What to Expect When You Visit
Updated: Feb 18, 2020
First let me tell you how excited and happy we are that you are coming to spend time with us. We hope that this post will help you be more at ease with your visit and help you understand what we are trying to accomplish on a Sunday morning.
1. We are a "Restoration Movement" congregation. That means that we are strictly "non-denominational." Even more it means that we are doing our best to reproduce the faith of the First Century AD in our 21st Century context. We won't be wearing togas, but we will be trying to emphasize the holiness and Christ-centered nature of the early Church.
2. When we say "come as you are" or "dress casual" we mean it. The preacher will probably be wearing khakis and a shirt. If you want to wear a suit, feel welcome. If you don't own a suit, you're still welcome. In summer, shorts are appropriate.
3. As far as our music style, we don't have one. Music will change every week depending on the needs of the assembly. We will freely mix acapella and instrumental, live music and video, this week's contemporary Christian and the ancient hymns the Church has been singing for years. What matters is that our music help you draw closer to God. As such we will not be emphasizing "performance" or "perfection." We really want you to "make a joyful noise to the Lord." Of course, we'd love for you to sing along if you can.
4. Since we emphasize "disciple making" our service will include a wide variety of people leading prayers, providing teaching, making announcements, serving communion and taking up the collection. Don't worry if the person sitting next to you suddenly gets up and heads down front, they are just helping out.
5. Our service begins at 10:30am and ends at 12PM. Depending on questions that follow the lesson or special events we may go over, but normally we bring things in on time.
6. The sermons will rely heavily on Scripture and will almost always end with some practical application of the day's text to your life in Christ. After the lesson the preacher will give the congregation an opportunity to ask questions or make appropriate comments. You are invited to do the same when the time comes.
7. During the sermon, we provide a special "Children's Church" for those third grade and under. They will have their own lesson - basic Bible instruction - some songs, and a craft project that will reinforce what they have learned. We will let you know clearly when it is time for the kids to go to their assembly and an adult will be provided to guide the children where they need to go and then bring them back up at the end of class. If you are not comfortable with using this opportunity when you visit, your child is more than welcome to stay upstairs with the rest of us.
8. At some point during the service we will take up a collection. This collection allows the members to support the ministry of the congregation. As a visitor you are not expected to contribute. However, we allow our younger children to pass the collection plates and so the process might be a tad chaotic. Just smile and admire their zeal and willingness to serve.
9. The most important thing we do when we gather on Sunday morning is take Communion. This ancient feast is the core of Christian gatherings. Some believers call it "The Lord's Supper." Others call it "Communion" or even the "Eucharist." We won't arm wrestle you over the doctrine of "transubstantiation," or the belief that the bread and juice become actual flesh and blood. For us the bread and juice remain bread and juice, so you will hear us refer to these as "emblems." Communion is for all baptized believers. You don't have to be a member of our congregation to partake, but you do need to be a member of Christ to share in this meal. (If you have any questions about that, just ask.)
We do Communion a bit differently than you might have seen elsewhere. We do it every Sunday. The "procedure" is that at the proper time all of the servers come down front. A prayer is said over the emblems and the congregation. Then the bread and juice are distributed to everyone. We ask that everyone be patient and hold on to the emblems because we will partake together. After the servers return to the front we will be led in a meditation that challenges, encourages and focuses us on our relationship to Jesus. Then when directed we all eat and drink as one.
Thank you again for coming to visit us, we pray you will meet and experience Jesus among us.