Your first visit to an Adventist church is a big step! Here’s how to prepare for your first visit:
Service Times :: Check the church’s website for the service time and location. Most Adventist churches begin on Saturday morning with a Bible study time called Sabbath School at 9:30 or 10 am. The worship service typically starts at 10:45 or 11 am.
Apparel :: Wondering what is appropriate to wear to church? Wear something that is comfortable to you and respectful to God as you visit His house of worship. While there isn’t a specific dress code, most attendees wear business casual clothes.
Parking :: Churches typically have a designated parking lot or parking area around the facility. You are welcome to park in these stalls.
Arrival :: When you arrive at the front door, someone from the church should be there to greet you. This person will give you a bulletin, or schedule for the day. This person can give you directions to Bible study groups (for you and your children) and answer any questions. You may be asked to fill out a guest information card or sign a guest book.
Interaction :: You may notice people greeting each other (and you) with the phrase: “Happy Sabbath!” This is a friendly greeting! Sabbath is a day of rest and worship, an opportunity to step aside from our every day activities for 24 hours. The greeting “Happy Sabbath!” acknowledges that this is a day of joy and blessing, a capstone to a busy week.
Bible Study Time :: This Bible study lasts for about 60 minutes and may include singing and prayer in addition to studying the Bible. Some Bible study classes cover a topical curriculum while others explore a passage, theme, or book of the Bible. The study format can be lecture-styled or interactive-styled. Bible study groups are offered for infants, children, teenagers, young adults and adults.
Worship Service :: Church worship services represent an intergenerational time for families to worship God together. Worship has several components: singing, scripture reading, an offering, and a Bible-based message. Additional program elements may include church community announcements, a story for children, special music, and/or a mission feature. The worship service typically lasts 60-90 minutes (depending on the congregation).
Fellowship :: As the worship service concludes, take time to introduce yourself to the people around you. Share your name and that this is your first time to visit. Enjoy some conversation and ask your new friends to introduce you to other people in the church.
Mid-Day Meal :: Some Adventist churches host a vegetarian luncheon after church (on a weekly or monthly basis). This luncheon allows you more opportunities to get acquainted with church families and form new friendships. Have any questions? Ask your new friends that you just met. They will be happy to help you!
Departure :: When you go home, reflect on your experience. Take time to be with your family. Go for a walk in nature. Read through the Bible passages mentioned in the Bible study and worship services. Enjoy a day of rest before beginning your work again the next day.
Feedback :: If something didn’t go quite right or if something went exceptionally well with your visit, please let the church know! The church bulletin should have a phone number or email address for the pastor and/or church office. Engage in a conversation and offer your feedback about your visit to the church.
Next Step :: Make plans to visit another week! You are welcome to join the Adventist church community for a weekly time of worship and prayer. Perhaps the local church is offering a mid-week activity or small group. Attend and get involved. The more you invest into your experience, the more you will enjoy it!