Visiting a church can be intimidating,
but you can relax when it comes to Grace Baptist Church.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Visiting a church can be intimidating, but you can relax when it comes to Grace Baptist Church.
WE ARE NOT PERFECT.
That's maybe why we make such a close family because we're all limping through life and growing in grace. We're not evaluating you. When you walk in our church doors, we're glad to see you! Don't worry about having to measure up or fit in. None of us measure up, and we're all very different. Our family is very diverse, so fitting in isn't an issue.
WE ARE NOT VERY RELIGIOUS.
Honestly, religion has let a lot of people down. Religious structures and systems are confusing, complicated and disconnected from real life. We would love to help you move from "religion" into an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ. If you feel new to it all, that's okay. Our church is filled with new believers - we speak "beginner" fluently!
WE SPEAK PLAIN ENGLISH.
We worship Jesus, study the Bible, and encourage each other in simple terms you'll be able to connect to your daily life. We believe and teach what the Bible truly says and why it matters. There are no pointless traditions, no archaic languages, no droning or irrelevant lectures, no pious arrogance. We open the Bible and apply it to real-life in the twenty-first century.
A LOT OF US ARE NEW.
Much of our church family is new! We are just regular, friendly people. "Religious" people often come off contrived, artificial, and argumentative. You won't find that at Grace. We're like you, working hard, fighting for healthy relationships, looking for encouragement, and glad to have some good friends who also have faith in Jesus Christ.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT?
First, expect a friendly, grace-filled culture—Guests usually say, “Wow, I’ve never been to a church like this…”
Second, expect some help along the way—Greeters will welcome you and help you find classes and nurseries.
Third, expect to find a place where you fit—Your family or friends will find a class designed just for them! Nurseries, children’s ministries, student ministry, and adult groups are all well-planned and prepared so that your Sunday is well invested into personal growth and biblical encouragement.
Fourth, expect meaningful worship—At Grace, we worship Jesus. The music is meaningful, enjoyable, and refreshing. Our goal is worship, not entertainment, and we believe the music will touch you deeply.
Fifth, expect a practical Bible message— Our pastor will teach through practical messages that apply God’s wisdom to everyday life situations. The Bible has a lot of the answers you’ve been longing for, and it’s critical for your journey through life.
Sixth, expect to be impacted for the better—Our goal is simple—to love you and encourage you. Whatever you’re facing, wherever you come from, whatever decisions you are up against, God’s Word, God’s grace, and God’s love through the person of Jesus Christ will make a massive difference. Honestly, you’ve never been so loved!
Whether you have a church background or not, you’ll feel welcomed and at home at Grace. Every week, new guests are visiting for the first time—many of them would not call themselves Christians or even “religious.” Many of them are burnt out on religion and secularism. Religion tells us to “be good enough” to please God—that’s hopeless. Secularism tells us “there is no God, so life itself is meaningless and hopeless.” Well, Jesus presents the only hopeful answer!
Whether you believe in Jesus or not—have an open mind, come hear God’s Word taught clearly and practically. Investigate who Jesus really is and discover what most religions never tell you about the Bible. Come experience grace in action, and discover the hope that God offers through a relationship, not a religion!
We look forward to welcoming you this Sunday! For more information, give us a call at (717) 762-9323.
CHOOSING A CHURCH
Have you ever “compared apples to apples” when making a critical decision for your family—perhaps buying a car, accepting a job offer, or purchasing a home?
Well, “comparing apples to apples” isn’t quite as simple when you are choosing a church home. Maybe it never occurred to you that apples actually reflect quite a vast array of diversity. Actually comparing apples to apples can be an extremely detailed process—but in the case of a choosing a church, it’s worth it, if the study leads to practical insight and wise choices. There are 7,500 varieties of apples in the world—just as there are seemingly thousands of different types of “Christian” churches—which could prove for quite an exhausting study!
So, let’s simplify for a moment, and let’s focus on the six core attributes of apples that are symbolic of six qualities you should consider when you are choosing a church.
Consider the Taste
Have you ever noticed that tastes vary from person to person? Similarly, taste can sometimes be deceiving. Not everything that tastes good is good for you, and not everything that tastes bad is bad for you. And, tastes can even change over time. It’s one thing to let “taste” be your guide when choosing an apple, but choosing a church simply because of taste can prove to be dangerous.
