What to expect

We don’t try to make things messy, but if we are honest, things are often messy. Prim and proper are not our forte. Part of this is because we have lots of young families. Part of this is because we don’t see Jesus as a fan of formality. That said, we have not had any live donkeys or palm branches in our worship gatherings…yet.

We don’t try to be novel, but we are ok with “switching it up” if we sense we are supposed to depart from what is normal or typical for a gathering. That could mean changing anything from the order of service to the configuration of the seats. Structure is important, but people are more important. People don’t serve structures; structures are meant to serve people. This is part of what Jesus was talking about when he said, “Sabbath was meant for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

We celebrate the freedom we have in Christ and long to see increasing measures of freedom in our worship gatherings and freedom in the use of spiritual gifts to edify the body (where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom!). That said, we also acknowledge that God is a God of order. If someone has a word of prophecy to share (particularly if the person is fairly new to the church), it is important to share it with the pastor or one of the leaders before speaking it publicly.

We acknowledge that the believers in Acts devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, prayers, giving generously, and ministering to the Lord in worship, and all of these things are emphasized to a greater or lesser degree in our gatherings.

While a typical gathering will include a time of corporate worship, some sort of story or testimony time, and then children and adults breaking into groups for age-appropriate teaching, there are some Sundays when we all stay together for the whole gathering time and then have a potluck lunch afterward.

If you are looking to be a fly on the wall, this is not the church for you. We value people more than their gifts, so we are careful not to exploit people and “use them” for ministry, but we also believe that every member of the body has a contribution to make, so we are always encouraging people to connect and not remain isolated.

We have also been impressed recently by the fact that the Early Church in the book of Acts met for public gatherings that often centered on one person teaching, but also met in homes where they broke bread, shared with one another, cared for one another, prayed together, and used their spiritual gifts to build one another up. Our conviction is that these house gatherings were not just add-ons, but were an integral part of the life of the church and were key to its multiplication. Because of this conviction, Vernon House of Faith does not only meet on Sunday mornings, but we are also beginning to meet in homes and are seeking the Lord further for what this is supposed to look like as we move forward.

Our aim is that every person who walks in the door to our gatherings (whether on a Sunday on in homes during the week) will encounter Jesus—either in the worship, the word, or through an encounter with one of our members. It is not our goal to snag people to increase numbers. It is Jesus who builds his church, and in his infinite wisdom he knows every individual person and every individual church body and he is responsible to knit people together.

We can give you snapshots of what to expect if you come to our gatherings, but it’s our conviction that being grafted in to any church family is ultimately a process directed by the Holy Spirit more than by personal preferences and relational dynamics. So the best way to see if our church is for you is to come and see whether or not Jesus is nudging you to be joined to this house of faith.