I know – it’s not easy visiting a new church for the first time. Sometimes you feel like a nonmember visiting a country club. Do I belong here? Am I really welcome? Will the people be unfriendly, or too friendly? Will I be conspicuous? Will it be easy to leave if I don’t enjoy it? Will they ask me for money? Will my kids enjoy it? What should I wear? Am I welcome if I don’t believe?
As a congregation, we want to make your visit an enjoyable experience, easy, stress-free, and relaxing. Yarrow Alliance Church is “user-friendly” for people, whatever their background, including those who have never been to church before. If I were visiting a new church for the first time, I’d like to know what to expect, so here is a brief overview.
When you arrive at Yarrow Alliance for either our service, there should be some friendly people (we call them “hosts”) to say hello, answer any questions you have, and direct you to your seats. If you have infants, our hosts can point you to the nursery. We’ve developed a good security system so you will know your kids are safe and well cared for. Our older children (ages 2 through grade 6 are dismissed 25 minutes into the service). If your kids are shy, they are welcome to attend the adult service with you, but most kids really enjoy the kids’ programs for infants through 6th grade, available during services.
You will notice that everyone is dressed comfortably, in anything from “office casual” to jeans and running shoes.
When you come into the Sanctuary, you will be given a copy of our bulletin which has the week’s announcements in it.
The service usually begins with some upbeat music led by the music team, followed by a welcome and introduction to the theme of the day’s service. We will do some more singing and then begin the message. I usually speak for about 30 minutes, and do my best to make the messages interesting, enjoyable, and relevant to daily life. The message will be based on the Bible, and I will often include interesting quotes from contemporary people, songs, or movies. You will hear solid Christian theology in intelligent, understandable, relevant terms. And maybe you will laugh at times as well as being challenged in your faith.
A prayer and sometimes a song will usually follow the message, led by the music team. Speaking of the music team, they do a great job leading musically, with a contemporary feel (drums, guitars, keyboards, vocalists). You will have some new songs to hum all week long.
The service will close about 70 minutes after it began (and believe it or not, the time will fly). I hope you will come up and introduce yourself to the Pastoral staff.
One thing you may notice is that we do receive an offering. We want you to feel welcome as our guest, with no pressure to give. Our regular attenders will put their contributions in the offering plates. Even though we hope you will simply be our guest on your first visit, we do hope you will place your friendship card in the offering plate so we can send you, or follow up on any information you request.
After the service, you will pick up your kids from their classrooms, and then we hope you will stay around, meet some people. Church is about God and worship, but it’s also about community and friendship, so we hope people really experience warmth and friendliness at Yarrow Alliance Church.
Thanks for your interest!