Visiting a new church for the first time can be a nerve racking experience. This is true even if you have a reasonably good expectation of what will be taking place. If you have no idea what will take place or what will be expected of you, feelings of anxiety can be overwhelming. Questions abound in your mind: “What do their worship services look like? Where should I park? Where should I go? What if I mess up and do something different and everyone looks at me? What will everyone expect me to do when I am there?” While we should fear God with reverence and awe, going to church should not have to be something that fills us with fear! I would like to take a moment to answer some of these questions and more so you will know exactly what you can expect when you visit with us.
You can expect our assemblies and worship to be very simple and God centered. We do not gather to entertain and please men but to worship God and study His word. It is our goal to be the kind of church that you read about in the Bible. We try not to do or say anything that is not supported by the teachings and examples of the New Testament (2 Timothy 3:16-17). So when we come together we simply sing, pray, study the word of God, and on Sunday mornings we observe the Lord’s Supper and take up a collection. You will not find areas for recreation or places to eat because these are not things we read churches doing in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 11:22, 34; Ephesians 4:11-16).
If you visit with us during the hour designated for Bible class on Sunday morning or Wednesday evening, you will find that we have Bible classes for adults as well as children. The children’s classes meet downstairs and the adults meet upstairs in the auditorium (sanctuary). We have classes specially designed for children as young as toddlers all the way through adults. There is also a Bible 101 class that meets downstairs for those young in the faith or those who just enjoy the smaller Bible class environment. When you arrive look for someone who looks like they know where they are going and ask them to help you find the appropriate classes for you and your family. Bring a Bible and study God’s word with us!
As stated earlier, you can expect the worship service to be simple. We start out with some songs. All of our songs are sung congregationally (everyone singing together) and without musical instruments. This is because this is how Christians in the New Testament sung in their worship (Ephesians 5:19). At the time the song leader selects, someone will lead a prayer. There will be more songs followed by a lesson. On Sunday morning and Sunday night the lesson will last about 30 minutes and be a sermon. On Wednesday night it will last about 5-10 minutes and be more like a short talk. At the end of the lesson, the speaker will extend the invitation. He will simply ask for anyone who wants to obey the gospel by being baptized (Acts 2:38) or who wants prayers from the church (James 5:16) to come to the front and sit on the front row while everyone stands and sings an “invitation song.” Following this song, there will be a prayer and the worship service will be over.
Every Sunday morning we observe the Lord’s Supper in memorial of Jesus’ death and we will continue to do this every first day of the week until He comes again. We do this because this is what we read the Christians doing in the New Testament (Acts 20:6-7; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26). Several guys will stand behind a small table at the front of the building where the unleavened bread and fruit of the vine sit in their containers. One of the men will say a few words, a prayer will be said, and the bread will be passed around. You do not have to get up, it will be brought to where you are sitting. You do not have to take the Lord’s Supper. If you do not want to take it, simply pass the tray to the next person. If you do want to take it, just break off a small piece and eat it and pass the tray to the next person. After everyone has taken the bread, the men will walk to the table and do the same thing for the cup.
Also on Sunday morning, a collection is taken up from our members to support the work the church is doing. Again, this is something you can read about in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 8-9). A tray will be passed around and people will be putting money into it. If you would like to give, you can; however, you are not expected to give because you are not currently a member of this church. If someone gave you a visitors card and you have filled it out, we would like you to place it in the tray at that time.
We hope you, like Barnabas did when he visited the church at Antioch, will see the grace of God and be glad (Acts 11:23). We also hope we have created an environment where you can worship God, be convicted by His word, and that you will see that God is really among us (1 Corinthians 14:25).