We gather every Sunday at 11am at 1425 NE Dekum St.
We know that stepping into any new environment for the first time can be a little intimidating. This is just as true of a church as it is of anywhere else. For this reason we want to give you an idea of what you can expect when you come, though there should be no major surprises during the 75-90 minute service as we simply do the things Christian churches in every part of the world have done for 2,000 years.
When You Arrive
When you arrive you will see a large “Welcome” sign on the corner of NE 15th and NE Dekum. You will also see sandwich board signs guiding you toward our parking area. In the event that those spaces are filled you are welcome to park anywhere in the neighborhood.
As you enter into the building through either the front entrance or the parking lot entrance you’ll be greeted by someone in an Emmaus t-shirt who will hand you a bulletin. Inside that bulletin is a program listing out all we’ll be doing that night in the order of service.
If you have any children between the ages of 0 and 9 you may choose to check them into our children’s community where they will sing some songs, do some crafts, and learn about Jesus with other kids from our trained and trustworthy staff, each of whom has gone through extensive background checks. The greeters in the Emmaus t-shirts can direct you toward the appropriate check-in location.
At this point feel free to grab a seat anywhere in the sanctuary or visit the hospitality table on the opposite side of the room for free coffee, hot chocolate, or tea that you can take to your seat. Then simply make yourself comfortable until we officially begin the service.
Once the Service Begins
The service will begin with a team of musicians and singers singing a song to Jesus and/or about Jesus. As they do so many people will sing along, some will stand, some will bow their heads in prayer, some will remain seated and simply listen. We invite you to participate in whatever way you are comfortable. If you want to get an idea for how our music might sound when you visit you can stream or download some free original songs from our website.
Welcome/Call to Worship
After our opening song a member of our church will grab a mic and welcome everyone to the worship gathering. During this time you may hear a few important announcements about what is going on in the Emmaus community and hear some specific details about how the service will unfold that night. The speaker will then invite us all to continue worshiping God through song.
Songs of Praise and Worship
The service will continue with two more songs to Jesus and/or about Jesus. As always, we invite you to participate in whatever way you are comfortable or simply listen and observe.
After a song or two one of our pastors will come forward and pray for roughly 5 minutes. The focus of this prayer will be tied to whatever the theme of the sermon is that night or to whatever is going on in the church community or city at large. The pastor will begin by expressing adoration to God, he will then transition into a time of confession on behalf of the people, followed by an expression of thanksgiving for who God is and what he has done, and concluding with a time of supplication — making requests on behalf of people inside and outside of the Emmaus community. Most people sit and listen or pray along silently during this time.
For the next 35-45 minutes we listen to a sermon from one of the leaders of the church. The preacher will read a section of the Bible and then explain what it means and why it matters for our lives today. The emphasis is always on learning more about Jesus because this is the reason the Bible was written. If you want to get an idea of what these sermons sound like before visiting you can stream or download them from our website.
Time of Response
After God has spoken to us through his words in the Bible we take time 15-20 minutes to respond to what we’ve heard. There are four basic elements to this portion of the service and your participation in each of them is entirely optional.
- Songs of Praise and Worship. The musicians and singers will return to the stage to sing several songs that tie into the theme of the sermon. This gives our congregation an opportunity to celebrate what we’ve just learned about God by singing to him and about him together. As before, everyone participates in this differently and you are free to do so in whatever way is comfortable for you.
- Communion/The Lord’s Supper. Before Jesus died he shared a final meal with his closest friends and he gave them specific instructions to continue eating this meal until he returns to the earth a second time. This meal is often called Communion, or the Lord’s Supper, or the Eucharist. At Emmaus, it consists of bread (representing Jesus’ body which he gave for us) and grape juice (representing Jesus’ blood which he spilled for us). These elements are placed on a table so that Christians who wish to remember Jesus’ death and what it means can do so by eating the meal at any time while the musicians and singers are leading us in song. Those who are not Christians or who for other reasons wish not to participate choose to simply not go forward to the table.
- Prayer. After hearing from God during the sermon it is common for people to want to respond to what they’ve learned either by praying themselves or by receiving prayer from others. As the congregation sings some will silently pray from their seats while others will approach our prayer team, standing against the side wall, and share their request for prayer with someone of the same sex. That person will then quietly and privately pray for the other on the spot.
- Giving. Toward the conclusion of the service someone will come forward and invite the members of Emmaus to worship God through financial giving. The members of the church do this as a way of expressing their gratitude for all that God has given them and as a way of keeping the church’s mission moving forward. These free-will offerings are collected by ushers who pass baskets down each row. Visitors and those who are not Christians are not asked or expected to participate in this portion of the service.
Finally, one of the pastors will conclude the service with a benediction (a “good word”), pronouncing a blessing on all who are gathered. At that time the formal service is over. Many will stay behind to enjoy conversation. We invite you as a visitor to stop by the visitor table to receive a free gift of your choice and meet the preaching pastor if you desire.