Thanks for being interested in visiting our home congregations. It is best to talk with a pastor prior to your visit because the home used for the meeting may change, or we may be gathering with the other congregations that week. This larger gathering usually takes place every six to eight weeks at a retreat center in the Northland, but sometimes it is at other locations. A pastor may also want to meet with you in person before your visit.
On occasion, the home congregations are so full that a visit will have to be arranged at another time, or with a different home congregation. However, we normally enjoy “squeezing in” more people among us. Remember that our meetings are rather long (typically two hours or more) followed by a meal. You may want to give young children a snack prior to coming.
Should I bring food?
Please come as our guest the first time without bringing food. After that, you may bring something to share for our meal. Eating together is an enjoyable and important part of our evening, so please plan to stay for the meal on the very first Sunday you visit.
What should I wear?
Most of us dress casually, and we all try to be modest.
What about children?
We love them! The children are seated with their parents for the meeting itself. Some of the congregations have childcare for preschool-age children, managed by the parents for a portion of the meeting. This is optional, but helpful for some families, because the meeting is long and the teaching time demands everyone’s undivided attention.
May we bring relatives or friends?
Yes, but it is best to let the pastor of the congregation know. We want to be sure that our homes are set up for all who will attend. It may also help for you to know the intent of our meetings. Though we make considerable efforts to evangelize outside of these meetings, we design our congregational meetings mainly to edify believers, and to help genuine seekers who have earnestly expressed a desire to know more about Christ. You will want to keep that in mind if you bring others. Any person, converted or not, will be welcome, but the real purpose of the meetings should be understood.
Will you always meet in homes?
We are planning to continue to grow and multiply home congregations around the city. It is not our intention to own or rent a sanctuary for our weekly meetings. This does not mean that we think churches that meet otherwise are wrong, but only that our church believes we have been led by God to meet this way. We do use a rented space for certain events, such as our larger gatherings every six to eight weeks, and other special meetings as needed. In fact, we typically meet once or twice a year in a renovated barn at Weston Bend State Park! Here is more information: Why Meet In Homes?
Are there other meetings of the church I may attend?
Yes, we have additional Bible studies and occasional meetings of other types. For instance, men and women have alternating six-week studies meeting on Wednesday evenings for two hours in one of the homes. The older youth meet at the same home as the adults every week for their study. Check with the pastor of the home congregation you attend to know these options and locations.
What if I live far away?
Some members drive a considerable distance to attend our meetings. In general, however, it is more difficult for members to be far apart. Our church specializes in sharing our lives together. Long distances may put an additional strain on the family. Some of our families have moved closer in order to enjoy the shared life we experience. As the church grows, we hope that home congregations will be closer to people in all areas of the city. On occasion, we might suggest that attending another church near you is a better option. All of our members must be active and involved. This is part of our covenant together.
Where may I find information about joining Christ Fellowship?
Information about joining the church is available both on this website and through the pastors. If you are interested, please discuss your desires with the pastor of the congregation you attend in order to know what is involved.
How long may I visit?
We encourage guests to consider attending no more than three or four months before determining whether or not they wish to join. During this time we hope that you will discuss the implications of membership with a pastor. If there are unique reasons to extend that time, you may discuss this with the pastor as well. We enjoy having guests, but we do believe there are sound reasons for not permitting indefinite attendance without commitment to the body for those who profess to be believers.
In our view, it is God’s will for each guest, if a believer, to commit to a local church within a reasonable period of time. Delaying that commitment unnecessarily will eventually mean that the believer has become disobedient to God. We don’t want you to be in that position. Our church takes membership seriously. Therefore it is not possible to remain indefinitely among us without making biblical commitments to the church, and us to you. We do hope that four months is sufficient time to discover God’s will about joining. You may wish to read, Why Join a Church, which explains our reasoning about membership. In some cases pastors will need to talk about the issue of baptism prior to membership.
Until a guest is in membership with our church, he or she is outside of our sphere of church discipline. Though we hope no one needs this discipline, it is biblical for all believers to be in relationship with a church that will lovingly carry out Christ’s command to discipline as needed. It is neither safe nor helpful to you or the church to live your Christian life apart from this protection. Our discipline statement can be found here.
If you have further questions, the pastors and members are ready to help. Thank you for considering a visit to Christ Fellowship.