As you approach the church on East Hanover, you'll begin to see signs that tell you where to enter. As you walk in, you’ll likely bump into some friendly people (we call them "hosts") who will greet you, offer you a program of the service (bulletin) while answering any questions you might have. If you have kids, they’ll let you know about our Sunday School classes and nursery (which are also well-marked with clear signs). If your kids are more comfortable, they're welcome to attend the adult service with you, but if they’re up for it… they’ll likely have a great time in their age appropriate classes! My two girls really love Sunday School each week.
Our Sunday School ministry (called “Vineyard Kidz”) is led by a fantastic group of people completely committed to teach and reflect God’s love to the kids. “Vineyard Kidz” begins after worship, at which time we'll invite them to join their teachers and head out to their classrooms.
You'll soon notice that everyone is dressed comfortably, in anything from "office casual" to jeans and sneakers. We want everyone to come as they are, so dress however you feel comfortable. Before entering the meeting area, you won’t be able to miss our food table… with coffee and teas, OJ, and bagels (good, hot bagels!). You'll find a guest table with more information about our church.
The service begins at 10am with about 30 minutes of contemporary music from our worship team. The lyrics of the songs are always displayed on the screen... so you can follow along. This is followed by a welcome and announcements. We don't mention or take any offerings during our services. For those who have decided to make the Vineyard their "home church," we do have a "giving" box located on the info table.
After announcements, I will begin the message. I usually speak for about 35 minutes, and I do my best to make the messages interesting, enjoyable and relevant to daily life. The message will be based on the Bible, and I will often include interesting quotes from contemporary people, songs or movies. If I do my job right, you'll hear timeless truths from the Bible that make sense for today's world. And hopefully, you'll laugh at times and maybe feel a tug at your heart too. If you'd like to listen to or read any of my past messages, please just click on the "Sermon Audio" or "Sermon Transcripts" link.
After I’ve shared my message, I typically close in prayer and invite people to reflect for a moment on how the message might intersect with their lives. People are free to sit, stand, or even come to the sides where we have trained “ministry team” folks (both men and women) who will be happy to pray for whatever you’d like. All this is done in a non-hyped, discrete manner.
The service almost always ends by 11:30am (and believe it or not, the time will fly.) After the service, your kids will be brought back into the gym. If you’re able to, feel free and stick around a few minutes… meet some people and enjoy some coffee. Church is about God and worship, but it's also about community, so it's our hope that people really experience warmth and friendliness here.
Well... that's about it. People constantly tell me that they really felt comfortable. "At home" are the words I hear most frequently. I hope you'll stop by this Sunday.