What To Expect When You Visit The Church of God in Mount Forest
It can be a little intimidating whenever you visit a new church so we thought we would make it just a little bit easier for you by explaining what you can expect if you visit us on a Sunday morning for the Breaking of Bread. We try to keep seats free especially for visitors near the entrance to the room; please make yourself comfortable there. (You may notice a collection box in the entrance hallway but visitors are not expected to donate; please just be our guest!
If you are visiting on a Sunday morning, the church will be holding the first and most important meeting of the week. It is called the “Breaking of Bread” or the “Remembrance.” The first term describes what is done; the second term says why it is done (see 1 Cor.11:23-26) . Let’s expand on that so you’ll know what to expect.
Jesus has directed His followers to use bread and wine in a ceremony in memory of Him; He gave the example and we follow it today. Accordingly one of the men in the church will first take the loaf from the table at the front of the hall and give thanks to God for it and for what it symbolizes; then he will break the loaf. It will then be distributed to the others. The Bible records that Jesus did this when establishing the Remembrance and intended His actions to be an example for us.
The same applies to the wine and it is likewise circulated to all those in the Church. By the way, the word ‘Church’ is used here to describe the people: those who have formally joined the Church of God in Mount Forest, not the building we are all in.
So far, we will have spent about 20-30 minutes with one man leading the church. After this there is a period of about 30 minutes of singing and prayers led spontaneously by any of the men in the Church. It would be inappropriate for visitors to take a lead in these activities, but please join in the singing if you wish. If we have room to do so, we usually stand while hymns are being sung (including the singing of the ‘amen’ which follows some of the hymns), but if space is really tight we might indicate that we should remain seated.
You will no doubt notice that the theme of the meeting concentrates on worship and thanksgiving to God for the life, death and glory of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, because the meeting is held in remembrance of Him.
At the end of this part of the meeting, announcements will be made and then we usually take a short break for refreshments, which are served in the kitchen. Then we return to our meeting room for a 30 minute Bible study by a chosen speaker. Please stay to enjoy these events.
Very rarely, an announcement on some confidential issue affecting only those in the Church will be indicated. If this should occur, please return to the kitchen where you can use the time to scan some of the many free publications on the hallway bookstand. But please don’t leave us until we’ve had a chance to make your acquaintance! It’s a real pleasure for us to meet neighbours and friends!
If you are visiting us at other times of the week, most of the church meetings have two features you will notice:
- Only men speak to the congregation, take part aloud in prayer or propose hymns to be sung, because the Bible teaches that women should be silent in these things during Church meetings (1 Cor.14:34).
- Only those who have formally joined the Church will lead the Church in any of its activities; again because it is believed this is what the Bible teaches (Acts 2:42).
You may also notice the following:
- The chosen speaker will usually open the meeting with a hymn and prayer.
- The speaker will rely mainly on Bible quotations to support what he says. Many people like to read the Bible passages the speaker refers to, but if you do not have a Bible with you, don’t worry! You can either borrow one from the bookstand in the lobby or simply listen as it is read.Some speakers use the King James version of the Bible, others use a more modern version; therefore you may notice some differences in the text from the version you are reading. Whatever version is used, it is the speaker’s role to explain Bible truth clearly. Should you be unclear on anything that’s said or read, please discuss it with the speaker after the meeting. You can be sure he will really appreciate your interest. Questions on any of these practices or any other issues will be welcome, especially if you want to know why things are done here differently from other churches you may have attended. For instance, you might want to know why women in the church wear head coverings at certain times. Or you may be interested about why we do not rely on musical accompaniment in our church meetings.Please just approach one of the men who took any part in the meeting you have attended. You can be sure of a friendly and helpful response to any of your questions.