The question is “taste” or “truth?” A true Church will always have a taste for the Word of God – the Bible. Sometimes the Bible is encouraging to the heart – sweet to the taste. Other times the Bible tells it like it is and actually penetrates the heart with some discomfort – or distaste. Yet always, the Bible is truthful, life changing, and intended to transform our lives for the better!
Choose a church that has a taste for the Bible—where the messages bring Bible truth into practical light for your daily life.
Consider the Texture
Bite into an apple and you will immediately get a feel for its texture. Some apples are soft, some are firm—some smooth and some coarse. Texture describes the feel and essential substance of an apple as well as a church. The texture of a church could be described as its way of determining truth and functioning.
At Grace Baptist Church, the Bible is our foundation, and we’re working hard at balancing our texture as a church. At GBC you’ll find a family that loves you just as you are; and you’ll also find a teaching philosophy that encourages you to let God change you, grow you, and “improve you” through His truth!
There is no such thing as a perfect church, including GBC. Yet every person can be greatly helped by finding a church where there is a commitment to the Bible and a texture of acceptance and grace.
Consider the Variety
Apples come in many varieties. Spiritual needs also vary widely from age group to age group—life-stage to life-stage. The variety of a church could refer to how well the church is attempting to meet the diverse spiritual needs of the people. At GBC, you will find we are developing ministries to meet the unique spiritual needs of your family. Though our church has a long history—we are experiencing a “re-planting” and asking God to revitalize our ministry to each life stage in the coming years!
From the nursery, to the children’s programs, to the youth ministry, to the adult ministries—chances are that everyone in your family will find the “perfect fit!”
Consider the Complexity
To someone who isn’t a horticulture expert, an apple is an apple! Even so, to someone who hasn’t spent a lot of time studying religion—a church is a church. But truthfully, an apple is extremely complex—each one holding about 80 calories, made up of 25% air, a great source of fiber, without sodium, fat, or cholesterol. The complexity of a church could be compared to “what it believes!” The single most important question you can ask about a church is “what does this church believe?”
Many churches have complex doctrinal statements that originated from one man’s dream, one lady’s “vision”, or even centuries of meaningless traditions. On the surface, a church might look like all the rest, but the deeper question is, “What will this church be teaching you and your children?”
At Grace, the answer to this question is simple—the Bible—nothing more, nothing less. The central figure of our church is Jesus Christ, the central message is the Bible, and the central purpose is to apply God’s truth to our everyday lives. We have pastors and teachers who constantly teach the Bible and lead us toward Jesus.
Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God who became flesh, lived a perfectly sinless life on this earth, and shed His blood for the redemption, or forgiveness, of the world. He is the central figure of the human race and God’s Word. Knowing Him is what life is all about!
Consider the Size
The largest apple ever picked weighed a whopping three pounds! Yet, its size didn’t mean it was the tastiest, most nutritional, or even the prettiest. Bigger doesn’t always mean better, and smaller doesn’t always mean friendlier! The key question in regards to the size of an apple is this—“is it growing?” Once an apple stops growing, its life cycle is quickly coming to an end, and its days of nutritional value are numbered.
Likewise, the question of a church’s size should be considered in terms of growth or health. A church is a living body—a family—of believers. In a healthy body, where nutrition is strong, there will be growth. And a church that is fulfilling Jesus’ mission will be reaching others with the truth of His gospel.
Consider the Source
Before you picked it from the produce pile at the supermarket, that apple came from a tree. That tree had roots, years of growth, and a system of reproducing healthy apples. Even so, when choosing a church, you must consider the tree, the roots—where it came from. It’s important to find a church that traces their roots directly to Jesus Christ—God’s Son—and His message of love and redemption to the world. These churches focus on relationship over religion. They help people enter into a personal relationship with Jesus that brings people into a living, dynamic knowledge of a great and loving God through His Word, the Bible.
Comparing apples to apples (or churches to churches) is probably more complex than you realize. Don’t give up! It’s worth the study. Your family needs a church that has a taste for truth, a texture of grace, a variety of helps, and a source directly connected to Jesus Christ.
If you don’t already have a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching, and Bible-living church, stop and visit with us soon, and find out that we have a bushel of ways to encourage and help your life and family!