MOST COMMON QUESTIONS are addressed in our visitor’s guide which provides an introduction to our church’s ministry, philosophies, and basic beliefs.
Does the church have a contemporary or traditional format?
Actually, we are not intending to be one or the other. Most visitors would probably get the sense that we are “blended.” Our priority is content, not style. For instance, we sing both praise choruses and hymns. However, any song we sing must be theologically sound and actually say something substantial. Also, many people feel free wearing casual attire, yet others prefer something more formal. The worship service itself has kind of a family feel to it, informal and comfortable; yet it includes elements that could be considered liturgical, like our times of reading Scripture in unison and standing during the prayer time. An order of service is listed below.
Are you Calvinist or Arminian?
The debate between these two theological schools has been around for centuries; both sides have been argued by some of the sharpest minds in church history. We do not take the matter lightly, and believe one’s understanding of the relationship of God’s sovereignty to man’s free will has enormous ramifications. However, we do not believe that this is a doctrine Christians can break fellowship over. Though most in our church would lean more toward the Arminian camp, we do have a few devoted Calvinists in our congregation. We have exposed our members to the various arguments of both sides, including some in-house debates; however, the church itself does not take an official position. As it is, the men who are currently serving as elders each hold to a form of Arminianism referred to as Molinism.
What about charismatic gifts of the Spirit?
The Scriptures give clear warnings about despising prophecy and forbidding the speaking of tongues. However, in the same contexts we are told to test and judge everything carefully. Furthermore, we are to be mindful that God is not a God of confusion and that everything must be done decently and in order. Extraordinary manifestations in our worship services, though not prohibited, are not zealously encouraged. Yet, we are not cessationists who believe that miracles ended with the age of the apostles. For instance, we eagerly pray for God to supernaturally heal those facing physical infirmities. Revelatory manifestations, however, which claim to be “messages from God” are generally viewed with skepticism and would be subjected to thorough examination and testing. If indeed, such a message goes beyond Scripture and can’t therefore be objectively tested, there would be no obligation to obey any dictates that might be included in it.
What is your age demographic?
Any visitor will immediately notice the wide representation of ages in our church. It would be difficult to pinpoint any one age group that serves as the bulk of the church. We do, however, enjoy a growing number of children; well over a third of our congregation consists of kids under 18 years old.
Membership is not being emphasized that much in churches today. Why is it important at TEC?
This question is addressed in our visitor’s guide and in an article on our resource page. Simply put, membership defines the local church body. All of the popular arguments used to do away withmembership, could also be applied to do away with a local church. If a church consists of its people, then who, exactly, are these people? One doesn’t have to use the term “membership,” but somehow those individuals who actually make up the local church have to be identified.
Why did you change your name?
For over 14 years our congregation was known as Church of the Lamb. Unfortunately, this was also a name used by an obscure polygamist group in the southwest that had broken off from the Mormon Church. In fact, its leader has been convicted of killing others in rival splinter groups. This became an issue as the Internet’s popularity increased. A Google search would produce a list of articles exposing Church of the Lamb as a dangerous cult.
Doesn’t the name, Trinity Evangelical Church, sound Lutheran?
Virtually any name one might consider for a church will inevitably sound similar to the name of another church. This might explain why many new churches are moving away from traditional names. We wanted a name that would give our congregation a theological identification. We are distinctively trinitarian and, in a sense, going against the heretical tide of modalism that is influencing many modern congregations today. We are evangelical in our approach to the Christian faith, holding Scripture above human traditions. And we are a church. We realize that the word church in a name might sound too churchy, but the word is intentional.
What does the Sunday morning service look like?
It last about an hour and a half. Here is our service order:
• Reading from the Psalms / Prayer
• Review/update prayer requests
• Offering / Reflection on attributes of God
• Congregational Prayer
• Congregational reading of Scripture