Worship Resources

Call to Worship

The call to worship is designed to set the “spiritual table” for worship. This is the first public greeting to our members and our guests. If serving as the “call to worship” leader, you will be given a set of announcements including a reminder to fill out attendance cards and silence cell phones. In addition, you will make people aware of childcare options and any special features of service.

After these standard announcements, you will be given a theme for worship, one or more scriptures that help the audience understand the direction and flow of the service and call the audience to worship God in spirit and in truth.

The leader of this section of worship should feel comfortable speaking in front of groups, be willing to encourage people with a smile and friendly greeting and be able to both ad-lib and follow a script. If performing this service, please dress business casual or better, arrive twenty minutes before service for the worship leader’s meeting in the prayer room and begin reviewing your supplied notes and scriptures. Some scripture readings may be congregational (the audience reading along with you from the verses displayed on the screen).

If leading the call to worship, you are not expected or asked to prepare your own comments or verses prior to worship but to follow the outline provided for you. Your input prior to Wednesday before the coming service is welcomed.

Those leading on Sunday morning should plan to arrive twenty minutes early and attend the worship leader’s meeting in the prayer room.


Worship Blessing

The worship blessing is our prayer asking God to bless our worship and to communicate to Him our desire to bless Him through our worship. The worship blessing is a prayer that comes from your heart. Some who lead the worship blessing will either use a short reading for their prayer.

A good example of a worship blessing integrating Psalm 100 is as follows:

Lord, we shout with joy to you along with all the earth.

We worship you with gladness;

We come before you with joyful songs.

We know you are the Lord our God.

We made us, we are yours;

We know you are our God and you know that we are your people. Some today are filled with praise, some are filled with sorrow. Through our worship today, we desire that you would bear our burdens and hear our prayers. We desire your blessing because our worship of you is never as pure as your love for us. Thank you for your love.

In the name of Jesus your Son, Amen.”

We plan for the worship blessing to last 1-3 minutes in length. If you think you will need more time than this, please let the worship designer know that you’d like to make an adjustment by contacting us via email at worship input . or call the office at (916)638-2200.

Those leading on Sunday morning should plan to arrive twenty minutes early and attend the worship leader’s meeting in the prayer room.

Communion Thought

Communion is a significant spiritual ingredient of every worship service conducted at the Cordova church on Sunday (including the evening service). Communion accounts for 25% of our worship experience at each service (and sometimes more). You may be asked to serve by giving the communion thought and leading the prayers for the bread and the wine. Hopefully these words of direction will benefit your preparation. If you are not a baptized believer and have been asked to lead this thought, please notify us immediately and we will schedule someone to take your place (email worship input or call the office at (916)638-2200).

First, the communion thought should be shaped by the event — the remembrance of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. This may take a very somber, mournful tone or a very joyous tone. However, regardless of the emotional orientation, it should always be a sober moment in service void of the trivial and comedic (we encourage you to avoid the use of jokes or humor when setting the table for the communion service).Plan to give one thought (prior to the bread) and two prayers (for the bread and then for the cup). Avoid giving two thoughts.

If you are leading the congregation in their meditation prior to communion, read over the worship schedule and familiarize yourself with the song that is scheduled prior to the communion service and take into account the message of that song, hymn or spiritual song. Consider also what the Apostles recorded about the Lord’s Supper. Your comments and prayers should take between 3 & 5 minutes to allow ample time for communion to be served, people to pray quietly or sing softly and to be sensitive to the other elements of service that require time as well. Sometimes you may be asked to lead the prayers only. If you would like to have a specific song scheduled or graphic on the screen the week you are leading communion email us or call (email worship input or call the office at (916)638-2200) before Tuesday of the week you are scheduled to preside over the communion service.

Below is an example of a communion thought and prayer:

Song Prior to Communion – Faithful Love

“When you think of the last phrase of that song, ‘For I’ve seen faithful love face to face, and Jesus is His name,’ it calls to mind one of the most dramatic scenes of Jesus’ death recorded in the gospel of Mark, chapter 15 verses 33-39:

At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”–which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.” One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.

With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”

It says that the Roman centurion stood in front of Jesus and saw. What did he see? He saw the way Jesus died, the compassion Christ had for those who killed Him. Jesus’ willingness to forgive humanity for this atrocity.

