Visiting a church for the very first time can make anyone anxious. Where do I go? What do I wear? What time do I show up? Where do I sit? What’s here for my kids? What can I expect? These and many more questions can come to mind and may make you feel like staying at home rather than braving the uncertain. So, here at Heathcote Engadine Baptist Church (HEBC), we want to put your mind at ease and make your first visit to the church refreshing, friendly, and enjoyable for you and your family. We want you to experience inspiring music, helpful teaching and preaching, friendly people and a place where you feel welcome and “at home!” Here are a few answers to your FAQs about what you might expect on your first visit.
Many people who are thinking of attending a church for the first time often believe that they can’t because they are not perfect or that they are just too “bad” for church and because of this, any attempt to go to church may mean they will be struck by lightning (or smite by God). Well, odds are in your favour. In Australia, there’s about a 1 in 1.6 million chance of being struck by lightning, regardless of whether you’re going to church for the first time or you go every Sunday. So to about 1.59 million people we can say absolutely not, although, you’ll certainly be safer inside the church than outside when in a thunderstorm.
At HEBC we don’t have a particular dress code for our members and guests, and generally on Sundays we are greeted with a variety of styles of clothing. There is no specific correct attire but we think it makes sense to wear nice, clean, modest clothing to church. As long as you do this you will not feel out of place.
Yes. During the family service at 10am, many members of the church help run children’s activities and bible teaching for all aged kids until the end of the service. We have a separate crèche for children four years of age and under; a Sunday school, called QWave, for kids in primary school; and a teen program, called Reality, for all high school aged children. These run throughout school terms.
You may sit wherever you wish. Usually, the first row in the church building is reserved for the music team and the Pastors, but you can even come and take a seat with them at the front if you wish, as they do not take up every seat. However, we know it can be daunting to sit all the way at the front. If you have any problems with finding a good seat, you can ask the two or three people located at the door where is a good place to sit.
Each week there are three services: 8am, 10am and 6:30pm. The early service is of a more fixed length and you will always find many of our seniors in the congregation, while the 10am service includes a number of families with young children. The 6:30pm service is slightly more contemporary and includes both students and young adults. Regardless of which you choose to attend and which suits your lifestyle, all services have a strong focus on the Word of God. Generally, in each service we sing several songs of praise, speak a few prayers, share some announcements of relevance to the church community, receive an offering, and hear a message from the Bible. On occasions we have a question time after the Bible message, where members and guests in the congregation can speak directly to the Pastors to ask something from the service or any previous sermon.
No, you are not expected to take part in anything that you don’t wish to be involved in. We do not invite you to HEBC for your offering, so do not feel obligated to participate in the collection as a guest. We also want you to feel as comfortable as possible and we hope you will find in our church a warm family spirit, truth from God’s Word and a place where you can grow in God’s grace.
If there’s something we missed on this list, just give us a call, or ask someone when you arrive. Whether you’re new to the area and looking for a church home, or if it’s been a long time since you’ve attended church at all, we hope your first visit at HEBC will be awesome! We exist to serve you and your family, and we are looking forward to meeting you personally. We hope you’ll feel right at home from the very first moment you step into our building! Let us know how we can serve you better, and we hope to meet you this Sunday!