You’re welcome at either of our two church services each Sunday:
9:00am Family service
People of all ages enjoy this time of worship, reflection and learning more about God. Children from birth through to grade 7 are welcome to join in children’s activities specifically organised for their age group: Nursery, Junior Kids Church and Kids Church. After the service, enjoy a chat over a cuppa during morning tea.
6:00pm Night church
If you miss a service, or would like to hear a sermon again, they are available in the sermon archive and on our podcast. If you would like a copy on CD, please talk to the data projectionist at the audio-visual desk at the back of the church immediately after the service.
What happens at church?
Where do I park?
How long do services go for?
What happens at a service?
What should I wear?
Do I need to bring a Bible?
Will I be asked to give any money?
Will I be asked to speak in front of other people?
What is ‘communion’ and do I need to participate?
What is a ‘baptism’?
What is a ‘dedication’?
I’ve got a young child who might make noise – can I still come?
What if I have difficulty in hearing?
You are welcome to park anywhere you like in the church’s carpark. A few bays are reserved (and marked) for people with a disability.
Our services generally go for 90 minutes, which includes a sermon of about 35 minutes.
When you arrive at City North, you’ll be greeted at the front door and given a newsletter that contains church news and details about upcoming events. When you enter the auditorium, you’re welcome to sit anywhere you like.
Most services start with a time of singing, which helps people to focus on the reason they came to church – to spend time with God – and to ‘praise’ Him, by confirming how great He is. A team of singers on stage lead the church in singing songs played by a band, which usually has a piano or keyboard, drums and a number of electric guitars. We sing contemporary, modern songs at our morning and evening services, and in the morning service, we usually also sing a hymn (an older style song). You don’t have to sing if you don’t know the songs or don’t want to.
During or after the singing time, someone or a few people will make some ‘announcements’ and pray. Announcements are news items for people who regularly attend the church, and may be about things the church should pray for, such as people who are unwell, or about upcoming events that people might want to come to. Some announcements are made by videos shown on the screen above the stage.
The sermon, a talk based on the Bible, will be presented by either of the pastors or a guest speaker. The speaker explains how the Bible reading applies to everyday life. Sermons are one way that Christians find out more about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and how to live as God wants us to. Usually sermons are accompanied by a presentation on the screen above the stage which emphasises the speaker’s key points.
Usually services finish with a prayer by the speaker and then another song or two.
After the morning service, morning tea is held in the area near the church kitchen, through the double doors in the church auditorium. After both services, people from church love to catch up with each other and have a chat.
‘Communion’ is a section of the service where Christians remember and celebrate Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection for them by eating a piece of bread and drinking a small glass of grape juice, to remind them of Christ’s body and blood. If you haven’t yet come to the point of believing in Christ, you do not need to participate in communion. Communion is generally celebrated in the morning service on the first Sunday of the month, and at the night service on the third Sunday of the month. In the morning service, communion is usually served to people in their seats. At the evening service, communion is usually served on tables around the auditorium which people can go to and collect it.
The church holds a baptism when someone or a few people come to a point in their relationship with God when they want to make a public expression of their faith in Christ. Baptism is a way of saying publicly that someone has turned away from their old life, and is committed to their new life with God.
During a baptism ceremony, the person being baptised gives a ‘testimony’, which is a brief talk about how God found them, and the difference that He has made in their life. After this, one of the pastors and the person being baptised will get into a tank on stage with water in it. The pastor will ask the person being baptised if they believe that Jesus died for their sins, and if the person says ‘yes’, the pastor will say that he baptises them in the name of the Father (God), the Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit, before plunging the person fully under the water for a second. There is nothing ‘special’ about the water – it symbolises that the person being baptised identifies with Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.
In a dedication ceremony, parents of a baby or a young child come before the church to publicly commit to raising that child in a way that will help them to get to know Jesus Christ as they grow up. The church also agrees to support the family in raising that child to get to know Jesus Christ, usually by standing when asked by the pastor to show their agreement. The pastor will pray for the family and the child. This does not mean that the child is now a Christian – they need to make that decision individually during their life.
Most people wear casual clothes to church.
Most of the time, Bible readings are shown via our data projector on a screen. We also have Bibles available in the church pews. It is a good idea to bring your own Bible if you have one.
During the service, some people will collect ‘the offering’. This is only for people who come to the church regularly and want to contribute to the church’s operational costs. Please do not feel any pressure to give any money if you don’t want to – just pass the offering bag onto the next person in the row.
No-one will be asked to speak in front of other people. The majority of ‘speaking’ takes place by the pastors or guest speaker on stage. Occasionally during a night service, we may break into small groups to discuss a topic. You do not need to speak if you don’t feel comfortable in this situation.
There are plenty of parents with young children at City North, and young children are welcome and catered for during our services. Many parents bring some ‘quiet’ toys to church for their children to play with during the service.
If your child becomes uncomfortable, you are welcome to go to the Parents’ Room at the back left side of the church auditorium. This sound-proofed room is equipped with some toys and baby change facilities and you can still enjoy the service watching it on a TV screen.
If you are a mother with a young child to feed, feel free to visit the mothers’ room at the back right side of the auditorium.
Alternatively, during the morning service, you can take your child to the Nursery at the back of the church (through the double doors at the front of the auditorium). The Nursery looks after children aged 0 to 3 years. If you child is aged between 3 and 12, they can either sit with you during the service, or attend Kids Church.
Hearing assistance aids are available from the sound desk at the back of the church before the service for people who may have difficulty with hearing.