If you're outgoing and gregarious by nature, you tend to plunge right in without a lot of advance preparation. Discovering Grace will be a wonderful experience. But if you're more reserved, you might want to know what to expect up front. This guide will answer some of the big questions about what visiting Grace is like.
when should i arrive?
Our Sunday morning worship services begin at 10:00 am. If you arrive a few minutes early, you can pour yourself some coffee and get to know people. You are also welcome to go straight into the sanctuary and find a seat.
In September 2017, Grace will be launching Sunday School prior to our worship services. Our classes will begin at 9:00 am.
where is grace located?
Grace is located in the first floor of the FCA Building at 1601 E. 69th Street, right at the intersection of 69th and Cliff Ave on the southeast side of Sioux Falls. Here's a map to help you find us:
Does it matter what I wear?
Honestly, dress however you want. We know that the dress code at some churches is pretty formal, while the dress code at others is doggedly casual. At Grace we don't want to have a dress code. Just come as you are -- formal, casual, in-between -- and you'll fit right in.
what about my children?
Children are always welcome at Grace. In fact, we have about a fifty/fifty ratio of children to adults, which keeps things lively. There’s something beautiful about families worshipping together, about generations coming into God’s presence as one people. That's why Grace welcomes worshipers of all ages.
parents with young children
We love having young children in worship. We want them to feel at home in the presence of God, and to learn how to worship by emulating you. Sit where you can easily hear and see, and if children have questions, you can quietly explain what is happening. Above all, relax. If your children wiggle or make noise, don’t feel self-conscious -- that’s part of being a child, after all. We understand, and we are delighted to have your whole family here to worship with us.
Parents of infants are always welcome to keep their babies with them in the sanctuary. We also have a video feed of the service in the lounge should you wish to step out. Our nursery is open throughout the service, too, ready to care for your young ones while you’re in the service.
It’s good for children to be in the worship service. They learn much more through the liturgy and what they hear than you may realize. Just prior to the sermon, we give children the option of being dismissed to children’s church, where we focus specifically on age-appropriate discipleship.
what should i expect during the service?
The order of worship
As you enter the sanctuary, pick up one of our printed programs. We call this the Order of Worship. Everything you’ll need to follow along with the service — songs, readings, Scripture texts — is included. Afterward, you can take the booklet with you and you will be able to reflect on parts of the service throughout the week.
You will notice that our services have a liturgical structure. Every church, intentionally or not, uses some kind of structure in worship. At Grace we try to be very intentional about every aspect of worship. The first time you worship with us, you may find the density of the service, the involvement of the congregation, and the Scripture saturation a lot to keep up with. Once you get the hang of it, however, you will be surprised how rich and meaningful the experience of worship becomes.
There is a lot of prayer at Grace. During the service, we will pray to confess our sins. An officer of the church will offer intercessory prayer on behalf of the congregation. And afterward, we invite you to pray along with one of our volunteers.
In Scripture, God teaches us how to worship. We don’t have to make it up — in fact, we shouldn’t. Singing psalms and songs of praise, lifting our voices in prayer, hearing the words of Scripture proclaimed and expounded, celebrating the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, these are the ways we worship God in spirit and truth. Our liturgy focuses on these elements. You will notice that the first third of the service centers on more grace, with personal and corporate confessions of sin and the assurance of pardon. The middle of the service brings more depth, especially in the reading and teaching of Scripture. The final portion builds more community as we confess our faith together and come forward to receive communion.
Our liturgical worship allows Grace to worship with more intention and greater depth. At the same time, because a formal structure can lend itself to stiffness, we strive to be free and informal in the way we practice the forms of worship.
should i take communion?
Our worship is a ministry of Word and Sacrament. Once you hear the word proclaimed from Scripture, you will witness and, if you are a believer, participate in the “visible word” of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.
Who should come forward? Communion is an occasion for all baptized Christians to meet with their Savior by faith, to be strengthened and renewed by him, and celebrate him. All who trust alone in Christ as Savior and Lord, belong to a church that embraces the Gospel, are at peace with their neighbor, and seek strength to live more faithfully, are welcome to come forward.
If you are not a Christian, or if you choose not to share in this meal, we invite you to spend this time in prayer.
is grace conservative or liberal?
To be honest, we’re not trying to be either one. Our goal is to be a faithful, biblical church. Of course, when you do that, you will seem too conservative to some, and too liberal to others. What we can assure you of is this: whatever your politics, whatever your theological convictions, the Bible is going to challenge them.