Don’t Expect What You Expect

God is full of surprises! So just maybe, if we are a church that belongs to God, just maybe, our church should be full of surprises, too!


9:30 am – Bible Studies for all ages
10:45 am – Worship assembly for everyone


7:00 pm – Bible Studies for all ages
(Toddler,K-6,Middle School, High School, College,etc…)

Many websites have a section which is entitled, “What To Expect When You Visit.” Go there, and you’ll find the positive attributes of the church. But I wonder…if instead of advertising what you should expect, maybe I should discuss what you won’t get even though you expect it. Maybe, what you expect is not what we are at all. Jesus spent His entire life on earth not being what people expected.

What you might expect is a church filled with people with few problems because, after all, isn’t the popular way of religion today to pretend that Christians are almost perfect? Isn’t the way most churches preach the gospel suggesting that being a Christian will solve all our problems? Isn’t it commonly expected that God will make life easy as soon as we come up out of the waters of baptism? Instead, what you will find here are people who are still struggling, but still being forgiven. You will find people here with pasts that are not perfect, and who don’t judge those who aren’t perfect either. God hasn’t solved all our problems, but He has given us the working solution – Jesus. Yes, I wish Jesus would use His grace and power to instantaneously cure us of all our weaknesses and problems. But don’t expect us to teach you that false hope – or to live that false hope. Our journey is to become more like Christ. A life-time journey. We are still growing in grace and knowledge (2 Peter 3:18). Did you expect to be welcomed by forgiven sinners?

Because of our view of God’s holiness, we don’t do certain things that other churches do – things you might expect. Why? We don’t think God has instructed us to through His Word, which is an expression of His holiness. Our Holy God is in charge!

What you might expect is instrumental music because most churches today have it. So you might expect pianos, bands and synthesizers, but you won’t get what you expect. Jesus’ New Covenant, the word of God, instructs us Christians to sing (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). When you visit, expect the unexpected – expect singing, pure and holy, that just might bring a tear to your eye and praise to your lips. Or you just might find yourself sitting there and listening to the grace in our voices (Col.3:16). In fact, you probably didn’t expect to hear music so spiritual.

What you expect just might be a service that is totally dedicated to attracting visitors. After all, churches want to get bigger and bigger don’t they? Boom! Bam! Bang! No time to get bored! While the Bible does teach that our services can have an impact on visitors (James 2; 1 Corinthians 14), every Sunday you will find a period of quiet reflection, worship, and thankfulness, both to God and each other, as we serve and observe the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor.11; Acts 20:7). You might not expect something so seemingly “boring” in a church today, but that’s OK. When you give your life to Christ you will find many blessings in unexpected places, including the excitement of our Lord’s communion. So don’t expect to be entertained. Do expect to be engaged into the wonder of worship.

What you might expect is a fellowship hall with a playground and kitchen because again, most churches today have those. Have you ever been distracted in church by the smell of food wafting through the air? You might expect that here too, but you won’t get it. The Bible instructs Christians and families to be hospitable, and not to make meals a part of the church (1 Cor.11:34). In fact, when you visit with us, you might get something you don’t expect – an invitation to eat out, or over to someone’s house for a meal and some down-home, family hospitality. How many times have you visited elsewhere and got invited to someone’s home? I hope many times. So expect that you just might get that here even though you didn’t expect it.

What you might expect is a church hungry for your money, always trying to raise more and more. Bake sales, yard sales, car washes, special collections, church raffles all have a place in most churches, which is why you probably would expect that here. But don’t. Don’t expect that we will “hit you up” for money. We won’t. We do take up a collection, but it is from our own people. In fact, the only way we raise money is through the free will giving of our own members (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). No money-making campaigns here. No church calendars or cookbooks to pawn off onto friends and neighbors. So when we are collecting the contribution, don’t expect to be asked to give. In fact, be expected to be asked not to give. Didn’t expect that, did you?

What you might expect is an ornate building, dedicated to God, after all, “Doesn’t God deserve the best?” Yes, God does deserve the best – our lives. God does not dwell in buildings (Acts 17:24). God’s temple is us (1 Cor.3:16). Our building meets the needs of God’s work; it is not designed to impress. An emphasis on building structures is not what you should expect. Building lives is. So expect to be changed by grace.

God is full of surprises. Do you think those in the first century expected the type of Savior that God sent them? Do you think they expected God’s salvation to be born in a manger and to die like a criminal? Do you think they expected a real resurrection? God did not give them what they expected.

So what you expect just might not be what you get. But what you get is not what you expected either. But that’s OK, God is full of surprises; so His church should be too!

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