Looking forward to 2022

The Big Question: Why?

A Message from Our Elders

We are very excited for 2022 and the new plan we have developed to make the most of our Sunday mornings together! 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? Our answer is threefold:

1. We want to make the most of Sunday mornings

This is the time we already have set aside to be together as a church family - so let's make the most of it! Everyone is busy, so by utilizing our time on a Sunday morning for both our worship service and Equip, we honour each other's time, and get the most out of it too!

2. 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. So, Equip allows us to learn from God’s Word about areas of particular interest or relevance to us personally (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.

3. 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. 

Families and the Whole Church Family

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, and designed to take us deep into God's Word. 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. 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. Each person will get to choose which seminar they want to attend and we'll all get 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 make the most of Sunday morning
2. We value knowing God's Word which is foundational for us
3. We love the intergenerational nature of the church

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 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 11.00am 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! 

Hear the Elders answering these questions here

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!

There will be room hosts for each class to help make everyone feel connected and at home. It's about journeying together, having fellowship with each other, and learning in community.

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 aim to preach the gospel and apply it to our daily lives, from all areas 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 areas particularly relevant to each of us personally (e.g. parenting, dating, faith in the work place). 

Why are we focusing so much on families with kids?

In our communication so far, we've talked a lot 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. 

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! 

Do the Elders think more time at church will mean more growth?

The short answer: no, it won't. 

More time at church will not necessarily mean more growth. However, we are absolutely sure that if we make good use of our time and choose to engage and invest and allow God to do His work in us, we will see more growth. The new structure provides us with more avenues to invest in our relationship with God, all conveniently within a very similar timeframe to what we are doing now. 

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 E-Team - 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! Someone will be in touch soon.