Our Sunday morning gathering is when we get together to worship God. It's not the only time - we find Him at work in all sorts of ways during the week, and I hope most of us give voice to our praise. But being together matters. It's that time when each of us lift our hearts toward God and in turn, lift each other.
Here's what you can expect.
Casual Dress - wear what you want to wear. We're mostly casual, but if you wear a suit we won't make you preach. In fact you'll see everything from die-hard Florida natives wearing shorts in January to our chairman of deacons probably in a suit. It's just not an issue here. It's all about God.
Music that moves you - We enjoy modern praise and worship music along with some favorite gospel hymns - music that is soul-food. God-focused, God-honoring music leads people into a deeper experience of worship, and that is exactly where we want to go each week.
Teaching from the Bible that applies to real life - One scholar said that when you preach, you should have the Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other. Well, that was 100 years ago, but now we project the Scriptures overhead, and use video and multimedia to help today's hearers understand God's heart.
We use the New Living Translation in our worship gatherings. If you need a Bible that accurately delivers the truth of the orginal manuscripts in today's English, then pick up an NLT. Oh, and take it home. That's what they are there for. We buy another case each time we need to replace those our guests have taken. Here's what some people have said about the NLT.
The NLT second edition was put together by a dream team of scholars and linguists and gives us a Bible that is thoroughly reliable and eminently readable. It allows the Scriptures to speak with fresh vitality.John Ortberg Menlo Park Presbyterian Menlo Park, California
Studying and teaching from the New Living Translation second edition provides refreshing insights from a translation with high credibility.I recommend it to both Christ followers taking their first steps of faith and seasoned veterans on their spiritual journey.Gene Appel Willow Creek Community Church South Barrington, Illinois
If there's a need to use other versions to bring out the truth in a way to relate to today clearly, we'll do that. But what we are really after is to help people get from where they are now - wherever that is - to where God wants them to go. The NLT is a good Bible to begin with. Later down the road, maybe another version with a more literal - word for word - focus will be helpful. The NLT is a great balance of both.