What to expect
thats what youll find when you visit our
services. But one thing you should expect in every Assemblies of God
church is a personal, uplifting worship experience. Our services are
geared for participation. We typically worship as we live, with enthusiasm.
Bible classes for all ages
Although church schedules vary, most Sundays usually begin with
an hour-long Bible study known as Sunday school or Christian education.
Personalized classes divided by age, grade and interests serve individuals
from infants through senior adults.
A nursery generally is provided for infants and toddlers. This loving,
comfortable atmosphere helps show children at the earliest ages that
church is a good place to be. Child care also frees parents for worship
and reduces distractions.
Bible-oriented activities are often provided for preschool and elementary-age
children. At this level, young children are taught to sing, pray, memorize
Scripture and learn important Bible truths. They are instructed and
led in worship at their own levels.
Assemblies of God facilities are generally functional and practical,
in keeping with our mission. Most Assemblies of God churches have platforms
that also serve as altars, and incorporate a single pulpit where singing
and prayer are led and the Word of God is preached.
Music is a major feature of our worship, before, during and even
after the service itself. Instruments may range from piano and organ
to synthesizers, guitars, horns and drums, to full-scale orchestras.
Whatever the accompaniment, inspired singing is the order of the day.
Any given service may include traditional hymns, hand-clapping gospel
songs, contemporary compositions or reverent worshipful choruses.
Music will include both congregational and special ministries
solos, duets, ensembles, choirs, instrumentals. Assemblies of God churches
make music more than a performance; its the music of worship.
The service may include quiet times of waiting in Gods presence,
spiritually savoring the sacred atmosphere.
Other times may be vocal with collective praise as worshippers are
invited to spontaneously express love and adoration to God.
In everything, a flow of worship should be evident and, despite the
spontaneity and excitement, a properness and order.
Worship styles will reflect the spectrum of personalities. Some are
quiet and reserved; some shout with joy; others are simply tender and
openly emotional during times of praise or preaching.
No sincere worshipper need feel out of place in an Assemblies of God
church. And each expression will blend without disruption into the flow
A special time in the service is devoted to prayer. Needs from inside
and outside the church family frequently are made known.
The congregation prays together. All may pray aloud but conclude with
a single voice, the worship leader or other designated person praying
in behalf of all.
Ministry to the sick
As in the New Testament, specific prayer may be offered for the
sick. They will be invited forward to be anointed with oil (James 5:13-16)
and/or have the ministers, leaders or other believers lay hands on them
and pray (Mark 16:18).
During the service, tithes and offerings will be received. More
than a collection to pay church bills, this too is worship.
Our members feel giving the tithe (the first tenth of income) and offerings
declares that God comes first. It recognizes His blessing, expresses
faith and seeks His guidance in every matter in life.
The ministries of the local church and globe-encircling work of the
Assemblies of God are supported solely by free-will giving. However,
visitors need not feel obligated to give.
An interesting aspect of Assemblies of God worship is the operation
of spiritual gifts. The planned service order may be suspended as individuals
speak or share as prompted by the Holy Spirit, under the supervision
of the pastor (1 Corinthians 12-14).
One may speak out in an unknown tongue, a Spirit-guided language other
than that of the congregation. Another individual, or perhaps the same
one, will then give the interpretation.
On occasion, the Spirit may prompt someone to speak out, to prophesy,
in the language of the congregation. The gift of prophecy, the gift
of tongues and the gift of interpretation, and other spiritual gifts
bring the church immediate challenge and confirm Bible truths.
The preaching of Gods Word, the Bible, is a focal point, and
is usually accompanied by an invitation for hearers to respond. The
messages are fervent, inspiring and practical.
The pastor or speaker may close with an invitation for those who need
forgiveness in their lives to come forward and accept Christ as Savior.
Those who feel a need to rededicate their lives to Christ or to pray
about other concerns are also invited to come. Believers are urged to
ask God for the baptism in the Holy Spirit to further empower them for
Christian service. Often everyone is invited to come pray during the
Deep emotion and excitement may or may not be demonstrated at the altars,
but everyone who calls on God in faith receives something.
If youve wondered what a Pentecostal service is like, we invite
you to observe and experience Gods joy and peace that defy description.
And when you visit again, come expecting. Expect a move of God not only
in the service, but also in your life. We think youll agree that
the comfort, help and strength He gives are better experienced than
Reprinted from Friendship: A Guide for Building Relationships,
a publication of the Assemblies of God Office of Public Relations. Written
by Mel Surface. Used by permission.