We Do Sundays a Bit Differently….
At Holdfast we value meeting together as God’s people. Learning together from His word, The Bible. We also place a high value on our relationships with one another. We remind ourselves often that Jesus said people would know that we’re His followers by the way we love each other.
And so, we begin our Sunday gatherings by sharing in community breakfast together at 9.15. It’s a great opportunity to touch base with friends and even make some new ones. Anyone is welcome to join us for breakfast even if you’re not sure you want to hang around all morning.
At 10.00 we move into what we call our Main Event. This is the part that you’re probably more likely to associate with “going to church”. Our Main Event lasts for about an hour. We usually sing some songs together (It’s fine just to sit and listen if singing is not your’ thing). We’ll pray together. We want to thank God for what He’s doing in our lives. We might ask God to assist those we know with specific needs. We often pray for our community and for the wider world.
If you are visiting, there is one part of the day we don’t expect you to be a part of. At our Main Event, we have a time we refer to as the offering. We simply pass some bowls around. It’s an opportunity for our regular folk to financially support the work we’re doing. (whilst we still pass bowls around, most of our regulars give electronically these days). Anyway, as we said, if you’re visiting, we definitely don’t expect you to be putting money in. You’re our guests!
Sometimes we’ll have a special item, maybe a short dvd presentation or a piece of music. Often, we listen to one of our people share what’s been happening for them.
The central (or key) feature of our Main Event is our Message Time. We spend about twenty minutes exploring a part of the Bible. We want to understand God’s story and how it interacts with, and impacts, our stories (?lives). We try to keep the messages simple to listen to and easy to understand, even for those with little or no church experience. Whilst easy to understand, you should expect to be challenged. We’re keen to explore practical application. We believe that following Jesus should make a difference to the way we live. (our lives)?is this needed Things like, the way we treat our neighbours, our attitudes and responses to life’s challenges, the reason we understand why we are here…
Our Main Event concludes at about 11.00 and is followed by Morning Tea. Enjoy coffee. A chance to spend some more time catching up with one another. During this time, if there’s anything causing you concern, there’ll be people at the front of the church who are available to pray with you at your request.
What About My Children – Is there a program for them?
Good question! At Holdfast we are keen to see people of all ages discover what it means to live their lives as followers of Jesus. We’re particularly keen to support parents in their endeavour to teach their children the ways of Jesus. When it comes to learning though, we recognise that, whilst we adults have much to teach our children, we also have much to learn from them. In fact, Jesus said that unless we learn to come to Him as children we really are missing the point!
Rather than run a parallel children’s program, we’ve made the intentional decision to make our Main Event an all age experience. This is not without its challenges. It means, as different generations, we need to make allowances for one another. It brings us much joy however, to see several generations worshipping? and learning of God together.
During the Main Event, children, up to grade seven, have the option of working on a worksheet. Here, they have opportunity, dependent upon their age and maturity level, to answer questions about what they have seen and heard, particularly concerning the message. After the Main Event, those children who complete their worksheet (or have made a good effort) receive a star on our progress chart. Periodically we celebrate our children’s progress by awarding prizes.
If you have smaller children, be assured, we understand they sometimes make noise! It’s not a problem for us. If, however, you prefer, there is a designated creche room where you can sit with your babies and toddlers. You’ll still be able to hear and see the Main Event whilst they play with the toys provided. It’s our goal though to encourage our children to look forward to joining in with the big people in the Main Event.
We appreciate that, if you’ve been around churches before, this may be a new approach for you. We are the first to admit that this is a journey for us and we are always open to suggestions of how we can improve things. That said, we remain committed to exploring what it means to be a family together in worship. If you’re interested in exploring our approach further, click here to read a letter our leaders sent to the church when we began this “all age” journey. Our Pastor, Stephen, would be very happy to meet with you if you’d like to explore the matter further (or ask any other questions about how, or why, we do things). You can use the contact form to touch base at any time.
What if I’m not a Christian – What if I’ve never been to church before?
We’re open to believers and non-believers. Used-to-be believers and want-to-be believers. Maybe you’re not sure where you fit? How you’d describe yourself? Maybe you just want to check things out? Maybe you have more doubts and questions than certainty right now? It’s O.K! Wherever you find yourself on the spectrum of belief, you’ll find someone amongst us who’s been there.
Whatever you believe, or don’t believe, we believe that God is interested in you! It’s our intention that Holdfast should be a safe place to explore your deepest questions.
Is there a Dress Code?
If you’ve only been to church for a wedding or funeral, you’re probably not sure what you should wear. Most churches these days don’t really have a dress code. Occasionally you’ll see one of our men wearing a tie but jeans and tee shirt are more prevalent. Dress for comfort. We’d like you to feel you’re visiting friends.