What to Expect When Worshiping with Us
Christian churches vary widely from one to another. There are differences in theology and teachings, differences in organizational structure, and differences in worship styles. But we have in common a belief in one God and one Savior, Jesus Christ.
Our congregation is theologically conservative, believing in and seeking to follow God as revealed in the Bible, which we believe to be his Word. Our heritage is Protestant, but we would feel more comfortable without divisive denominational labels. We simply want to be Christians, following our Lord Jesus Christ as we see his early disciples doing in the Bible. So if a person wants to be part of our fellowship, we don’t require adherence to a denominational creed or baptism into a specific church. If we are all following Jesus, if we are all baptized into Jesus, then we are brothers and sisters in Christ.
Different church denominations have different organizational structures. They range from complex, rigid, hierarchical organizations, like the Catholic Church, to the very simple and informal, as in small, independent house churches. And of course, there is a whole spectrum in between.
The first churches were gatherings of Christians, often in homes, with a simple organization. The Bible explains how elders were to lead each congregation. Depending on local needs, other roles, such as deacons (or servants), were also used. Each member used their own special abilities—gifts from God—to serve the church in particular ways.
Our congregation is also organized very simply, perhaps similarly to the early churches. We are just a group of Christians that meets in České Budějovice to worship God, encourage each other in the faith, and serve the community in the name of Christ. We are such a new, small congregation, that so far there has been no need for a more complex structure. As a congregation, we are autonomous, meaning we can read the Bible and interpret God’s word for ourselves, discern God’s will for us, and make our own decisions about how to serve our community. That being said, we do belong to a greater fellowship of churches throughout the country and the world, and our congregational vitality and spiritual lives are enriched by our relationships with Christian brothers and sisters from other congregations.
Christians regularly meet together to worship God. We do serve a great God who is worthy of worship, so we meet on Sundays to praise him, pray together, study his Word, and eat the Lord’s Supper to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus, which reconciles us to God and saves us.
If you come from a Christian background, you probably have certain expectations about worship based on your experiences. If you do not have experience in Christian churches, then you may or may not have expectations about worship. But you probably have a lot of questions. We’ll tell you a little bit about how worship looks with us.
We believe that God allows a lot of freedom in how his people worship him. The Bible gives commands or examples of many ways that we should worship, but even within them, there is room for variation. From reverent to joyful, from short to lengthy, from formal to informal, there are a range of styles, depending on the personality of the congregation or on the mood of the worshipers, and all these styles can be beautiful to God and uplifting to the worshipers.
Worship with our congregation is relatively informal. We sing songs of praise and encouragement together, without the need for instrumental accompaniment. We have a lesson from the Bible and spend some time in prayer. And we eat bread and drink grape juice or wine, which symbolize and remind us of the body and blood of Jesus in his death and resurrection. We share about God’s work in our lives and encourage one another in living out our Christian faith. Our meetings take place in the cozy main room of the Křesťanské centrum Ratolest. In addition to our time of worship, we usually have a children’s Bible class that meets in an adjacent room an hour before the main assembly.
Everyone is invited to come worship God with us! We will welcome you warmly and be genuinely glad that you are with us. We believe that a church is the people, not a meeting place or a liturgy. So at our meetings we enjoy spending time just talking with one another and being part of each other’s lives. We also believe in unity in diversity. We may come from different backgrounds, but we are one family in Christ. We each have different personalities and experiences and abilities and opinions, and that makes the church stronger as we each use our strengths for the benefit of the whole body. You have a place here. God can use your own unique talents and perspectives to bless the rest of us, even as we strive to serve and bless you.