What to expect when you arrive
Let’s say for example you join us this Sunday for our 11am service. Here’s what you may notice…
The Place: The first thing you may notice is that we meet in a modest building that is what some might call traditional.
The People: The second thing you may notice is that many nationalities are represented, and people from all walks of life. Some are widows being brought to church by other members of the congregation. Some are coming on their own because they are the only Christian in their family. Some are young couples just starting out in life together. Some are families with small children, and others are families with older children. What you do not see however, are the pasts that have been broken by sin, the weight of present burdens, or the hidden worries about the future. Nor do you see the stories of God’s deliverance, or the triumphs of those who have proven the sufficiency of God’s grace year after year. These hidden things you will only begin to see as you get to know each person.
The Praise: The third thing you may notice is that the praise is not led by a band. It is deliberately congregational in nature. And since we’re exhorted to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly in our singing (Colossians 3:16), we stick to psalms and hymns that focus on Scriptural themes and sound doctrine. You will discover that our worship is joyful, reverent, and aims to reflect precise theology because God is truth, and truth is important to Him. The aim is to present truth so our hearts are moved by the truth, rather than using praise music which has structured with the purpose of manipulating human emotion.
The Prayer: The fourth thing you may notice is the main prayer where the pastor takes time to lead the congregation in gratitude to God, confession of sins, and requests for important individual and family needs as represented by the congregation and beyond.
The Preaching: The fifth thing you may notice is the type of preaching. Since the Scripture is our sole authority for faith and practice, and is the divinely appointed means to change hearts and lives, it is Scripture which gets emphasis over personal stories and cultural events.
We tend to linger for quite a while afterwards, so don’t be surprised if you get caught in conversation after the meeting is over.
Evaluating your experience
It can be very difficult to evaluate a church with just one visit. For that reason, if you are serious about finding a new spiritual home, we would encourage you to visit us every Sunday for one month to get a better understanding of what we’re about.
Other concerns you may have
Do I have to be a Christian?
While you will find that most who attend are Christians, we welcome all. Some of those who attend now were not Christians when they visited for the first time. If you are presently just curious about Christianity, we understand what it’s like to visit a Christian place of worship and not actually be a Christian yourself. You don’t have to be worried. And if your coming with questions, we welcome them.
Do I have to participate by introducing myself or anything?
No, it’s not that kind of meeting. Our meetings are quite traditional, so you’re free to come and observe the service if you’d like. Someone may speak to you either before or after the service just to be friendly.
Is there anything for my children?
Often when that is asked the expectation is that there may be a separate service for the children. As mentioned already, we take a different approach and we do so very deliberately. We encourage parents to keep their children with them in worship, since we believe corporate worship is an expression of God’s family, and what is a family if it isolates the children? In fact, scripture makes a case for keeping children in corporate worship (consider Deut. 31:12-13; Josh. 8:34-35; and Joel 2:15-16). Additionally, in Ephesians 6:1-3 Paul assumes children would be present in the church and addresses them directly.
Of course kids can make a little noise at times, and we have a room where the message is relayed when a child may be particularly unsettled, but we do not encourage the unbiblical (but sadly common) practice of removing children from corporate worship. During the formative years it is critical that children see their parents worship God, and we prefer to buck the trend and encourage what is truly best for families. If your children are not used to sitting in church it may take some time for them to settle, but with patience, instruction, and prayer, they may surprise you.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to get in touch.