What is an Evangelical church like?(18 Posts)
Different Evangelical Churches believe and worship in different ways, what suits one person would not always suit another person. The core beliefs would be the same (check out the Evangelical Alliance website which used to at least show the core beliefs), but 'Free' Evangelical Churches are run by their members lead usually by a Team of Leaders (or Elders in my Church at least) and sometimes but not always have a full time worker.
Our Church has women who lead groups, prayer meetings and preach. We welcome visitors who might only come once, come now and again or chose us as their new church.
I don't think tithing has been mentioned in the Church for years, an offering bag is passed around, but people are free to pass it on without putting money in and a lot of people do.
Communion is held every week, but not always in the Family Service, sometimes in the smaller earlier service.
Some people have come to us from other churches, and it is the belief in God which makes you a Christian, not if you have been confirmed or had a full emersion baptism as an adult, and I would hope that no one is make to feel like they have to do it our way or else.
But our church is not for everyone, people should try a few different churches before they find the one that is right for them, and people needs change at different stages of their lives and what is right now might not be right in 5 years time.
Listen, I personally have had some bizarre experiences in evangelical churches. They do cater really well for most groups, often with a special emphasis on kids and teens. They often come in a very glossy package that is 'relevant' to 'now' but once you've scratched the surface you usually find a high demand for enormous tithes plus a very middle class materialistic ethos is usually what's carrying them. As a former Catholic myself I was told what to think' encouraged to believe OK'DC never truly been a Christian (even though I'd attended church and had a faith my whole life) and encouraged to be re-baptised THEIR WAY. This was in the New Frontiers denomination. This is a large faction of evangelical churches - often the lkargesdt one in your town may be NF or otherwise AOG who are v similar in approach - and NF officially give women NO OFFICIAL VOICE in their organisation. The teachings on women in these churches are extreme-- I was shouted down and treated like a freak when I turned down as knitting pattern at a home group (a lot of time and coercive energy goods into encouraging girls to be Proverbs women-- which granted contains some good values but mainly OK involves being a "submissive wife"-- I'm not kidding). These churches as also preach a lot of as thing called the Prosperity Gospel which means fusing the West's obsession with money and riches with various Bible passages (all from the Old Testament) encouraging the congregation to give more & more in tithes and offerings. Thge first thing my old New Frontiers pastor did when I joined his church was ask for my bank details (which I refused setting mine up on a course of being label led a rebel- purely cos I'm not a doormat). A few months later I realised he drove a sports car and sent his kids to private schools. Whereas my bro in law's parents who are both C of E vicars who used to pastor as terrible council estate have been driving a Volvo with the wing mirror taped onto it for 20 years. Overall I we would urge caution. C of E evangelicals are far more regulated and uh underpinned by moire orthodox sensible values but they are still doing the whole wealthy middle class rock music cool facilities thing...and having hasd a tour of all these churches in two counties during my 20s I am forced to conclude that I have barely seen any working class or people struggling financially in any of these churches, even though they like you to think that's what they are there for. Sorry to be a downer but all the above is true. Along with pestering you for a committment, cash and...in my case even telling me what I was or was not allowed to put on my Facebook status. Be careful!!
Thanks thegreen and everyone else who took the time to reply on here.
I've haven't been to the church for a service yet. I took some of my kids to a wee club in it the other day.
Think I am anxious that I may go and not like it and or feel pressured to go back. I will think further on the matter.
Thanks, I always was crap at history.
Because the Church of England is both catholic (small c) and reformed. Not Roman Catholic and not Protestant but a bit of both. Mostly comes down to our history in the English and European reformation.
thegreenheartofmanyroundabouts - can you please explain how the C of E is not protestant?
bountyicecream's church sounds great and like many evangelical churches I know.
Evangelical is fairly broad brush and whilst the majority are as bountyicecream describes you will find some that are 'high and dry' and showing their protestant roots by using the prayer book and the old hymns. A fair number of evangelical churches near to me are not charismatic which is a whole different stream.
