We believe that our worship gatherings should be God Exalting. Our God is not a silent God; He speaks to us. The all-knowing, all-powerful, all-wise, incomprehensible God speaks to us. And before we come to worship, God is the one who calls worshipers. God summons his people to worship. In scripture, we read hundreds of examples of God calling his people to worship. Consider this one from Psalm 95:
O come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. (vs 1-2)
We believe that our worship gatherings should be governed by the Word of the Lord (the Holy Scriptures). Scripture tells us that “man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord” (Deut 8:3, Matt 4:4). Mankind, due to our fallen nature, has the tendency to create a God in our image. However, we are made in the image of God. In believing and obeying the Word of God, we must instead bend our lives towards Him and His Word.
We believe that our worship gatherings should be Christ-Centered. This phrase (Christ-Centered) is often used with little understanding of its meaning and significance. Not so, at West Haven. Here, we love and worship Jesus above everything else.
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. -Philippians 2:9-11 (NASB)
We believe that our worship gatherings should be Spirit-Empowered. If heart change was dependent on man, none could be saved. But God has given us his Spirit, the Lord and life-giver. The Holy Spirit was sent to open our eyes to glories previously unknown. We believe that every Christian is a temple for this Spirit to dwell and that when all of these temples gather together for corporate worship, something otherworldly takes place (1 Cor 3:16-17).
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. -Romans 8:11 (NASB)
Lastly, we believe that our worship gatherings should be aware of all who have gathered (believers and unbelievers), but that the church itself (believing members) should be prioritized. The author of Hebrews provides the reason why the church itself should be prioritized in the worship gatherings. The very purpose and intent of the gathering is to build up the body, to be sent back out to the world, to proclaim the excellencies and glories of our great God.
let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. -Hebrews 10:24-25 (NASB)