Worship service (evangelicalism)
In Evangelical christianity, a worship service or service is a time when believers meet to praise, worship, pray to God and receive a teaching (sermon) based on the Bible. It can take place with the church or with the family. Meetings can be held on weekdays, but Sundays have a special connotation.
The worship service is a practice of Christian life that has its origins in the Jewish worship. Jesus Christ and Paul of Tarsus taught a new form of worship of God. In Scripture, Jesus meet together with His disciples to share teachings, discuss topics, pray, and sing hymns; in the "Acts of the Apostles", we read that the early Christians also had this habit. In the first letter to the Corinthians, Paul of Tarsus made clear the principal elements of the Christian worship, namely praise, sermon, offering, the Lord's Supper.
Worship service in Evangelical churches is seen as an act of God's worship. There is no liturgy, the conception of worship service is more informal. It is usually run by a Christian pastor. It usually contains two main parts, the praise (Christian music) and the sermon, with periodically the Lord's Supper.
In the 2000s and 2010s, digital technologies were integrated into worship services, such as the video projectors for broadcasting praise lyrics or video, on big screens. The use of social media such as YouTube and Facebook to retransmit live or delayed worship services, by Internet, has also spread. The offering via Internet has become a common practice in several churches.
In some churches, a special moment is reserved for faith healing with laying on of hands during worship services. Faith healing or divine healing is considered a legacy of Jesus acquired by his death and resurrection.
Places of worship
Places of worship are usually called "church building" or "temples". In some megachurches, the building is called "campus". For evangelicals, the building is not sacred. Some services take place in auditoriums or multipurpose rooms with few religious symbols. Because of their understanding of the second of the Ten Commandments, evangelicals do not have religious material representations such as statutes, icons, or paintings in their places of worship. The latin cross is one of the only spiritual symbols that can usually be seen on a building or in the auditorium of an evangelical church. In some buildings we can find a baptistery on the stage of the auditorium (also called sanctuary) or in a separate room, for the baptisms by immersion.
Worship services take on impressive proportions in the megachurches (churches where more than 2,000 people gather every Sunday. In some of these megachurches, more than 10,000 people gather every Sunday. The term gigachurch is sometimes used. For example, Lakewood Church (United States) or Yoido Full Gospel Church (South Korea).
Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International meetings are held in restaurants or hotels and Christian businessmen talk about their faith.
In some Muslim or Communist countries, it is difficult or even forbidden for Christians to gather publicly. Only a few churches approved by the government can gather legally. The persecution leads to the development of house churches, as in China, with the movement of Evangelical House churches in China.
The meetings take place in private homes, in secret and in "illegality". Open Doors, an evangelical NGO, claims that this is the case for hundreds of millions of Christians in the world. Each year, It publishes the "World Watch List of Christian Persecution" and testifies to the hardships of some believers.
A particularly controversial doctrine in the Evangelical Churches is that of the prosperity theology, which spread in the 1970s and 1980s in the United States, mainly through televangelism. This doctrine is centered on the teaching of Christian faith as a means to enrich oneself financially and materially, through a "positive confession" and a contribution to Christian ministries. Promises of divine healing and prosperity are guaranteed in exchange for certain amounts of donations. Fidelity in the tithe would allow one to avoid the curses of God, the attacks of the devil, and poverty. The offerings and the tithe occupies a lot of time in the worship services. Often associated with the tithe mandatory, this doctrine is sometimes compared to a religious business. It is criticized by pastors and church unions, such as the National Council of Evangelicals of France.
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Content in this edit is translated from the existing French Wikipedia article at fr: Culte (évangélisme); see its history for attribution.