To pick up on mrsmiggins post - Jehovah's witnesses and Mormon are not mainstream Christian as they do not hold to the Nicene Creed. The Alpha course comes from Holy Trinity Brompton which is a C of E Church and the C of E is not protestant. The author is in the evangelical stream but I've known it run in all sorts of C of Churches and I suspect other denominations.
I hope the OP managed to get to the church she was thinking of and that it was welcoming.
My local evangelical church is lovely. Normal friendly people. Relaxed attitude. Jeans and a jumper, kids can make noise. Songs rather than hymns, piano guitars and drums rather than organ. Communion as described above. Sermons are relevant, interesting, not pious and may well include video clips. Members do some outreach and lots of community minded stuff. They want to share what they believe, but not ram it down your throat. They are sharing it because they want to offer people the opportunity to experience what they do, not because they need to save people or gain brownie points. You are just as likely to have a chat about the football or latest film, as the holy stuff
Evangelicalism covers many types of christianity- it is a dynamic type of faith which usually involves being "born again" and the dogma to "spread good news" , pass the word and try to save as many as possible.
It does include many Baptist, Charismatic, Mormon, Lutherian, Jehohovah Witnesses, extends too to the current Protestant "Alpha Course" Christians.
Take your pick amongst the mixed up bunch.
That sort of thing is part of the charismatic scene although some charismatics are evangelical. I didn't think Baptists went in for that sort of thing but obviously some do!
Can't say about others but my sister is an evangelical Baptist Pastor.
Services at her church are very full -on including people being healed, talking in tongues, fainting, seeing the light, shaking and quivering.
Pretty much like the church scene in Borat movie.
That's great. And if they saw lots of people from school they will have enjoyed it too.
Hope you had a good Christmas.
I went with my children and dh to our Catholic Church for their vigil Christmas mass. I really enjoyed it and saw lots of families from the children's school.
Thanks for all the replies. Will try the Evangelical church after New Year.
mass will not be called mass it will be holy communion or the Lord's supper, also evangelicals do not believe in transubstantiation they believe the bread and wine are symbolic and remain bread and wine, the wine may or may not be alcoholic
trickydickie there are a lot of evangelical churches, they could be Anglican (C of E), Baptist or Free church etc. If it is Baptist or Free Church you may find that the communion is called Lord's Supper and that the 'wine' (which may be grape juice) is serviced in tiny glasses! Very different if you are not used to them. You will also find that the communion is not celebrated very often, maybe only once a month. Where as at an Anglican church it may be once a week.
For wider views on what evangelical means you could check out Wickepedia.
Also the Evangelical Alliance, www.eauk.org/connect/about-us/what-is-an-evangelical.cfm
Although I am an evangelical and would not agree with everything from the Evangelical Alliance.
So to be honest there will be (as with all other types of churches) quite a wide variety of ways people express their faith and their views. It is always good when you find you like the people and find connection with them.
Hope you enjoy the service and the church.
Thank you. Not sure the Carol service will be on now as it was suppose to be outside. I will try the family Christmas service tomorrow morning.
You won't find the carol service any different from any other carol service.
It will then depend on whether it is CofE, one of the mainstream protestant groups, or something different. If one of the former, the following is prob true.
For the family service, it will depend on whether it is a communion or not. If it is a communion, you will find it pretty similar to the Mass, no Hail Mary, but the order will be similar and your pre sheet will give you the words. Prob more carols and hymns..
If not a communion, it will be a mixture of carols, a sermon ( homily) suitable for children and prayers.
I have read about it's beliefs on the internet. I am a lapsed Catholic but attended mass every week up until the age of 20. Am now 43.
I don't really like my local Catholic Church. I have been going to various clubs for my kids in my local Evangelical church for a few years. I have got to know some of it's members and really like them. Really like how inclusive it seems.
Will I be surprised by how different it is to a Catholic service.I'm thinking of going to the Carol service today and maybe the family service on Christmas Day.
Any advice for what happens during a service greatly welcome.
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