Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What do kids do during the service?
A. We encourage our families to stay together for the whole service. We know that the result might be a noisier and less serene atmosphere, but the noises that might happen are understandable and definitely worth the benefits. Everybody in our community has opportunities to “parent in the pew”, and we value those times because we believe it can produce long-lasting effects. That being said, we do not promote child-centeredness. We do encourage families to teach even their littlest ones to sit quietly and in that way be a blessing to the people of God.
One pastor put it this way:
“There is great value for a very young child experiencing the deep and authentic worship of the church. Something is being transferred as they watch their fathers give of the family resources during the offering. As they grow up, their understanding will increase. Something is being transferred as they watch the adults “worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23). They don’t get everything, but they can get something from observing the fervency and genuineness of the church’s expression of love for God, dependence upon Him, and joy in Him. This is the value of having children in church. Children progressively understand what a parent and the wider church members love and appreciate. Year after year, their understanding builds. Year after year, the well is filling up. The cumulative effect of deep and significant thinking and activities is what we are looking for.”
We recognize that some infants will need to be taken out for feedings, etc. We have spaces that would be available to anyone needing to give special attention to a child, and lots of moms and daughters eager to help. However, we do not provide a staffed nursery.
The Bible frequently mentions children in the context of the corporate gathering of God’s people (Deut. 31:12-13; Ezra 10:1; Matt. 18:1-5; 19:13-15; Eph. 6:1-4; Col. 3:20). Moreover, we believe it is important for children to worship with their parents, and to be taught how to sit through the service. We patiently teach inexperienced families how to walk with their children through this process and it blesses their home, their marriage, their relationship with their children and the testimony of the church.
Q. What is your worship style?
A. You will find that the music on Sunday morning is a simply arranged mix of both modern and traditional worship hymns. The lyrics for the music each Sunday are purposefully God-centered, biblically based, and reflective of spiritual truth. We consider ourselves Regulative in our worship. The London Baptist Confession helps define this:
“But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God, is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshipped according to the imagination and devices of men, nor the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures.”
Q. What about unmarried adults? Is Westgate more of a "family church?"
A. We want to push back against any label like “family church”. We are a gospel people. We do not worship the family. We systematically teach the Scriptures, book by book, verse by verse. In that way Christian singles, as all Christians, should desire to sit under faithful preaching and teaching.
And, although it might seem counterintuitive, the single adult or older child can be quite productive and active in an age-integrated church. Paul makes it clear to singles in his letter to the Corinthians that the single person is blessed with more time to serve God’s kingdom than the married counterpart. (1 Corinthians 7:32-34)
Biblically, the single adult or older children have a real opportunity to make their focus the service of Christ and His bride. And, with a church full of families, there is no shortage of opportunities to minster to the body of Christ. Consequently, we haven’t created a separate ministry for singles because we believe they can most naturally fulfill the call to service if they are integrated into the main ministry of the church.
Q. What should we bring for the fellowship meal?
A. We generally encourage each family to bring food enough for their family and something to share with 1 or 2 others. That way we always have enough for everyone. Many families bring a crockpot dish or casserole and a side dish or dessert.