First time to BWC?
Attending a new church for the first time can be scary and a little intimidating. But at Bethlehem, we want you to feel at home from the moment you walk through the door.
Here's what you can expect when you are our guest:
What happens when I arrive?
Expect to be greeted at the door. Each week, everyone who arrives to church is treated like a guest. We have been awaiting your arrival and we are very excited to see you. We won't embarrass you by making you stand up during service to introduce yourself...but we will make you feel welcome. Whether we are meeting you for the first time or seeing friends after a long week away from each other, a hearty handshake and warm smile will be waiting for you.
Expect a small congregation. We are not a huge church where people can easily become a number or a statistic. While we desire to grow and are happy to see new people get connected, we also celebrate the fact that our worship community is an intimate environment where people are personally known. Many from our congregation view each other as "family".
How should I dress?
Expect most of our members AND our pastor to dress casually. You may see an occasional tie and jacket or dress (that's ok!). But expect to see a lot of jeans and t-shirts as well. During football season, it is normal to see people wearing their favorite football jersey. What we wear to church is really not that important. Come as you are.
What will the service be like?
Expect the music to be different! We do not use an organ or piano in our service, nor do we sing very many traditional hymns or church songs. Our "worship team" consists of a number of vocalists and musicians. Most of our music is upbeat and contemporary. Even if the songs are unfamiliar to you, it doesn't take long to catch on. We project the words on a screen on the front wall so you can easily follow along. Please feel free to sing along with us or just listen and reflect upon the meaning of the song.
Expect the teachings to be creative, meaningful, practical, Biblical, thought-provoking and interesting. It's hard to fall asleep during one of our church services. There are fill-in-the blank outlines handed out each week so that you can follow along and take notes if you would like to review the sermon later. Stories, visual illustrations and video clips all combine to keep things interesting!
Expect the service to last about 90 minutes. We promise to get you home for lunch before your stomach begins growling!
Expect us to be Wesleyan in theology. As a Wesleyan Church, you can expect our teachings to align with Wesleyan-Arminian doctrine.
Is there anything for my children?
Expect quality and safe classes for your children. During the teaching portion of the worship service, children up through 5th grade are dismissed to go with our competent leaders for a time filled with games, snacks and an exciting lesson that is planned just for them. For preschool children, we have a staffed nursery of leaders who love keeping our little ones busy so that moms and dads (and grandparents) can focus on the message presented during the service. Each of our leaders have undergone background checks and training so that parents can feel confident that their children are in good hands.
We believe the sermon keeps teenagers engaged (most of the time!) and so they are invited to stay in the sanctuary during the teaching time. There is a youth group that meets specifically with those 6th grade and up on Sunday evenings to discuss more teen-specific topics.
Will people come to my house or call me during the week?
Expect a note from the pastor (or church leader) the week following your visit. You will be encouraged to fill out a welcome card when you arrive at the church. The information from this card may be used to send you information during the year of special events that happen at the church (unless you specify otherwise) and either the pastor or a key church leader will send you a short note, thanking you for your visit. But we will never just stop by uninvited to your home or call you on the phone to bug you. However, please let us know if you would like a visit from the pastor. He would be more than happy to visit with you at your home if you so desire.
Will I have to give money in the offering?
Expect those who consider BWC their home church to give in the offering, but as our guest, do not feel obligated to give. We are so glad that you decided to worship with us. Giving back to the work of God is an honor and a way to express our trust in God to provide. We want to encourage people to worship by being generous in all areas of their lives, including giving to the church. But again...you are our guest! Simply enjoy the service.