Don't JUDGE me!
We know......It's SCARY to go to a church you've never been to before!
Not to worry.....we are gonna let you know just what to expect when you arrive...and what kind of services you can anticipate:
How should you dress?
Most people will dress very casual and confortably. Blue jeans are what most people wear...some wear something a little bit more dressy. Anything you wear will make you fit right in. It's what's on the INSIDE that counts! Be yourself!
How many people will be there?
Pastor Rick would love to see about 150 or more, but the truth is, we usually have between 30-60 people on Sunday morning. We continue to have Sunday night services and prayer meetings, but it is not as well attended as the morning service....but we certainly have a good time!
What denomination is Grace Harbor?
We are affiliated with the Church of God, with International Headquarters in Cleveland, Tennessee. If you are familiar with the Assemblies of God, that would give you a good idea as to our teachings and beliefs, as we are "sister organiztions." (For more on the Church of God, CLICK HERE).
We have never been that big on such "tags and labels" (it's all ice cream...just different flavors!). Because of tradition or perceptions about that particular kind of church, many people shun away from certain churches. Often times, however, it's just the very kind of church they need!
(Click Here to find out more about our teachings and beliefs).
So...what kind of church is the Church of God like?
If you didn't know any different, you would think like most people that we are a "Non-Denominational Full Gospel Church." The Church of God is a Spirit-filled, Full-Gospel Pentecostal church (just like the Assemblies of God). People should not confuse us with the "United Pentecostal", "Apostolic", or other Oneness churches that are so popular in this part of Louisiana. Although we don't embrace their teachings and beliefs, we still respect these churches as being vital parts of the body of Christ....we simply don't have the same beliefs and teachings.
We believe in the Trinity, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and Salvation by Grace alone through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ. We DO NOT believe a person has to be "Baptised in the Holy Spirit" in order to be saved. Like the Baptist, we believe one "must be born again". We do not, however, believe in the Doctrine of Eternal Security (once saved always saved). (For more on this, click here).
We oppose the "cheap grace" or"hyper-grace" teaching that has become so popular in this area, all over the country and television. This doctrine teaches that the Grace of God cover all sins.....past, present, and future sins. They teach that confession and repentance of your sins is UNNECCESSARY....because they are already forgiven. This teaching seems to put everything on God...leaving the individual with no responsibility at all with how they live their lives. This is heresy and is UNBIBLICAL.
Don't worry about "fitting in". We truly do LOVE all our new visitors and you will be met with nothing but LOVE and ACCEPTANCE...we guarantee it! We know...all churches claim to be a "loving church"...but we have always prided ourselves on the way we make new visitors feel comfortable and "right at home."(You'll feel it when you walk in the front door).
A lot of people have said, I'll come to church just as soon as I get my life straightened up. Please know...it never works out that way. We want you to come just as you are....whether you see youselves "deep in sin"....an alcoholic or drug user...gay or lesbian, a backslider, living dead in religion...whatever may be the case...we will welcome you with open arms and you will NOT be judged. You will soon find that there are a lot of "church members sitting around you that are dealing with the very same issues"! Only God can judge us ...and only God can fix our broken lives!
My life is a mess and I have a lot of issues that I'm dealing with. I'm afraid I just won't "fit in".
What about the Praise and Worship part......what is it like?
You should expect a lively, uplifting worship service. Yeah....we do like to "crank it up" a bit as we praise the Lord. People clap their hands, lift their hands as they praise the Lord with exuberance...but isn't God worthy of such praise? We believe so!
As we transcend into the worship part of the service, we dim the lights and enter into his Holy presence. We have seen God do great things in this part of our service.
There is no RIGHT WAY or WRONG WAY to worship at The Harbor. Feel free to worship Him in the manner that makes you feel the most comfortable... that might mean sitting quietly in his presence or shouting praises to His name! It's not about US...but Him!
Is your music "traditional" or "contemporary"?
You will find both styles of worship at The Harbor. Since we have people from so many different ages and backgrounds, we don't want to leave anyone out of enjoying "their kind of music." We try to blend the old with the new, the traditional with the contemporary...a little something for everyone. It's all GOOD if it uplifts the Lord!
We are blessed to have one of SW Louisiana's most talented steel guitar players in Bro. Hubert Timpa. We also feature the very talented Bro. Joe Fontenot on hamonica. Our Sunday night service is special with the very talented Bro. John Pousson on the saxaphone. Pastor Rick always enjoys worshiping on the piano and keyboard.
(P.S. We are always looking for talented musicians and singers who wish to put their gifts and talents to work in the Father's house!
What kind of preaching will I hear?
Well...let's just say, don't expect to hear some sort of "ear ticklin'" message that is designed to make you feel good. The Apostle Paul warned of such preaching in the Last Days would come and there is plenty of that going around. If you are "hungry for the Word", you won't be disappointed!
Pastor Rick takes preaching the Gospel very seriously and believes he will be held accountable one day for the way he does it. It will always be challenging and uplifting ...and an altar call is given at the end of EVERY SERVICE for God to minister to the needs of those present.
Always laced with much love and never condemning or judgemental... you will hear the Word of God preached in a very straight-forward and uncompromised manner straight out of the Bible.
People need the"unwatered-down" Word of God to help them grow spiritually and to help them deal with the hard issues of life. Only the truth of God's uncompromised Word can do that.
How long does the service last?
Our main Sunday morning service begins at 10:15 am. You can expect to leave before 12 noon (unless God has something extra for us).
Do You have a MidWeek Bible Study?
Yes we do! Every Wednesday evening from 6:30-7:30pm. Taught by Pastor Rick .... our Bible Study hour is both fun and informative. The atmosphere is very laid back and the coffee pot is always hot.
What about Youth Services?
Our Harbor Youth meet at the same time as our Wednesday Night Bible Study (6:30-7:30pm). Geared toward the tweens and teens, we keep it fun but our emphasis is on teaching our kids the Bible, as well as how to deal with all the pressures and decisions kids are facing today. Our Youth all have a very special place in our hearts and are a big part of our over-all church vision!