Perhaps, before we go any farther, a definition of “liturgy” is in order. Liturgy simply refers to “a form of public worship.” In a sense, every gathered body of believers follow a liturgy, “a form of public worship,” a beginning and an end and everything else in between.
However, there’s something of a technical use of the word that has come down to us. Often when we think of liturgy, we associate the term with Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, Anglicans, many Reformed churches, and so on. We tend to associate the word with the high churches.
And in this technical use of the word, we expect: (1) A Call to worship (2) Confession (3) Assurance of Forgiveness (3) Apostles’ Creed; and so on.
These are not the usual aspects of your typical Baptist church. But there are exceptions. For example, in Worship By The Book, noted biblical scholar and churchman DA Carson relates his experience at a local Baptist church he visited during a Christmas season:
“I recently attended a Christmas service in Reformed Baptist church in which there were not only the traditional Christmas Scripture readings and Christmas carols, but the corporate reading, from the prepared bulletin, of the Nicene Creed, the prayer of confession from Martin Bucer’s Strasbourg Liturgy, and a prayer of thanksgiving from the Middleburg Liturgy of the English Puritans” (p. 61).
But this is atypical of local Baptist churches. However as a ordained Baptist minister, they are things within recent years I’ve come to appreciate and even crave at times. Something of a shift is already taking placing within my own thinking and longings.