Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of questions we most often receive. If you have a question, though, that's not listed here, please get in touch with us through our contact us page.

 

pictureWhat makes Providence unique?

I left the church because I found so little grace there. I came back because I found grace nowhere else. –Philip Yancey

Just like people, churches tend to take on certain personalities. The personality of Providence can be summed up by the phrase "a gathered authentic community."

We take our calling "to glorify God" and "to make disciples" seriously (Matthew 28:19), but we don't always get it right. Or sometimes we're simply distracted by the busyness of life, and the mission is neglected. As much as we want to portray the image of having a perfect church, the truth is we don't. Swallowing this pill of reality, though, has been liberating.
What's unique at Providence is that we readily acknowledge our brokenness before God and are asking Him to make us better (and more focused!). This is why the characteristics of discipleship at Providence are those of authenticity. We've learned not to take ourselves too seriously and to be quick to laugh at our own feeble attempts at creating the "perfect church that churns out the perfect disciple."

The sub points of our vision are GATHER, GROW, and EXTEND. All of these are action words that are centered on the grace of God. We have been gathered by God to form a unique church (he has uniquely put us together). We grow in spiritual maturity by the motivation of grace (not a list of do's and don't's). And the more we gather, and the more we grow, the more we are used by God to extend his grace to those around us.

 

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What kind of worship is practiced at Providence?

We are drawn to attractiveness not only in people but in goods, services, architecture, and all avenues of design… Something of great value unpleasantly presented loses value. Conversely, we increase the value of things when we make them aesthetically pleasing. –Mark Sandborn

In worship on Sunday mornings, we have sought to implement classic expressions of worship into our current culture. In addition to modern choruses, we also sing age-old hymns, some of which have been renovated to be sung with new beauty and artistry. We encourage families to worship together, but knowing many of the youngsters can't sit through an entire service, we offer children's worship mid-way through the service.

We also maintain that worship doesn't stop on Sundays. Worship as a lifestyle is to be taken into the home front and workplace where others in the community might see the joy of Christ overflowing from our hearts. As Christ said, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'streams of living water will flow from within him'" (John 7:37-38).

While on the subject of worship, our corporate worship services are held each Lord's Day morning from 9:30 to 10:45 am. Christian Education (what some might call Sunday School) is held from 11:00-11:45 am.

 

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What can my family expect at Providence – especially my teen?

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. –Paul (1 Corinthians 10:31)

Seek not the experience of God. Seek, rather, the God of experience. –Anonymous

At Providence you can expect a group of real people who will love you and your family. From the nursery to the adult ministries, we aim for the heart, where transformation takes place through the Gospel of grace. After all, only a heart transformed by God's love will behave righteously (merely changing behavior won't change the heart). In the nursery and preschool, we have caregivers who seek to show God's love to babies and toddlers. In the children's ministry, we have teachers who are excited about training children in biblical truth. In the middle and high school we seek to mentor teens for adulthood, teaching them to apply biblical principles in discerning the world around them.

For the adults (including singles and couples), various small groups help foster community. Community Groups, as we call them, are small gatherings that range from free-form cookouts to serious bible studies. If you are interested in participating in one of the C-groups, and haven't yet been invited to one, feel free to talk to any of the church members or get in touch with the pastor.

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I've got some major baggage. Can I feel safe at Providence?

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle. –Philo of Alexandria

Within our church community we have an assortment of folks with different backgrounds and struggles: broken marriages, those recovering from addictions, single parents, financial struggles, and various disabilities or dysfunctions. Even though these issues range in scope, we value every soul and the individual battles each is called to face. We thank God for the atmosphere he has created – a safe place where all people can come and find healing, community, and accountability—a place where we can be honest with ourselves and open with each other.

While we come to God as we are, he doesn't want us to stay as we are. A young fruit tree needs to grow so that it might bear fruit. In the same way, we grow in our relationship with the Father through his Son, Jesus Christ. At Providence, we encourage each other to learn how to submit ourselves to God's transformative power. As a church we want all our members to be nourished, to grow strong and to mature. We receive this nourishing grace by being in God's presence through worship, prayer, bible study, and community.

