What to Expect
We realize it can be daunting visiting a congregation for the first time and we are happy to provide this visual guide on what to expect. We welcome ALL those who wish to visit and hear the gospel. We have no dress code other than modesty. We have jeans next to suits and ties. Pumps next to cowboy boots. City folk and country folk, all ages, backgrounds and social and economic status. Dress up or down. Just come!
Sunday morning Bible study begins at 9:30am in either the fellowship hall or the library for adults and individual classrooms for the grades 12 and below. Our college students meet in the LFC located on the opposite side of the fellowship hall.
Sunday evenings at 6pm we have moved to a discussion group format which centers on discussing the morning’s sermon topic more in depth. It is an interactive study for those who wish to give input. This is held each Sunday evening in the auditorium for adults, children and our college students.
Wednesday night begins in the auditorium at 7pm with songs, prayer, a brief devo lesson, invitation, closing prayer then dismissal to classes. The adult class remains in the auditorium while the college students go to the LFC and 12th grades and below head to individual classes off to either side of the auditorium.
Sunday Morning Worship
When you come through our doors for our 10:30am worship, expect to be welcomed! Greeters will meet you with a smile as you come in, hand you our morning announcement sheet and answer any questions you may have (such as “Where is the nursery?”). If you mention you are a new visitor, you should receive a welcome gift (provided we have stock) as our way to extend hospitality.
Worship services are held in the auditorium Sundays 10:30am-11:30am & 6pm-7pm and Wednesdays 7pm-8pm. We like to visit and catch up with our family so you’ll see conversations taking place before our services! Folks will introduce themselves and welcome you to our assembly. Don’t be surprised--you are our honored guest!
We occasionally shake up our morning format but if you view the back of our Sunday morning handout, you’ll find the “Order of Worship” for that day. Typically our order follows this pattern:
- Welcome & Announcements
- 2 Songs
- Opening Prayer
- Lord’s Supper (EVERY Sunday)
- Scripture Reading
- Invitation Song
- Closing prayer
On 5th Sundays, we have a potluck meal after morning service. If you happen to visit on this occasion, don’t worry! We invite you to stay as our guest and insist you head to the front of the line! We have some pretty great cooks so you’ll be in for a treat. On these days, we have a worship assembly immediately after the lunch instead of having our normal evening service.
A few notes notes about our worship & assembly components
We follow the New Testament pattern every Sunday by sharing the Lord’s Supper. (Acts 20:7) The unleavened bread and fruit of the vine are each distributed throughout the assembly. The Lord’s Supper or “communion” is both a solemn and joyful occasion. Jesus commanded that his followers observe this as a means to remember the price He paid for our sins. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26) For those who have missed Sunday morning communion, we offer it again in the library near the end of our evening Sunday worship assembly.
Passing the offering plate is an opportunity to give back financially to the Lord as a way of expressing our gratitude for God’s blessings. Each Christian should cheerfully give to support the work which God has directed. (1 Corinthians 16:1-2) You, our guest, may give if you like but are not expected to do so and you may simply pass the collection plate along when it comes to you.
Singing is a special opportunity to worship God. We utilize a projector and screen to display our hymns on the wall behind the pulpit. Hymnal books are located in the rack on the back of each pew in case of technical difficulties with our projector or at your personal discretion. We sing “A Capella” meaning without musical instruments. This style is not merely our preference, though. We seek to worship God according to the New Testament pattern which does not indicate instrumental music was used or desired by God. (Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 2:12)
During this portion of our worship, one of our males will lead the congregation in a shared prayer. Each member focuses sincere attention on his words and silently shares in the prayer making it our own as well. We are commanded to pray for each other so you may hear prayers include specific names, circumstances, such as those who are ill or facing trouble.
We only use the Bible and regard it as the ultimate authority and seek to worship “in spirit and truth”. If you don’t have one, you can find a copy in many of the pews. Our preacher, Joel Shelton, preaches the majority of our Sunday sermons, Sunday evening discussion group and Wednesday evening class. We do have guest speakers from time to time and our college minister, Luis, preaches Sunday mornings on occasion especially the few weeks as college begins to welcome our new campus students. You may notice we refer to Joel (or Luis) as preacher or minister and not “pastor” or “reverend”. (Matthew 23:8-12; 1 Peter 2:9)
At the close of each sermon, the preacher will “extend an invitation.” This is simply an opportune time to invite anyone who wishes to “respond” to come to the front pew of the auditorium while the congregation sings a hymn. This is an individual’s voluntary decision and no one will ever be singled out or asked to come down. So don’t worry-- you will not be expected or called to come down! There may be several that respond or none at all. Those who do respond may do so for a variety of reasons from confessing sins, asking for prayers or support, or other specific or even non specific needs. (James 5:16) Some may desire to be baptized for the remission of sins. If so, you will hear the public confession and witness the baptism during the service. The congregation will sing hymns while the parties prepare for the baptism and immediately afterwards, we will continue with the conclusion of the service. The baptism will be an immersion and will take place in the pool behind the projector screen (screen will be raised for viewing). (Acts 8:35-39; Romans 6: 3-5; Colossians 2:12)
We provide an attended nursery during Sunday morning class for ages 2 and under. You may use the nursery as needed anytime during services. You will find a crib, changing table and rocking chair to use.
The ladies restroom is located near our side entrance. From the front foyer, turn right and head towards the side door (in photo) and the ladies restroom is immediately on the left wall. There are no changing stations in the ladies restroom. Please use the changing table provided in the nursery. You may enter the nursery through a pass-through door in the ladies restroom.
The men’s restroom is located near our foyer water fountain. From the front foyer, turn left and head towards the door (in photo). There are no changing stations in the men’s restroom. Please use the changing table provided in the nursery.
We hope you will worship with us real soon!