When we stand before the cross of Christ. . .when we meet at this communion table together, what do we see? I believe that we have a chance to see Jesus and his love. We have the chance to say, ‘I’ve seen faithful love face to face, and Jesus is His name.’

In a moment we’re going to pray over the bread. Every baptized believer in this auditorium is invited to take of the bread that will be passed through the isles. Every disciple of Christ is encouraged to drink of the wine that is served to you. And we are all encouraged to remember that in this bread and in this cup we remember that they represent the faithful love of our God.

Dear father, thank your for your love and for the gift of Jesus. Bless this bread that it will nourish us spiritually. Bless our hearts that we make take it with a conscience made clean by the blood of your Son. It is in the name of Jesus that we pray, Amen.

You will also be asked to lead the prayer for the cup (fruit of the vine or wine) after those serving have had a chance to serve everyone and return to the auditorium with the trays of juice. In first service, you also will asked to pray for the opportunity for giving (offering or contribution).

You are encouraged to allow this moment to be very serious and spiritual. Saying, “Good morning,” isn’t necessary and can often distract our thoughts more than encourage those in attendance because so many will respond back. Allow the greeting to be done during the call to worship and focus solely on the communion service while you have the opportunity to do so.

Those leading on Sunday morning should plan to arrive twenty minutes early and attend the worship leader’s meeting in the prayer room.

Opportunity for Giving

The opportunity for giving is referred to by many churches as the offering or contribution. All of these are good terms. At Cordova, we understand and teach that giving to God is not a matter of convenience or “separate and apart” from the Lord’s Supper or Communion Service. Rather, our opportunity to give to God is a Biblically endorsed form of worship that the church engages in each week. You should only lead this section of worship if you have spiritually developed the discipline and love of giving to God through His church and for His glory. If you don’t lead by example in this regard, we will be glad to have someone else lead this prayer (email worship input or call the office at (916)638-2200). .

We don’t want to focus on giving in a way that makes people believe that our congregation is greedy for their money or that it is our primary focus (as so many churches and TV ministries do). Rather, we ask that those leading this section of worship keep their thoughts simple, brief and encouraging (don’t chastise the audience).

Here is an example of what could be said:

“God has given us so much. The Bible teaches that God expects much from the one who is given much. Today in service we are about to offer to God just a small amount compared to what He has blessed us with. God considers this as one way that we can worship Him. It is God’s nature to give. We remember the words of possibly the most famous Bible verse, “For God so loved the world that He gave….” This morning we demonstrate our love for Him through our gifts that we give to Him.

Let’s pray, “God, we worship you at this time by offering to you a sacrificial gift of money. It is our prayer that these funds will bring you glory in your church, in our community we live in and in the world around us. May your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.”

We expect that the reading the prayer for the opportunity for giving would take approximately 1 – 2 minutes. A song will be led during the passing of the offering trays.

Those leading on Sunday morning should plan to arrive twenty minutes early and attend the worship leader’s meeting in the prayer room.

Worship Leading

Leading the songs and music of the worship service possibly has more impact on the congregation than any one leader. Because of this it is important that those leading be active, faithful Christians with the ability to lead, sing and communicate. Song leaders should begin preparation well in advance of the week they are scheduled to lead. They should also plan to attend the “worship singers” prep session the Wednesday night before the Sunday morning they are going to lead in order to go over the songs and allow the worship team to adjust to their style of leading. The singers should also be listened to carefully regarding song meter, pitch and music details.

Here is a suggested preparation schedule for worship leaders:

Two weeks – Review your scheduled service (10 minutes)

Wednesday before – Worship Team Mtg. 7:00 PM (55 – 75 minutes)

Monday – Day of prayer over service (20 minutes)

Tuesday – Musical review (notes, etc.) (20 minutes)

Thursday – Sing through the service (30 minutes)

Friday – Prayer and study for upcoming service (20 minutes)

Saturday – Lead through the songs privately (40 minutes)

Sunday – Arrive early before 2nd service @ 7:30 AM for warm-up

Total Estimated Time Commitment: (appx. 5 hours)

Songs are selected for Sunday morning leaders and occasionally for Sunday evening leaders. The leader will be given a copy of the slides (six per page) that will be projected for the congregation. If you would like a copy of the slides earlier in the week, make arrangements before Thursday morning (email worship input or call the office at (916)638-2200).

