2023 at the Bible Chapel

Our dream is to have a church family that is thoroughly shaped by Scripture and well equipped to live out their faith in the world we live and minister in. To enhance how we build our church family up into maturity in Christ, we're adjusting how we do things on Sunday morning. Check out the details below. 

The Big Question: Why?

We are very excited for 2023 and beyond as we continue to journey together as a church family. We understand that talking about 'changing' something results in lots of different thoughts for all of us. But we don't see this as a change, so much as an enhancement. It's about being able to better do what we already do, that we would see increased fruit and even more lives transformed by God.

So, why?

Check out this video from our Elders. In it, they share about the journey they have been on as they have sought God's direction for our church family.

So, to boil it down, there are three key reasons: 

1. We want to see our entire church family thoroughly prepared to live the Christian faith in an increasingly secular world

We have seen massive amounts of cultural change in recent years, and this change is accelerating. To stand firm in our faith, each person in our church family needs a growing relationship with Jesus, as well as a thoroughly biblical worldview and a strong theological foundation. To achieve these goals, we're digging in and making opportunities to be equipped as accessible as possible for everyone. By God's grace, and our continued faithful response to Him, we'll all grow into maturity in Christ. 

2. We love the intergenerational nature of the church

We want to function intentionally as an intergenerational church family – which is the biblical picture of the church. Each person in the church has an important something to contribute to the rest of the family. We all need each other as we journey with God and there is so much we can learn by being together. This new format will give us room for us to be even more intentional about connecting intergenerationally.

We’re looking forward to this new venture, and praying God’s continued guidance and blessing as we seek to be increasingly faithful to Him and His Word. 

3. We value knowing God's Word, which is foundational for us

We believe knowing the Bible and being in God's Word together is a foundational part of our lives as a church family. And we also recognise that each of us has our own unique journey with God. Our new format for Sunday mornings creates space for Equip, which allows us to learn from God’s Word in an interactive environment while our children also learn at Powerhouse and creche. Then our worship service brings us together as a whole family to worship, take communion, and learn as one. We believe both of these things together will result in maximum benefit for us all.

So, what will it look like?

All-In Worship Service

This is our all-in time of whole-family worship. We come together as a church family to worship, share communion, and learn from God's Word. This service is designed to be intergenerational and is central in the life of the church. It's a privilege to gather as God's people and worship Him together - and how fantastic to do it all-in as one! 

Equip

Equip is all about equipping each individual to stand strong and live out their faith in every moment. Each seminar is practical in nature, designed to take us deep into God's Word and apply it directly to our everyday lives. Equip is intended for everyone in the church family. It's a great time of fellowship and will help us continue in our pursuit of intergenerational discipleship. You can read a little more about how Equip works in our FAQs section below. 

Powerhouse and Creche

Powerhouse and Creche will run at the same time as Equip (9.30am~10.20am). This means that every person gets to experience teaching especially for them - both adults and children! Our fantastic teams provide age-appropriate programmes, teaching from God's Word. Parents, this means you can come to Equip knowing that your children are taken care of and being taught effectively and biblically.  It's a win-win!

Youth

We love our youth! Our teenagers and young adults are so important to us, and we want to honour them and engage with them as adults, so those 13+ will be part of the Equip seminars with the rest of the adults in the church. We're looking forward to this new way to be part of the intergenerational discipleship that we so value.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are we doing this?

The three key reasons are:
1. We want to see our entire church family thoroughly prepared to live their faith in our increasingly secular world
2. We love the intergenerational nature of the church
3. We value knowing God's Word, which is foundational for us

In addition to these three reasons, while we know change isn't always easy, we want to continually work to do things better than we are currently doing them. Ultimately, this is about facilitating increasing spiritual maturity in our church family. We want to grow in our love for God and hunger for His Word. We believe this new structure will help us to do this even better than we are now. It's not going to be a 'magic fix,' but it's a great starting point for us!

How is this going to work for new people?

We think that this will be great for everyone who comes to the Bible Chapel, including those who are new! We'll have visual aids and hosts around the place to guide people to where they need to be. We'll also be advertising the new start times publicly. 

