No two churches are exactly alike, and so you’re never sure what to expect when you walk through the doors of a church for the first time. Let us remove some of that uncertainty for you by telling you a few things to anticipate when you visit Northeast Baptist Church:
A Friendly Greeter
When you walk through the front door of the church on Sunday morning, you will be welcomed by a greeter who will help you feel at home, answer any questions you may have, hand you a church bulletin with information about events in the church, and help you find a comfortable seat. We are blessed to have visitors at every service, and we are prepared to welcome you on your first visit.
A Warm Atmosphere
Nobody likes to be smothered or made to feel like a spectacle when they visit a new place; neither does anyone enjoy a cold, stale, unfriendly environment. An enjoyable church experience is found far away from these two extremes, in a warm, friendly, encouraging atmosphere that is characteristic of God-honoring, Christ-centered, Spirit-filled Bible Christianity. We are blessed to enjoy this kind of atmosphere every time we come together, and it spills over to everyone who walks through our doors. You will be pleasantly surprised at the laid-back warmth that you enjoy inside our doors.
God’s Presence in the Church Service
Our primary desire in every church service is for God’s presence to be evident to everyone in attendance. We pray and prepare to that end, and then we wait upon the Lord for His blessing. One of the most common remarks made by people who visit our services is, “It’s like you could just feel God’s presence there.” We long for that to be the case in every service, and we give God the glory for making it so.
Of course, these are some of the more intangible examples of what you should expect. To help you with various practical questions you may have, we have compiled a list of answers to questions frequently asked by people inquiring about Northeast Baptist Church.
Where do I go when I get there?
Our driveway has one entrance/exit. Once you enter the driveway and park on Sunday morning, you will see two buildings on the property: the main church building with the steeple on top, and the house on the hillside. During the Sunday School hour (10:00-11:00), teen classes meet in the upstairs of the house, adults meet in the upstairs of the main church building, and elementary-aged students meet in the downstairs of the main church building. If you would like to take your children to Sunday School, you can enter the main building through the bottom door. Teenagers can go to the concrete steps in front of the house, and follow the walk to the side entrance of the teen Sunday School building. To go directly to the main auditorium, you can follow the sidewalk at the top of the driveway, and enter through the front doors of the church building. On Sunday nights and Wednesday nights, all services are in the main auditorium.
Is there a place for my baby?
During each service, we provide a clean, safe nursery, staffed by experienced, qualified adult ladies. The nursery is located on the lower level of the main church building; simply enter the downstairs door and walk a few steps forward and to your left. A nursery worker will be at the door to assist you.
If you prefer to keep your baby with you, we have a room separated by glass at the rear of the main auditorium. You can sit with your baby in that room, view the service, and listen over the speaker. So that everyone in the church services can remain focused, we ask that babies be kept out of the main auditorium.
Where do my children go?
During Sunday School, your children can attend a Bible class for their specific age group and gender, or they can stay with you in an adult class. Simply bring them to the Elementary Opening Assembly, which begins at 10:00 in the downstairs of the main church building. When that assembly dismisses, your child will be directed to the proper class.
After Sunday School, children enjoy Junior Church in the same downstairs location; or you can bring them to sit with you in the morning service, whichever you prefer.
On Sunday nights and Wednesday nights, families sit together in the main auditorium.
What do I wear?
When you visit Northeast Baptist Church in any of our services, you will see people dressed in a variety of styles, from traditional “Sunday dress” to jeans and casual clothing. If you like to dress up for church, you will feel comfortable in all of our services. If you prefer to dress as you would dress to go out to eat or to the mall, you will feel comfortable in all of our services.
Are there any costs or fees required?
Absolutely not! We have a traditional “pass the plate” offering in nearly every church service, to provide an opportunity for people who are anxious to bring their tithes and give offerings. No one is compelled to give; in fact, we prefer that visitors not feel compelled at all to participate in the offering.
Are there any rituals for which I need to be prepared?
In some churches, a visitor may not know when to stand, sit, kneel, talk, etc. Our routine is quite simple, and when it is time for the congregation to do anything together, the person leading the service will make it clear. There are no “understood” rituals that will catch you off guard.
There are three elements of the church service that may be new to some people:
First, the invitation. At the close of each service, the pastor invites anyone who wishes to, to come to the front of the auditorium and respond to the Bible message they have just heard, by taking a few moments to pray at the steps of the platform. Normally about 25% of the crowd responds to that invitation, and whether or not anyone were to participate, they would not feel at all uncomfortable.
Second is baptism. Very often, the invitation is followed by someone following the Lord in believer's baptism, which is a public profession of your faith taught by Jesus. This lasts about 5 minutes, and requires nothing of anyone but the person being baptized. If you are interested in being baptized, you can contact the church by phone or email, or simply attend one of our services and alert an usher or greeter.
Third is the Lord's Supper. On the first Sunday of each month, about 20 minutes of the service is devoted to remembering Christ's sacrifice for us on the Cross, as Jesus instructed us to do. Matthew 26:26-30. Everyone who receives the Lord's Supper does so at their seat; thus, your choice to participate or to abstain would be practically inconspicuous. If you are unfamiliar with this Scriptural ordinance, it is best to discuss it with the pastor before partaking of it. Four times every year, when a month has five Sundays, the Lord's Supper is observed on Sunday night instead of Sunday morning, so that people who work in other departments of the church on Sunday morning can participate.
Will my presence be acknowledged?
The greeter at the front door will be seeking out new faces, simply to shake their hands and answer any questions they may have. The pastor, in his opening greeting, will allow people in the congregation to introduce guests that they have brought with them. When they are finished, he will ask if anyone else is visiting for the first time. If you feel so inclined, you may raise your hand and introduce yourself. If you prefer to not be acknowledged, the pastor will not embarrass you or call you out; you are certainly welcome to enjoy the service anonymously.
What is the music like?
Our music is distinctly Christian. It is well-prepared by Spirit-filled, skilled musicians, and it is delivered in a heartfelt, God-honoring way. We do not attempt to copy any secular style, nor do we follow pop-culture Christian music trends. You will find our music to be a refreshing and uplifting taste of genuine, sincere worship.
How long do the services last?
The Sunday morning service begins at 11:00 am, and routinely dismisses no later than 12:30. Sunday night begins at 6:00 pm, and goes no later than 7:30. The Wednesday night prayer meeting begins at 7:30, and normally dismisses by 8:45. These times reflect what happens routinely; occasionally, circumstances lead to a service running slightly shorter or longer than normal.
Will I be hounded after I visit?
When you visit, you will be given the opportunity to fill out a simple visitor’s card. You are certainly not required to fill the card out or turn it in. Should you choose to fill out your visitor’s card, the pastor will follow up with a simple “thank you” note, and perhaps a visit to your home shortly thereafter. If you express an interest in any further follow-up, the pastor will make himself available to you and your family. If you do not, you are welcome to join us again any time you wish, but we will honor your privacy.