As a general rule, Cordova chooses to project slides that contain both words and music onto the screen. This benefits the overall singing of the congregation. However, since these slides require multiple slides per verse and chorus, it is important that the leader follow the printed slides and not deviate from the song service schedule. If you plan to deviate from the slides, please communicate that to the tech servants in the sound booth area prior to the service so they will be able to project what you are leading (i.e. if you repeat a chorus or verse, they will need to be able to stay with you). Please do not add verses that are not in the print out. Verses cannot be added that aren’t in the print out.

While a leader may choose to intentionally pitch a song lower to increase participation, pitching songs randomly is discouraged since it often eliminates the ability of the general congregation to sing along. If you need a pitch pipe and don’t have one, one will be provided for you.

Your talents and abilities are a gift from God for this congregation and we thank you for using your ability to lead worship through music. If you need to make an adjustment because of a scheduling conflict, don’t hesitate to call or email (email worship input or call the office at (916)638-2200).

Shepherd’s Prayer

The elders pray over the church each week during service. This prayer is known as the shepherd’s prayer. The elders usually take 3-10 minutes based on the prayer needs of the congregation. This prayer follows the lesson and invitation song. During the invitation song, the elders and their wives make their way into the foyer to meet with anyone for private or public prayer, discussion about baptism or life changes, prayer regarding an illness or to speak with those who would like to place membership.

The elders wives accompany them in the event that a woman would feel more comfortable having the elder’s wife with them in the prayer room or have an issue that is best discussed between women. If a member or guest has a public prayer request, that request will be prayed for either that day, the following week or both.

Elders leading the shepherd’s prayer should report to the prayer room during the worship leader’s meeting to make sure the worship leaders know they are on campus and prepared to lead the shepherd’s prayer. If you cannot make it for whatever reason and have traded with another elder please contact the appropriate coordinator for the worship service you are scheduled during:

Dress and Presentation

Our goal for the Lord’s Supper is to intentionally focus on the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus. While there is no set “dress code” here are some helpful suggestions for attire that will maintain the desired environment we are seeking to create.


•Dress modestly (pants and sleeved shirt)

•Sunday AM – Business casual or dress

•Sunday PM – Casual, business casual (jeans okay)

•Wednesday PM – Casual, business casual (jeans okay)


•Modest shorts okay (knee length)

•T-shirts okay (be careful of tank tops)

•Shoes (recommended for safety)

•Jeans, cargo pants, etc. okay

•Sleeved, buttoned shirts okay

•Please don’t wear a suit to a picnic!!

On Sunday morning it is common to have worship leaders/speakers wear casual pants/shirts or suit and tie. You should feel no financial pressure to own or purchase dress clothes to serve during services. However, since many members are distracted when those leading indoor services wear shorts, we request that you simply wear pants and sleeved shirts to prevent distraction.

More important than clothing, however, is spiritual preparation. Take the time to prepare through prayer, reading, study, writing, etc. prior to serving on Sunday monring. We cannot lead God’s people where we have not been during our day to day lives (we can only truly lead worship when we lead worship-full lives day to day).

Preaching the Sermon

If you are invited to preach for the Cordova congregation on Sunday morning, you should plan to preach a message from the Bible. The typical sermon length is 23 – 27 minutes. The one preaching will often lead the worship leader’s meeting 20 minutes before service in the prayer room and talk through the service with the other leaders, pray over the service on behalf of the leaders and help answer any questions that may arise regarding the sermon.

Preparing to preach a lesson should begin several weeks in advance the requires significant preparation time the week before the message is presented. We thank you for your efforts to allow God to speak through you by taking the time to study His Word, pray through His Spirit and to be inspired by His Son.

Some are assigned a specific passage, text or theme to preach on. Please stay with the planned message theme or text. If you are preaching a topical lesson, it’s always a good idea to review any questionable comments or thoughts you have before speaking. Feel free to contact us at (email worship input or call the office at (916)638-2200).