How should I dress?
You might wonder how you are expected to dress at a church you've never visited before. Since the Bible presents no dress code, except for simple decency and Christian humility, Cross of Christ doesn't make any rules either.
Like most people, our members try to make their worship time at church a special time. This is often reflected in the way they dress. Still dress is a personal matter of worship before God. One person may dress casually and rejoice that our gracious Lord accepts us as we are, while another may dress to reflect the awe and reverence we have for our Savior King.
On any Sunday at our church you may see running shoes and heels, jeans and suits, open collars and ties. When a person dresses out of love for his or her Lord, the choice of dress, be it casual or more formal, is acceptable to God . . . and us.
What about the offering?
"When will they take the offering?" "How will it be collected?" "How much am I expected to give?" "Do they want visitors to contribute too?" These are typical worries about church offerings, but God's Word 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.
Like most Christians, our members bring offerings to God through their church. Since offerings are gifts of love for God, no one dictates what each person is to give. These offering give them the opportunity to not only show love to Christ, but also to support the work of our congregation as we bring the Good News of Christ's love to more people.
We pass an offering plate during the service so that our worship may include bringing gifts to God and we use offering envelopes to keep our gifts a private matter known only to the Lord. Now a child may bring the quarters and dimes his parents give him. Someone older may write a check. Both, however, remember Jesus and give their gifts out of love for him.
As our guest, we will not expect you to contribute an offering, nor do we want to pressure you into doing so. You may wish to learn more about our ministry before bringing your offerings to God through our church, but you are welcome to participate as your heart leads you to give.
What Is the worst that can happen?
Attending a church 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 can assure you that we won’t embarrass you in this or any other way. We want you to feel as comfortable as possible and at home with us. Time at church should be an enjoyable and uplifting experience. We promise to do all we can so you can learn about your Savior.
"I know my child is going to be too noisy." - Our congregation is much like a family with infants and kids and teens and adults and elderly. It is not unusual to hear the cry of a baby mixed in with the sound of hymns or readings. If, however, at any time you feel the need, we have a small cry room in the back of the church, where you can bring your child. Also, if you have a little one who needs a change, diaper-changing stations can be found in both men's and ladies' restrooms directly across from the main entryway.
"I'm afraid I'll say or do something wrong." - You are not alone! All of us, at some time, have felt this way in a new situation. We hope you'll see that the people of Cross of Christ are ordinary people like yourself. We want to accept you as you are and help you become what Christ wants you to be. We do not want to throw cold water on that with a critical spirit.
"I know I will feel out of place." - We hope this visitor's guide has helped to ease your mind, but if you have a question, please ask someone for help. Don’t hesitate to say, "I'm new here. Can you help me?" We can assure you our members are more than willing to help!
"I just want to watch at first, but I know they'll try to get me involved or sign me up for something." - It's unpleasant to be pressured or to be part of a "membership drive" as though we were heads of cattle, isn’t it? We believe church membership should be a voluntary matter, and the most important thing of all is to trust in our Savior Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation. This takes time. People need time to evaluate and decide if they wish further involvement in a congregation. We believe we should respect that need.
"I don’t know that much about the Bible." - Worship and Bible study are opportunities to grow in our knowledge of the Bible and faith in Jesus. You won’t have to answer any questions you don’t want to answer. Don't forget...sometimes the wisest words to say are, "I don’t know."