What To Expect
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT ?
A Warm Welcome!
You will be more than welcome at all of our services. When you come to visit, we will greet you warmly; the folks at Northwest are not afraid to shake your hand, and even give you a hug. Please come and bring your Bible to “search the Scriptures” with us. If you do not have a Bible, we will be happy to give you one. You will find no exclusive pews for any person. All are greeted with equal courtesy and kindness (Acts 10:34,35; Galatians 3:28).
We Sing Without Added Instruments.
You will find no tendency toward entertainment with beautiful organ or piano music. Like the first century Christians, we will engage in the singing of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19). There are song books in the pews, and the words and music are also generally projected onto a screen at the front of the auditorium. The words used in our songs will be easy to understand (1 Corinthians 14:15). We encourage everyone to participate in the singing as we praise God and Christ. When the Christian faith began, Christian worship was very simple; it could occur anywhere among any people in any culture. All that was necessary for Christian worship were minds, hearts, and voices. We seek that same simplicity.
We offer prayers to God for His guidance and care. We pray for God's comfort and healing of the sick, we pray for those traveling, we pray for our world's leaders, and we pray we can be pleasing to God. Our prayers are heartfelt! Public prayers will be led by men chosen from the congregation. Most worshipers participate by simply bowing their heads.
We Remember Jesus By Sharing The Communion Together.
As Christians, we all share the Communion together as an assembly. The bread and the fruit of the vine of the Lord's Supper is a memorial act for Christians to observe. We observe it when assembled on the first day of the week. We observe it together, because it is also a reminder that we are one body in Christ. When these are passed your way, you may partake if you are a Christian. If you'd rather not, that's okay too.
We Hear a Lesson.
The holy scriptures in the Bible are our only guide; you will notice that the Bible is the textbook to which reference is repeatedly made in our classes and sermons. Special emphasis is placed on that part of the Bible known as the New Testament (2 Timothy 3:16–17; Romans 1:16). You will never be asked to accept what some man says about the Bible: we want you to read the Bible for yourself to see “whether those things are so” (Acts 17:11). We provide insight into God's Word and you will find the lessons helpful in your efforts to be pleasing to God. An invitation is then offered for two reasons. The first is to encourage Christians who want the help and encouragement of public prayer to come forward during the invitation song. The second is to provide a convenient opportunity to the person who, in faith and repentance, wants to be baptized into Christ. If there should be a response from someone in the audience, you will see them taken to a pool of water where, in simple likeness to the burial of Christ, they will be buried in water and raised to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:3–4). We understand that Christ's invitation is open every day, every hour. Any time is the appropriate time for prayer or baptism.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Do I Have To Stand Up In Front Of People?
You will never be required to stand or respond publicly in any way in our assemblies.
Do You Want My Money?
In a word, No. The folks who are a regular part of our congregation voluntarily give to help support our work and to help pay various expenses we incur as a local congregation. We do not ask non-members to financially support our work, nor will we engage in any fund-raising activities among any of our visitors. We specialize in being a church, and not a non-profit charity organization. In time, if you decide to become a regular part of our congregation, you may decide that you would like to participate monetarily in our various activities and efforts. At that time, we would joyfully welcome your participation. But our desire for you now is simply that you be given the opportunity to check us out without feeling pressured to give money.
Are You Going To Tell Me What's Wrong With Me?
At its core, the message of Jesus is about good news. He did not come to earth to condemn us. Instead, he came to give us life. And so, while we feel it is important to recognize that we all have fallen short of God's ideals, it is even more important to emphasize the joyful and complete life which Jesus offers us. Our desire is that you would come away from our assemblies contemplating that reality: that while we have fallen short of the ideal in our lives, Jesus offers us satisfaction, fulfillment, and joy in a way and in a measure we have never known before.
Do I Have To Dress Up?
Absolutely not! The rule of thumb at Northwest is casual attire. When you join us for one of our meetings, you may see people dressed formally, but you will see people dressed informally as well. Work uniforms and the like are not a problem, either. Please feel free to join us, and be sure to wear modest clothes that make you feel comfortable. We're much more concerned about what happens inside of people than their external appearance.
Do I Have To Turn My Kids Over To A Stranger?
We offer a fun, exciting program for children, and we're confident that your kids would have a great time if they were to participate. At the same time, we certainly understand why you would want to check us out before allowing your kids to go to a separate part of the facility to participate in our children's program. You should know that your children are definitely welcome in our meetings, for as long as it makes you comfortable.
I Have More Questions!
If you have any more questions, please feel free to call us at 713.462.4687 or email us. We would be more than happy to answer any questions you might have!