should only be taken by believers in a worthy manner (in repentance and confession of sin). Thus, communion is between the believer and the Lord, and it is the Lord Who will be sure to judge the one who takes communion in a worthy manner or not.

The Chapel also holds to what is commonly referred to as the Memorial View of Communion.

Here is a helpful article on Memorialism:

Memorialism is a view of the Lord’s Supper that sees communion as a remembrance of what Christ did on the cross. To the memorialist, the elements of the Lord’s Supper are symbolic—the bread represents Jesus’ body, and the cup represents His blood. In memorialism the elements of communion themselves have no literal or mystical connection to Jesus’ body.

Memorialism was formally articulated by Swiss Reformer Huldrych Zwingli, and his teaching went against the Catholic view and Martin Luther’s. The Catholics taught transubstantiation, the view that the bread and wine are changed into the actual body and blood of Christ upon consecration by the priest. Luther taught consubstantiation, the view that Christ is spiritually present at the taking of communion—He is “with, in, and under” the bread and wine. The elements remain bread and wine, but Christ is actually present in them, co-existing with the elements. For Zwingli and the memorialists, the Lord’s Supper is a memorial to the body and blood of Christ (Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24–25), and there is no actual consumption of His physical body and blood. Christ cannot be physically present at communion since He is in heaven at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 8:1; 10:12).

Central to the debate between differing views of the Lord’s Supper are Jesus’ words at the Last Supper (Matthew 26:26 –28). In that passage, Jesus calls the bread “my body” (verse 26) and the cup “my blood of the covenant” (verse 28). Memorialists view Jesus’ words as metaphorical and that He was teaching His disciples to remember His sacrifice on the cross.

Important to the memorialist view is 1 Corinthians 11. Twice in that chapter, Jesus says to partake of communion “in remembrance of me” (verses 24–25). Paul then says that “whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (verse 26). Thus, communion is a proclamation of the gospel, a “showing” or a “telling” of what our Lord did for us.

Jesus once told the crowds that He is the “living bread” and that, in order to have eternal life, they must “eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood” (John 6:51, 53). Many of the Jews present misunderstood and asked, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” (verse 52, CSB). Jesus was not stating that a person must eat His literal flesh and drink His blood to be saved. As He later affirms, His words are spirit (John 6:63); i.e., He was speaking spiritually. A person does not gain eternal life through eating the Lord Supper; rather, eternal life comes through trusting in Jesus’ death and resurrection (Romans 10:9–10; 1 Corinthians 15:2–4). Partaking in the Lord’s Supper is a memorial in that it reminds Christians of Jesus’ substitutionary death on the cross for the sins of the world.

Great and important men throughout the centuries have had memorials built in their honor: a statue, an obelisk, a pyramid, an arch. But Jesus, the greatest and most important man in history, desired no such thing. In the greatness of His humility, Jesus specified what His memorial was to be: a simple meal shared with friends. The world doesn’t need another statue, but it does need to remember what Jesus’ sacrifice meant. The world needs the gospel, beautifully pictured in the bread and cup of communion. Memorialists rightly hold that the bread and wine (or juice) of the Lord’s Supper are important symbols of Jesus’ broken body and His blood poured out to atone for mankind’s sin.

*This article was borrowed from our friends at GotQuestions.org