We understand it can be hard to visit a church for the first time. It can seem very intimidating.
With the information below, we hope to answer some of the questions you might have before you visit. All of us at Trinity truly hope to make your visit with us relaxed and enriching.
It is our greatest hope that when you visit Trinity, you will hear about your Savior Jesus, and through his love you will find life eternal. Thank you for visiting our website and we look forward to meeting you as a guest of our church family very soon!
What is it like to worship at Trinity?
Our worship services focus on readings from God's Word—the Bible. It is in the Bible that God speaks to us. Music and singing are important parts of our worship as well. Loud or soft, in monotone or rich harmony, ancient or contemporary, all our praises are music to the Lord.
I rejoice with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.” ~ Psalm 122:1
Our worship services usually include the following parts in a variety of forms:
Throughout these different parts of our service, we praise our gracious God with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs from the entire history of God's Church.
During some services, our members partake of the Lord's Supper. On the basis of Scripture, Trinity (and all congregations of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod) practice "Close Communion." Since we do not want to put our guests in the uncomfortable position of stating their agreement with us before we’ve had a chance to explain it to them, we kindly ask that only members of WELS or ELS congregations receive the Lord’s Supper until they’ve spoken with one of our pastors. For further explanation of this practice, please contact one of the pastors.
What should I do with my children?
Church is for children too! Our congregation is much like a family with infants and kids and teens and adults and elderly. It is not unusual to hear the cry of a baby mixed in with the sound of hymns or readings.
If your young one should become too restless during worship, please feel free to take them out into the narthex (church entry) or to the “cry room,” which is located on the far south side of the church entry. An usher can direct you. There are speakers in both areas, so you’ll still be able to hear and participate in the service.
How should I dress?
The Bible presents no dress code, except for simple decency and Christian humility. We at Trinity won't make any rules either.
Like most people, our members try to make their worship time at church a special time. This is often reflected in the way they dress. Still, dress is a personal matter of worship before God. One person may dress casually and rejoice that our gracious Lord accepts us as we are, while another may dress to reflect the awe and reverence we have for our Savior King.
On any Sunday at our church you may see running shoes and heels, jeans and suits, open collars and ties. When a person dresses out of love for his or her Lord, the choice of dress, be it casual or more formal, is acceptable to God… and us.
How long is the worship service?
A typical worship service lasts about an hour.
What's the sermon going to be like?
God's Word has relevant and personal things to say to people in the 21st century. More than anything, we hope that the sermon relates God's timeless truths to the challenges you're confronting in your life today. We hope that the sermon reinforces things you already knew, teaches you something you didn't know, challenges you in your walk with Jesus, and leaves you with the peace and assurance of God's embracing love and complete forgiveness in Christ.
What about the offering?
Sometimes visitors worry about the offering. "When will they take the offering?" "How will it be collected?" "How much am I expected to give?"
As our guest, we do not expect you to contribute an offering, nor do we want to pressure you into doing so. It's important first that you listen and examine what we stand for. Support for our ministry should follow (rather than precede) an agreement with our teachings. Offerings express thankfulness to a gracious Savior. If the Lord has worked such joy and love in your heart, we rejoice. But give only as a heart-response to a loving Lord.
We pass an offering plate during the service so that our worship may include bringing gifts to God. Because offerings are a private matter of the heart, we provide offering envelopes to members for their use. Some choose to give their offerings online. A child may bring the quarters and dimes his parents give him. Someone else may write a check. All these forms of giving, again, are about expressing thankfulness to a gracious Savior.
What does it mean to be a "member"?
Membership in Jesus' church isn't like a membership at a club or a membership at Costco. There is no application to fill out, and there are no annual dues to pay. However, that doesn't mean there are no requirements for membership. Infants and children become members of the congregation when they are baptized. This means that the congregation and the pastors assume responsibility for their spiritual care.
As Christians grow and mature in our faith, we reach the point where we are ready to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Youth and adults become communicant members after they have completed a course of instruction in the basic teachings of the Bible (catechism instruction or adult membership class). Once instructed, they are able to declare publicly that they are in complete agreement with God's Word, and they are ready to receive the Sacrament. All Christians desire to be part of a fellowship of believers and receive the gifts that God has given to his church.
How can I become a member at Trinity?
Start worshiping with us! Find out the wonderful things God has to say to your heart. That's the first step. 2-3 times per year the pastors offer membership classes. This Bible Information Class takes about 15 weeks to complete. You'll enjoy a lively discussion with other participants about basic teachings of the Bible applied to real life today.
Feeling a bit apprehensive? Don't worry—we're all there to learn, and the pastors will do everything they can to help you feel comfortable. You just might find some solid friends for life! New-member classes usually start in January and September. If you can't make the regularly scheduled classes, arrangements can be made with the pastors to meet with you separately according to your schedule.
What's the worst that can happen?
Attending a church for the first time can be intimidating. The following are some common concerns:
"I would just die if they made me stand up and say something."We can assure you, we won’t embarrass you in this or any other way. We want you to feel as comfortable as possible and at home with us. Time at church should be an enjoyable and uplifting experience. We promise to do all we can so you can learn about your Savior."I know I will feel out of place."We hope this visitor's guide has helped to ease your mind, but if you have a question, please ask someone for help. Don’t hesitate to say, "I'm new here. Can you help me?" We can assure you our members are more than willing to help!"I'm afraid I'll say or do something wrong."You are not alone! All of us, at some time, have felt this way in a new situation. We hope you'll see that the people of Trinity are ordinary people like yourself. We want to accept you as you are and help you become what Christ wants you to be. We do not want to throw cold water on that with a critical spirit."I just want to watch at first, but I know they'll try to get me involved or sign me up for something."It's unpleasant to be pressured or to be part of a "membership drive" as though we were heads of cattle, isn’t it? We believe church membership should be a voluntary matter, and the most important thing of all is to trust in our Savior Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation. This takes time. People need time to evaluate and decide if they wish further involvement in a congregation. We believe we should respect that need."I don’t know that much about the Bible."Worship and Bible study are opportunities to grow in our knowledge of the Bible and faith in Jesus. You won’t have to answer any questions you don’t want to answer.“Is your church full of ‘perfect’ people?”No! Our church is a spiritual hospital. It’s not for healthy people; it’s for sick people. Jesus himself said: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick” (Matthew 9:12). Jesus is the Great Physician of our souls. So don’t come to Trinity expecting to find perfect people. We’re far from perfect! That’s why we’re at church—to be reminded that we are forgiven!
A Final Note
We pray that this "Guest Guide" has helped answer your questions and alleviate your fears. Our mission as a congregation is quite simple:
We are a family of believers, who partner together to share Christ with each other and our community by teaching God’s Word, worshiping to Christ’s glory, and leading Spirit-filled lives of service.
Everything we do is meant to accomplish this mission. We pray that there is nothing that will stand in your way from learning more about your Savior.
Our Pastors are also available for Christian counseling, for couples considering marriage, for parents seeking baptism for their children, or to answer any questions you might have. Please do not hesitate to contact one of them if there is anything we can do for you.