Visiting a church for the first time can be a little intimidating. Where do I go? Can I bring my kids? What will the music be like? Will the sermon be long and boring? Will it be obvious that I’m new? What will people be wearing? Will it be weird? Am I wasting my time only to find out that this is just not the right fit for me? These are all valid questions to ask when thinking about visiting. Here is a brief run-down of what you can expect at City Pres. If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
Parking is usually available on Beresford square behind the church or on Karangahape road and is free on Sundays. There is also a Wilson car park on Mercury Lane with a max fee of $5. Several main bus routes funnel through Karangahape road so that could also be an option.
Creche is available for babies and young children from just before the sermon until the end of the service. We take your kids’ safety very seriously and creche is only ever staffed by church members who have undergone a background check. For children, creche will involve songs and age-appropriate Bible lessons and activities.
When you arrive, there are greeters who can answer any basic questions. You’ll be given a booklet with the program for worship, including the words of songs we’ll be singing and any relevant Bible verses we’ll be thinking about. Our worship service is held in the beautiful Samoan fale, and when arriving you will notice a pretty relaxed environment where people are dressed casually. If you arrive early, you’re welcome to grab a coffee from the back before you find a seat of your choice. If you arrive a little late, don’t worry, there should someone around to help direct you to an open spot.
The musical style of the worship will vary from week to week. This is because we have been blessed with a large number of talented musicians, each with a unique sound. One week it may feel a little louder with several guitars and a cajón box. The next week might be a bit laid-back with just the stringed instruments. The next week might be stripped down to just the keyboard. We sing newer songs as well as a lot of very old hymns with modern arrangements breathing new life into some of the best songs from the past.
We realise ‘preaching’ today can have a bad connotation but we believe it is an important part of how we grow as Christians together. Our sermons are focused on taking the deep truths of the Bible and explaining them in a manner that makes sense today. We spend most of the year preaching through books of the Bible, with occasional breaks for topic based series. Expect our sermons to last roughly 45 minutes. If you want a sense of our sermons, check out the archive here.
We take the Lord’s Supper every week following the sermon. Communion is a meal for those who have professed Jesus as their Saviour and Lord and who humbly seek to follow Him. You don’t have to be a Presbyterian or even a member of City Pres to take the bread and wine, but you must be a follower of Christ and baptised into his Church. If this doesn’t describe you, we’re still welcome to participate in spirit by either meditating on the meaning of the meal or coming forward for a blessing. If you have any questions about whether you should participate in the Lord’s Supper, get in touch with us.
We usually finish the service by around 5.30pm and conclude with a few announcements. Don’t feel like you need to run out right away! Grab some cake at the back or another coffee and take some time to meet new people if you are ready for that. We look forward to meeting you.