Compelled by the Spirit

A Service for Pentecost or Missions

Note: Multiple song suggestions are provided; choose as many as fit your worship context.

Gathering for Worship

“Come, All You People” SNC 4, SWM 4

“We Bring the Sacrifice of Praise” CH 213, SNC 12, WR 651

“Gift of Christ from God Our Father” SNC 167

“Spirit, Working in Creation” PsH 415, WR 128


[Include a brief explanation of Pentecost and its connection to global mission.]

Call to Worship and Greeting from God

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.” (Acts 2:1-3)

“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” (Acts 2:4)

The Spirit came upon God’s people that first Pentecost, and the Spirit continues to empower all who love Christ and seek to do his will. Grace, mercy, and peace be yours in abundance from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit.


We Greet Each Other

Confession and Assurance

Song of Petition

“Gracious Spirit, Heed Our Pleading” SNC 166

“Spirit of God, Who Dwells within My Heart” PH 326, PsH 419, TH 338

“Breathe on Me, Breath of God” CH 393, PH 316, PsH 420, TH 334, WR 461

“Dwell in Me, O Blessed Spirit” PsH 427

The Call to Confession

“Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. Do not be astonished that Jesus says to us: ‘You must be born from above.’” (John 3:6-8) So even as we sense the Spirit’s wind blowing through our hearts today, let us open ourselves before the Lord and confess our sins.

A Time of Silence for Personal Confession

Assurance of Pardon

“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (Rom. 8:15-17)

Song of Assurance

“Abba, Abba, Hear Us, We Cry” SNC 211, SNT 137

“Neither Death Nor Life” SNT 136 (also see RW 86, choral setting GIA 5650)

“I Know Not Why God’s Wondrous Grace” PsH 495, TH 705

The Nations Come

[Children bring in flags from around the world. Two or more narrators use a litany found on the World Missions website at Or show PowerPoint slides of flags from around the world. Highlight the flags of the countries where your congregation’s missionaries are working. Check your denomination’s mission website for other potential resources.]

Litany for Pentecost

“Litany for Pentecost” SNC 170 or “Pentecost Power” by John Paarlberg (RW 55)

Song of Response

“For Your Gift of God the Spirit” PsH 416, TH 339

“Give Thanks to God, the Father” SNC 180, SNT 180

Prayer of Thanksgiving and Intercession

[Focus on the missionaries partnered with your congregation, the countries where they work, the people groups they are ministering among, and the local Christians they work alongside.]

Proclamation of the Word

Prayer for Illumination

Children’s Message: “Do I Have To?”

[Reflecting on a child’s change of heart to desire something good which at first seemed like an imposition.]

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 9:16-19

This is the Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Sermon: “Compelled by Christ’s Love”

  • The love of Christ for us brought us salvation at great cost.
  • Having received so great a salvation, we cannot keep silent about our Savior.
  • Instead, we are compelled by the Spirit to share the gospel with others that they too might experience Christ’s love.
  • With sensitivity and grace, but also with clarity and power, we declare that there is one God and Jesus is God’s Son.
We Respond

Song of Response

“Here I Am, Lord” CH 589, PH 525, SFL 243, SNC 268, WR 559 (verses by soloist, refrain by congregation)

“Filled with the Spirit’s Power” PsH 417, WR 331

Offering for Missions

[While the offering is taken you may choose to show a video/DVD. Materials are available through Christian Reformed World Missions (, the Reformed Church in America (, and many other mission organizations.]

We Go Out into the World

Commitment to Our Calling

As God’s people we are compelled by the Spirit and God’s Word. Compelled to

go into all the world.

Compelled to

preach the gospel to all nations.

Compelled to

baptize, to teach, to disciple.

As God’s Spirit-filled people, we are compelled to

work for peace in our lives, communities, and world.

Compelled to

act justly and love mercy

Compelled to

care for our family, friends, and those we don’t know.

The Holy Spirit is here, working in our midst, active in our lives. Let us leave here to serve God “wherever we are without fitting in, light in darkness, salt in a spoiling world.” (Our World Belongs to God)

Song of Commitment

“Canto de esperanza/Song of Hope” PH 432, SFL 82, SNC 282

“Go to the World! SNC 294, WR 553

“Father, We Love You” CH 9, PsH 634, SFL 77

God’s Blessing

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 15:13)

Song of Praise

“Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow” CH 166/814/815, PH 591/592, PsH 638, SFL 11, TH 731/732/733, WR 34/44/147

“Amen, siakudu misa/Amen, We Praise Your Name, O God” SNC 287

Moment of Silent Meditation

Steve Van Zanen was a missionary-teacher for six years in Eastern Europe; and served in church relations and support-raising for missionaries with the World Missions of the Christian Reformed Church.

Reformed Worship 91 © March 2009, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.