What to Expect?
We recognise that it can be difficult to go somewhere new, where you don’t know what to expect and you don’t know what is expected of you. This is all the more the case when you think about coming to a new church.
So, what can you expect if you come along this Sunday at 11am or 6pm?
When you first arrive?
When you arrive, you can take a hymn book from the shelf beside the door.
Spare Bibles are also available on the shelf which you can use if you need one. We use the King James Version in our services and you might find it helpful to have the same version in order to follow the readings. A major part of our worship is to see what God’s Word (the Bible) says. It’s best if you can see the words for yourself.
As you come in, Sit in any empty seat. None are reserved and you are welcome to sit anywhere you please.
If you arrive with time to spare before the service starts don’t be surprised if a few of the congregation say hello, although usually people take a seat soon after arriving and prepare for the service. If you stay around after the service you will be sure to get into conversation with someone.
What happens in the service itself?
The Sunday services usually last between an hour and an hour and a quarter.
They are conducted in their entirety by our pastor, who will welcome the congregation from the pulpit and make any necessary announcements before leading us through the various parts of our worship.
The service consists of the following:
We praise the Lord through the singing of psalms and hymns. These are found in the church hymn books, which you can pick up on your way into the church building.
We aim to sing psalms and hymns that emphasise the themes of the gospel so that the word of Christ would dwell in us richly (Colossians 3:16).
Our singing is accompanied simply with a piano or organ so that our focus is upon the truths contained in our song. We believe that our song must elevate God’s truth, the word of Christ, if it is to be of benefit in feeding our souls and worshipping God.
There are a number of prayers during the course of the service. These are led by our pastor as we confess our sins, give thanks to God, and also bring particular requests for needs within the congregation.
The congregation participates in these prayers through silent agreement as the pastor leads. We do not expect you, or any of our regular people to be praying out loud during our normal services.
In the service there will be an offering hymn during which each of our members has the opportunity to give offerings for the support of the work in the church.
This is one way in which we return thanks for the goodness of God, in what he has first given us, and also demonstrate our recognition that we are responsible for using his gifts wisely.
While you can give if you want to, the offering is primarily for those belonging to the congregation and there is no expectation for you to contribute.
Reading & Preaching
The reading and preaching of God’s Word are central to our worship. It is the Bible that God uses, above all else, to lift up the discouraged, instruct the foolish, correct the sinful, and build up the people of God.
In short, our lives are transformed as God speaks to us through his Word.
The Bible is our sole rule of faith and practice. It is powerful and life-giving. Therefore we spend the majority of our time in the service hearing from God’s word.
Normally we are going through a book of the Bible or a theme week by week and our pastor will be seeking to show the truths in the Bible and show how thy apply to our everyday life.
What about afterwards?
After the service our pastor will go to the door and you are free to leave at your convenience. You will probably notice that most people are not rushing away so if you take your time you will likely get talking to other and be made very welcome.
Feel free to speak to our pastor on the way out with any questions that you might have or any needs that we can help you with.
Do I need to be a Christian?
Not at all. Many who come to our services are Christians and personally trust in Jesus Christ as their Saviour, however there are others who are not believers.
While one of the main functions of our church meeting is for Christians to worship our God together, another important part is that we would all grow in our knowledge of Jesus Christ and have faith either created or strengthened within us.
Whether you are a Christian or not, the gospel message is for you, and you will be very welcome.
Will I fit in?
Sometimes we get the wrong impression about a church. You look around at the people and it seems like everyone’s lives are neat and tidy, and the worry comes, “How can I be accepted here when my life is so messy”.
It might not always seem like it on a Sunday as you look around, but everyone who gathers in our services has troubles. Some are battling great discouragements, others are heartbroken over family matters, and many are struggling to overcome particular sins. There are some who have not yet believed in Christ and some who have doubts about their salvation.
The point is that we all come with tremendous need, and we come because Christ can meet the need.
Whatever your background, or current spiritual state, there is a place for you here.
Will I be expected to introduce myself or speak publicly in any way?
Our Sunday services are conducted by our Pastor. There will be no part of the service where you will be singled out.
What should I wear?
Generally we dress in a way that is modest and that reflects the fact that we esteem the God that we are gathered to worship.
There is however some variety in what is worn by people in the congregation and so if you come as you are you will probably not stand out.
Do I have to give money?
No. There is an offering during the service to enable our members to contribute to the Lord’s work here, and you will have the opportunity to give if you wish, but there is no expectation for visitors to give.
Is there something for my children during the meeting?
While some churches offer a creche or children’s church during the main services, we believe that our corporate worship is to be inclusive of the whole family.
In the Bible there are many occasions where children are present with their parents during the worship of the Lord (see Deuteronomy 31:12-13, Joshua 8:34-35 and Ephesians 6:1-3 for some examples). We believe that it is healthy for families to worship together and also beneficial for children to grow up witnessing their parents engaged in the worship of the Lord.
We recognise that sometimes children can be noisy, and especially if they are not used to being part of a church service. We don’t mind if there is a little noise, but if you need, there is seating at the entrance area of the church where you can bring your child and still hear the service through the speaker system.
Do you have communion during the service?
We celebrate the Lord’s table once every three months at a separate service and so it will not be a part of the 11am or 6pm services.
If you are interested in more information about attending the Lord’s table please get in touch.