What to Expect
Every church has its own style of worship. We think you'll enjoy the services at New Hope, but as in any church, it may take a couple of Sundays to become accustomed to our way of praising God and proclaiming what he has done.
Each week the service is printed in the worship folder. All the Scripture readings are printed there for you. You are certainly welcome to bring along your own Bible and follow along if you choose.
Our Worship services have one major theme. The sermon, hymns, prayers and music all revolve around the Scripture readings for that week. Music certainly is an important part of our services. Loud or soft, in monotone or rich harmony, all our praises are music to God as we respond to hearing His Word.
When pondering God's love for us and our opportunity to praise and thank him for that love, we recall the words of the Psalm writer:
"I rejoiced with those who said to me, 'Let us go to the house of the LORD.'"
Our services also usually include the following parts in a variety of forms:
The Invocation - We call on the name of our Savior God as we praise him.
Admitting sins and finding forgiveness - We acknowledge that we have not always done what God asks. Then we are assured of forgiveness because of what Jesus Christ has done for us.
Bible Readings - We hear selections from God's Old Testament prophets, Jesus' apostles, and from Jesus himself in the Gospels. The pastor also gives a brief explanation of each reading.
Sermon - Our pastor offers instruction and encouragement in a Bible-based sermon. We hear how we can expect God's guidance and grace for dealing with problems, as well as the promise of eternal life in heaven through Jesus.
Response to the Word - We respond with offerings, hymns, and prayers for the things God has promised to us and for strength to do what he has asked.
Parting blessing - We hear one last assurance of God's care.
Mixed throughout these different parts of our service are hymns and short songs to praise God.
Our worship uses traditional forms and modern language and application. The traditional brings us the best from God's Church throughout the ages, and the contemporary brings God's promises and his will into our daily lives. We hope you enjoy both.
We offer Holy Communion on the first and third Sunday of each month. Because the Lord commands us to examine ourselves before we partake of His body and blood, the pastor likes to meet with all new guests before they begin taking communion. He will give practical help in the “how to” of examining ourselves. Also, this will be an opportunity for you to examine the teaching of New Hope to see if this is the right fit for you.
These are typical worries about church offerings:
"When will they take the offering?"
Like most Christians, our members bring offerings to God through their church. We pass an offering plate during the service so that our worship may include bringing gifts to God.
"How will it be collected?"
Offering envelopes are available and keep our gifts a private matter known only to God.
"How much am I expected to give?"
The Bible teaches that our offerings to God should reflect our belief that all we have is his gift to us. It teaches us that with our offerings we worship and honor God. Since offerings are gifts of love for God, no one dictates what each person is to give. We look to Christ and his love to motivate us in our giving, whether it is a child putting in coins or an adult writing out a check.
"Do they want visitors to contribute too?"
You may wish at first to learn more about our church before you given an offering, but you are always welcome to participate as your heart leads you to give.
The Worst That Can Happen . . .
Attending church somewhere for the first time can be intimidating. Here are some common worries:
"I would just die if they made me stand up and say something."
We assure you, we won't embarrass you in this or any other way. We want you to feel comfortable and at home with us. Church should be an enjoyable and uplifting experience. We promise to do all we can so you can relax and learn about your Savior.
"I know my child is going to be too noisy."
We encourage parents of young children to attend worship services with their children. This begins the good habits of attending worship services at an early age. The back rows are reserved for parents with young children. If required, a nursery room is available at the back of the sanctuary.
"I know I will feel out of place."
We hope that this website will ease your mind, but if you have a question, please ask someone for help. Don't hesitate to say, "I am new. What is this about?" Some of our members have been around for many, many years. Others are new just like you are. Either way, someone will be happy to help you out and answer your questions.
"I am afraid I will say or do something wrong."
All of us have felt this way when in a new situation. But we hope you see the people of our congregation to be ordinary people like yourself. We want to accept you as you are and help you become what Christ wants you to be. We would never want to criticize anything you do.
"I just want to watch at first and I know that they will try to involve me or sign me up."
It is unpleasant to be pressured or to be part of a "membership drive" as though we were heads of cattle, isn't it? We believe that church membership should be a voluntary thing, and that the most important thing is to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sins and salvation. It takes time for this to be cultivated. People need time to evaluate and decide if they wish further involvement. We believe we should respect that need.
"I don't know that much about the Bible."
Church and Bible Study are opportunities to grow in our knowledge of the Bible and faith in Jesus. You won't have to read or answer any questions you don't want to answer. And remember, sometimes the wisest words we say are, "I don't know."