What Does the Sunday Morning Service Look Like?
The Sunday AM service begins at 10:30 and is reliably over by 12 noon. We begin with a five-minute interlude of either instrumental music or an appropriate music video which is intended to help us focus on the act of worship. This is followed by a staff greeting, recitation of the Apostles Creed, opening prayer and congregational singing. Then the Pastor brings forth the word. Several typical sermons can be found on the Sermons page.
What Musical Style Does the Congregation Worship By?
Predominantly we utilize a contemporary format with drums, violins, guitars and electric piano. We do however incorporate numerous hymns either traditional or some which are updated. All our songs have a rich theological focus.
What Is the Pastor’s Preaching Style?
Our Pastor is best described as an expository preacher, which means he pulls insight and meaning from each verse. Passionate yet doctrinally solid, sprinkled with tools which defend the faith that the worshipper can grow by and use in daily life. The Pastor provides a weekly outline and utilizes visual technology to help listeners retain the message. Several typical sermons can be found on the Sermons page.
Are the Sign Messages the Titles of the Pastor’s Weekly Sermons?
No, they are not. Though he might sometimes refer to the sign, or the sign message may be a point in the sermon, the bulk of the weekly sayings posted on the sign are simply expressions which are meant to make people think. Some are inspirational, others are humorous, many are intentionally provocative. The bulk are derived from the Pastor’s extensive reading habit.
How Is Giving Approached?
As with most churches we believe in generous giving through what some people call tithing. We believe that it is the responsibility of the people to order their finances in such a way that they become the principal means of funding the church. We also do not pass the offering plates in the service, and we try to refrain from discussing money in the services or other forms of correspondence except in times of extreme budget shortfalls.
How Often Is The Lord’s Supper Observed?
We share in Communion on the third Sunday of each month as a rule. We also have an observance on special occasions like Good Friday and Christmas Eve. On our regular observances we often share a confession for sin as part of that event.
Are there Service Opportunities in the Church?
Yes, though they are limited. Except for the Pastor’s Council which typically meets bi-monthly we have neither boards or committees. We believe the existence of such bodies can create political rivalry and infighting. We strive to keep those entities to a minimum. However, we do have service opportunities for maintaining the property, (mowing and cleaning), children’s ministries (Children’s church and nursery), and musicians/singers. We expect and encourage people to be involved in the community beyond the church.
What Outreaches Are Supported?
Unofficially many of our members have groups/missionaries that they support. From a church perspective we support/fund the following:
- Family Promise homeless ministry
- Shenandoah County Pregnancy Center
- Brandon Tusing’s CRU Ministry at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond (Formerly Campus Crusade for Christ)
- Valley Human Trafficking Initiative
- Gideons International
We stand ready to support other reputable ministries as funds are available.
Are there Other Learning Opportunities?
Yes. The women meet once monthly on Sunday evenings for a fellowship and Bible study generally reading a book of the Bible each month. The men meet twice monthly through the winter months and work through substantial studies as well.
What Children’s Programs Are Available?
We have had for several years now a concern about the quality of the instruction our children were receiving
in the Children’s Church program. Of all the children who were involved in these programs over the years, few
are in church at all today. While the fault here lies partially with parents—no church program can ever replace
parental involvement—we feel a more proactive course is called for, thus we no longer offer a Children’s Church program.
It is important for children to see their parent’s worshiping, to share communion together, hold each other
accountable to Bible teaching through discussing the sermon topics through the week, and for youth to build
relationships with adults in the congregation beyond youth and children’s workers. In some studies this relational
dimension with adults has been shown to be more effective at keeping children in church than mere youth programs.
It also provides an opportunity to demonstrate that sitting in church for an hour is as important as sitting in school for six hours. Sooner or later our youth must learn that sitting in the sanctuary, learning, at times, difficult Scriptural truth, is a part of their calling as believers as much as it is of adults.
We do offer a nursery program which is aimed at instruction for ages 0-5. In addition there are other occasional
activities which include plays/skits performed at the yearly Christmas dinner, and a Fall Festival with games, food and fun. It is simply on Sunday Mornings that we do not offer a Children’s Program.
Are Difficult, Faith Challenging Questions Welcomed?
Indeed they are. In fact, we hope this will be a hallmark of our church. We begin our monthly communion observance with a Question and Answer time in which we encourage all kinds of questions. These may be submitted in writing or orally. Occasionally the entire worship service up to the sharing of the Lord’s Supper is taken up with this endeavor. We also begin each Wednesday Bible Study with a question/comment time. In addition the Q & A is made available during our twice- yearly picnic Sundays.
Reciting The Apostle’s Creed
The reciting of the Apostle’s Creed is to assist the Christian believer to remember and take to heart the teachings of Christ and taught by the Apostle’s. It is a simple declaring of the tenets at the heart of the church stated in such away that is easy to recall but powerful in impact. Below is a link to the Apostle’s Creed and some facts about the Creed itself.
Reasoning Tree Church Is Listed On The Gospel Coalition Church Directory
The Gospel Coalition (TGC) is a network of “broadly Reformed” evangelical churches founded in 2005. The mission of TGC is to encourage and educate “current and next-generation” Christian leaders by advocating “gospel-centered principles and practices.”
The Pastor encourages any person to submit questions at any time via the church e-mail, including any not covered in this list.