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What is Reformed Theology?

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
–Paul (Romans 12:2)

The term Reformed Theology dates back to the late 1500's and refers to the movement of Reformation led by theologians such as Martin Luther, John Calvin and John Knox. These men were seeking to reform the existing church, which had become corrupt over time. Today Reformed Theology is linked to teachings taught by John Calvin and is the systematic doctrine held at Providence. We adhere to the Westminster Confession of Faith, and we interpret the Bible with the understanding of a Covenantal framework (that God relates to us in the context of relational covenants).

Even though we live in the 21st century, the work of reformation still continues: restoration of the corporate church as well as restoration of the heart. When it comes to the oversight of the local church and its members, Providence is organized by a team of men called elders. The elders oversee the spiritual life of the community as servant-shepherds (the Greek word for elder is presbuteros – from where we get the word presbyterian).

As far as the members are concerned, we are not in the business of creating little theologians (people with a bunch of biblical head knowledge). Rather, we are seeking to create little missionaries to minister in the Kingdom of God (people with a bunch of heart knowledge). We believe every child of God is a missionary called to communicate the grace of God in the world. As one of our missions partners, Bob Heppe, has said, "God sent his Son, Jesus, to recapture a runaway world." As we allow God's Spirit to lead us, we come on board with the mission of God… And, as we have come to see, it's truly an adventure.

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What's the deal with meeting in a warehouse?

“Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my dwelling place be? Has not my hand made all these things, so that they came into being?” declares the Lord. –Isaiah 66:1-2

Our warehouse became available through God's providence. As is evident in our reconfiguration of the building, we want to honor God with aesthetics and creativity, but at the same time we are not facility-focused. As for the warehouse, we hope to eventually outgrow it and have the need to find a new place to house the ministry. As we consider the various options before us, we are praying to see where the Spirit of God leads us and how he'll provide the means for us to get there. Our ultimate hope is to have a building that reflects the personality and mission of the church.

The Gospel of Grace

Do you ever feel frustrated by the brokenness of life? Do you ever wonder why it's not just appliances and toys that break, but relationships and families too? Have you ever thought that there is something so utterly wrong with the world that causes this deep brokenness? And if so, have you longed for healing?

Our culture has sought to speak to our condition by offering a smorgasbord of alternatives: find a hobby, seek therapy, consult the medicine cabinet, read a self-help book, get a pet. Do whatever it takes to numb the pain and find your perfect nirvana. Sadly, though, if you've tried these routes, you may have already discovered that while these methods promise peace, they don't deliver. Even religion doesn't provide ultimate relief from the brokenness. This is because most of the world's religions create a list of things for us to do in order to reach the divine: the Five Pillars of Islam, the Noble Eightfold Path of Buddha, the Karma and Dharma of Hinduism.

Unlike all of these religions, true Christianity (and the resulting community created by God's Spirit) is for broken people. It's for the downtrodden. It's for those who recognize that they could never perform well enough to reach God. Christianity teaches that God reached down to us. Jesus Christ is for those who realize that there is absolutely nothing that we can do to earn God's acceptance—except to trust in His payment for our failures, imperfections and disobedience. The religions of the world say, "do". Jesus Christ says, "done." This is grace! Jesus Christ opened up the way for us to return back to God the Father. Through Christ Jesus, God is not angry with you; he just wants you to come home.

In the midst of a broken world, the quest for healing begins and ends with Jesus Christ. If you feel in your heart that you would love to know God and to know that He loves you too, then speak to him—for he is not only infinite, he is the truly personal God. You may have a growing hope that Christ is your redeemer. If so, many people have found that these or similar words express their heart:

“Dear God, through the Lord Jesus Christ, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but, through Christ, I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared to hope. I thank you, Jesus, for paying my debt, bearing my punishment and offering forgiveness. I turn from my sins and receive you as Savior. Amen.”