At Northside, we believe that Christianity, like life, is not just a Sunday morning event, but a journey. At the same time, every journey has to have a starting place. For those who are curious about Christianity in general or Northside in particular, Sunday morning is a great starting place. Here’s what you can expect from our Sunday Morning Worship Assemblies.
We do have some variation in our routine so review out Worship/Class Times before visiting.
When you get here, you’ll notice that the best parking spots aren’t reserved for the preacher and staff or even for the members, they’re for you! If, however, the spaces closest to the building are already taken, you may park anywhere you prefer. On Sunday mornings, we usually have attendants in the parking lot to point you in the right direction. If you need help with handicapped parking, please drive to the smaller lot on the WEST (Hwy 281) side of the building.
When you walk through the doors you’ll see people just like you: health professionals, students, stay at home moms, shift workers, engineers, businessmen, and women. You’ll see people from all walks of life, dressed in everything from casual to business casual attire. Please feel free to sit anywhere you choose because there are no reserved seats.
When you attend a worship assembly at Northside, you will not be singled out in any way unless you make it known that that is your desire. However, we often do engage in what we call our “Two-Minute Warming” where we greet one another. Our hope is that you will feel welcomed.
One of the first things you may notice as you enter our auditorium is the use of the large projection screens at the front. The screens are used to project the songs we sing and sermon notes during each assembly. We also project important announcements and news for our church family before and after each assembly.
One of the unique things you’ll notice about most Churches of Christ is that the music is “acapella.” This means that we sing without the accompaniment of musical instruments. We usually all sing together as our Song Leader leads us. Worshiping in this way is our chosen tradition and we hope you’ll join us.
You may notice that there are a few singers in our assembly whose voices are amplified using microphones. This is our “Worship Support Ministry.” We use this group to help our members pick out the specific parts of each song (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, or Bass) and to teach our members new songs.
Occasionally, this small group may lead from the front or they may sing alone to help us focus on some particular aspect of our worship together. The whole purpose of this ministry is to support, and not overshadow, the congregational singing that is so important to us. But you don’t have to be a wonderful singer to participate! Please feel free to join in on any song that is sung at Northside.
We hope you will find this type of praise to be uplifting and beautiful.
There are usually a number of prayers led during each assembly because we believe God’s people should be in constant communication with Him. We talk to God and share our praise and dreams and requests with Him. We also pray for one another.
At some point in our assembly, one of our Shepherds (men chosen by our church family to lead us) will offer a “Shepherd’s Prayer.” This prayer is another tradition at Northside. You see, we realize that life is a struggle and that we all face various challenges and sorrows as we move through it. Our “Shepherd’s Prayer” is a time when we pause to pray specifically for those who are suffering in any way.
The Lord’s Supper
In our assemblies on Sunday mornings, the Lord’s Supper (or Communion) will always be included. We observe this memorial of Jesus’ death and resurrection every Sunday.
Someone usually first shares a meditation with us, words designed to help us focus on Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross. Then, following prayer, plates of bread will be passed throughout the congregation. Please feel free to break off a small piece of this bread and eat it. To us, this bread symbolizes Jesus’ body that was sacrificed on the Cross. Next, following another prayer, trays of “wine” (grape juice) will be distributed. This symbolizes the blood of Jesus. Please take one of the small cups and drink it. You may replace your empty cup in the tray. Occasionally, the person sharing the meditation may choose to only say one prayer for the bread and the cup. If this occurs, attendants will serve the bread and then the cup with no pause in between.
As we take these emblems, we are reminded of God’s love for us. He sent Jesus to be sacrificed for our sins so that we can live with Him forever! We are also reminded through the Lord’s Supper that people who have been saved are called to live in community to provide support and encouragement for one another. In essence, we are a family, created by the Cross of Jesus Christ and our faith in His ability to save us. That is also why we often sing together during both the bread and the cup – it reminds us to always focus on our shared life together in Christ.
The Lord’s Supper is available for anyone who wishes to participate. If you choose not to participate, simply pass the plate or tray to the person next to you.
Each Sunday morning we also collect a financial offering which supports the work of the Northside Church. Most times, but not always, for the sake of convenience this part of our worship is conducted at the same time as the Lord’s Supper. Northside is funded solely by these offerings and this collection is an important part of our worship to God and our time together.
If you are a guest, please do not feel you are expected to make an offering.
At the close of the sermon, an “invitation” (or “altar call” as some call it) is usually offered. At this time, we ask those requesting prayer or those who wish to join our church family to exit the auditorium and meet with our Shepherds in the atrium (look for their yellow name tags). They may invite you to move to one of the small rooms at the back of the Worship Center which provide more privacy. These rooms are specifically designated for this purpose, offering a quiet, private place for one-on-one discussion. Those who wish to become Christians by confessing their belief in Christ and being baptized for the forgiveness of their sins should also go to the back and speak with one of our ministers or one of our Shepherds.
However, if you wish to respond in any way to God’s grace by coming to the front of the auditorium, you are more than welcome to do so!
If someone wishes to be baptized, you will witness the baptism during our assembly. This is a joyous occasion for us at Northside! After the baptism, there may be applause, words of praise, and singing. This is our spontaneous celebration of joy at the birth of a new Christian.
The baptism will be by complete immersion in water to receive the forgiveness of sins and the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer (Acts 2:38; Titus 3:3-7). Baptisms do not have to occur during the assembly. A person may be baptized in any body of water and at any time, day or night.
We welcome you to participate in all aspects of our assembly, but don’t feel obligated to do so. If you wish, just observe. You are honoring us, and God, with your presence. Please fill out a Guest Card at the beginning of the assembly. This simply provides us with information so we can write or call to thank you for your visit. Feel free to decline, if you prefer. However, if you do fill out a guest card, please place it in an offering tray when they are passed. We hope you enjoy our assembly and that it is both inspirational and uplifting. We thank you for your attendance and welcome you to worship and praise God with us whenever possible.