What does a Worship Service at River City look like?
What kind of people attend?
We dress very casually, very few, if any suits and ties (we are okay with it though). The reason is we believe in being "real" and removing barriers for people to come. We want a casual comfortable atmosphere that can feel a little over whelming at times because of the presence of God we feel.
We start out with music. The purpose of the music is to worship God and our saviour Jesus. Our worship style is a moderate rock sound that we feel is contemporary with our culture. We have several bands that rotate each Sunday. About 1/3 of the congregation stand and you will see a lot of hands and arms raised from time to time. Also, some people express worship by raising flags and banners. We usually worship for about 30 minutes. It is designed to open us up to the message and each other.
Announcements and Offering
We view the Offering as part of our act of worship. We are giving to God, through the local church. We try and have only enough announcements to fill the time it takes to collect the offering. We try and keep this to a minimum.
The purpose of having a break is to facilitate fellowship among the people, to have a chance to say hello to the visitors, to allow the others who can't sit more than 60 minutes, for a smoke or a bio-break. It also helps to create a casual atmosphere.
Most visitors are the first ones out the door when the service is over. By having this "break"; we have 9 minutes for a number of people to welcome them.
During the break we offer coffee, tea, orange juice, water, bagels and cream cheese. There is a special bonding that happens when people fellowship with food. In many countries, major deals will only be made over a meal. When Jesus had his last meal with his disciples, he said "Do this in remembrance of me". While we still practice the ordinance of communion in accordance to orthodox practices, we view this break as a modern day functional communion where we commune together. Jesus used wine and bread, 2 staples of the day. We use coffee/orange juice and bagels with cream cheese and feel this captures the spirit of what Jesus intended to do.
We aim to serve will be of the best quality that we can do reasonably. For example, we will strive to make the best "regular" coffee. We will work on water quality and temperature, freshness, quality of cream etc. to meet these objectives. We do not use gourmet flavoured coffee to meet this objective but try and model it after the local coffee shops which is what the "normal" population drinks.
We preach in a style that is casual. Every message is centered on the Bible and its application to our lives. We try to bring messages that are practical, simple and life changing. We officially speak for about 20 minutes but it can go up to 30 minutes. We like to laugh and have fun.
Self serve Communion Table
We have a self serve Communion table complete with the elements, a bible, and instructions of what to do and a suggestion prayer. Of course, you could always ask one of the mature members or leaders to assist and administer the elements to you. We do believe in corporate communion and practice that about once every two months
You don’t join Vineyard; you discover that you are Vineyard. Then the process is not so taxing, nor distracting from our real calling – we just need to give time for relationship and bonding to take place, to confirm common values that have already taken root and then, together, get on with God’s primary calling.