People are welcome to join Equip classes at any point in a term and the sessions are recorded, so new people can watch previous sessions as well if they'd like. Plus, since no one is going to be put on the spot in Equip, it's a great low-pressure space to meet a few of the church family. We know big groups and small groups can be scary for different reasons, but as we continue to make people feel welcome with us, we think this will be a nice place to start. And, of course, people are still welcome to come to the worship service only if they prefer. 

What about our community and those who are not yet saved?

We see lots of benefits to this new structure. The core purpose of Sunday mornings is for us as believers to be edified, growing in our love for God and our love for the church, as well as being emboldened and equipped to go out and share with the lost. But we do also want services to be a place people feel welcomed and where they hear the gospel. 

This new structure also provides a great natural flow on from Alpha - where we can utilize Equip as a 'next step' in the discipleship of those who have attended Alpha. The practical nature of Equip also means it's a great place for new people to get involved in the church family. 

As for the worship service, the new structure means the worship service starts at 10.30am instead of 10.00am. This makes it easier for some to get up and get going on a Sunday morning and make it on time for the service. Additionally, the worship service itself can seem very long to people from the community. But with the new structure, the service will be 1 hour long, which makes it nice and accessible to everyone. Plus, the gospel will be clearly preached each week for any visitors from the community to hear! 

What exactly is Equip like?

The overall purpose of Equip is to provide us space for fellowship and further learning. We are calling them classes, but they aren't at all like school! There will be teaching, absolutely. But we also want it to be interactive and fellowship based. 

In saying that, there is no pressure on any individual. You can interact as much or as little as you are comfortable with. No one will be called on to answer questions, you don't have to do homework and there are no tests or anything like that. Most of the classes will have workbooks available as a resource, but you can take as many or few notes as you like!

Why have teaching in the worship service when we already have it at Equip?

The short answer is this: teaching is super important and the two types of teaching in these places serve two complementary purposes. 

During the worship service, we teach through the Scriptures, usually focusing on a particular book of the Bible at a time. We aim to preach the gospel and apply it to our daily lives, from each part of Scripture. The gospel both saves us and gives us grace for daily living. The gospel builds us up and re-energizes us. So this teaching is about re-encouragement to go out and engage in the world by the power and grace of God. 

Equip is about giving us tools in our tool kit to engage in the world. The gospel compels us to go out and engage in the world, and Equip is about making sure we've got good tools to do that well. It's an opportunity to focus on particular areas of faith and life with an overtly practical bent.

Why exactly do you mean by 'intergenerational'? Are we just trying to include kids?

Intergenerational is not really a word that we use often in every day life. And we know sometimes when we focus on a word like this, it can sound like a bit of a 'phase.' But, intergenerational is not a phase or buzzword. It's a description at the very heart of the biblical picture of church. 

Throughout the Scriptures we see pictures of God's people gathered including and celebrating all ages, stages, and backgrounds - united by the reality of being in Christ. The Bible shows younger people learning from older, and older learning from younger. The New Testament, particularly, uses family language for the Body of Christ, the family of God. It is this that we want to further cultivate.

You may find we talk a fair amount about families with kids. That's because we recognise this new structure is likely to have the most impact on them! So we want to give as much information and support as we can to make sure it works for our family units too. 

But more than that, we are a church family, too! Each of us, whether we have our own family unit with children or not, has an important part to play in the whole church growing. The new structure will help us to build even more intergenerational relationships and result in all of us growing in our love for the church. 

By making space for our services to be all-in, intergenerational services, we are working to intentionally cultivate these kinds of relationships. Each person has an essential role to play in our church family - whether they're 2 or 92!

What about our teenagers?

We love our teens and, ultimately, we believe this new structure will serve for their benefit as well! Our desire is for our teens to grow in their knowledge of and love for God. There will be real benefit in our teens being alongside those of another generation and being able to glean from them. There is also so much our older generations can learn from our teens! So we see this is a major win-win. Plus, like everyone else, our teens will get to pick Equip classes that are of particular interest to them personally! 

Got questions not answered yet?

We know there may still be some questions out there - and we totally understand! Sometimes we need extra info to help us wrap our heads around something new. You are welcome to bring your questions to any of our Elders, Pastors, or the Staff - they'd love to chat with you about it! You can also fill out the form below and one of the team will get back to you (we ask for contact details simply so we can get back to you personally). 

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Thanks for your question! We'll be in touch soon.