What to Expect
Good Shepherd communicates God’s Word in a way that 21st century people appreciate and understand. Our pastors use contemporary anecdotes and intriguing illustrations to give messages of God’s grace and guidance. The relevance of these Bible-based messages will guide you with new insight for the week ahead. At the same time, the reverence of our church setting provides a transcendent worship experience to give you greater joy and strength.
Worship at Good Shepherd follows a liturgical format that blends the excellence of old and new with:
- Classic hymns
- Contemporary accompaniments
- Historical texts
- Modern messages
Our services follow the liturgical church year, which is divided into two main parts: The festival half, which covers the life of Christ, typically begins about December 1 and ends about May 30. Each church year begins with Advent and the promises of His coming, the birth of Jesus, His ministry, His suffering, death, resurrection, ascension and Pentecost. The non-festival half, which emphasizes the Christian’s life of response to Christ, typically begins about June 1 and ends about November 30.
When you enter our church, you will be greeted by an usher, who will hand you a service folder which will guide you through our service. Feel free to ask the ushers for answers to any question you have about our church or for any assistance you may need.
Sometimes people wonder how they are expected to dress at a church they’ve never visited before. Since the Bible presents no dress code, aside from simple decency and Christian humility, we don’t make any rules either. On any Sunday at our church you may see running shoes and high heels, jeans and suits, or open collars and ties. When a person dresses out of love for God, the choice of dress (casual or more formal) is acceptable to God…and us.
Many parents are worried that their children will cause a disruption. Some churches do not encourage or even allow parents to bring young children to worship with them. We love having children in worship. We believe that they grow in faith through the Word of God just as adults do.If you are concerned about your children in worship, please know that we understand that children have short attention spans and often make some noise. We expect that. We televise the service in the narthex and parents are welcome to take their children out there as well during one of our services.
No! In fact, we encourage our visitors to not feel obligated to give something when the offering plates are passed. They are our guests. They should not feel that they “have to give something” just because others are. The vast majority of our ministry at Good Shepherd is supported through the Sunday offerings of our members. We gather our gifts in church because our offerings are an act of worship. By them, we seek to show our love and appreciation to God for all of his goodness to us. If you wish to know more about the biblical concepts of giving and receiving, please contact one of our pastors.
We celebrate the Lord’s Supper, or Holy Communion, every week in our services. The Bible teaches that the Lord’s Supper is a priceless medicine for the soul. We do everything we can to encourage its proper use. We also recognize from Scripture (1 Corinthians 11:23-32) that this medicine is a prescription item. Used at the wrong time or place for the wrong reasons by someone who does not understand it correctly, the Lord’s Supper can cause immeasurable spiritual harm. For that reason we, like the corner druggist, do not dispense it over the counter.
We ask that if you are not a member of another WELS or ELS church or if you have not received the Lord’s Supper at Good Shepherd before, to please wait until you have had an opportunity to talk about Holy Communion with a pastor. We follow this practice as an act of love; love for you and your spiritual welfare, love for God’s Word which encourages us to participate in Holy Communion with those who share our faith. We do encourage our guests to remain for the Communion portion of the service and to use the time during the distribution for prayer, meditation on God’s Word, or hymn singing.