Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is the “worship style” of your congregation?

Answer: Our worship “style” is simple, reverent, and unadorned by hyped-up emotion or fancy ritualism. At the same time worship at Lake Presbyterian Church pulsates with spiritual depth and richness, for it is based upon the guidelines of Holy Scripture and is empowered by the Holy Spirit.

 

Why does Lake Presbyterian Church believe corporate worship is so important to the Christian life?

Answer: Scripture teaches that corporate worship is a Divine encounter involving a dialogue between God and his covenant people. In corporate worship God graciously meets with his people in the ministry of word and sacrament to feed and nourish their souls in Christ; and his people respond with gratitude by confessing their faith, singing his praise, petitioning his throne of grace in prayer, and presenting their gifts. This is why we believe meeting with God in worship is such a big deal.

 

What should I expect to experience in a worship service at Lake Presbyterian Church?

Answer: Worship services at Lake Presbyterian Church are orderly and well-structured, yet expressive of reverence and joy. When you visit a worship service at Lake Presbyterian Church you will experience a service which is saturated with Scripture readings, the offering of earnest prayer, the singing of psalms and great hymns of the faith from a sound hymnal, and the faithful preaching of God’s Word. The right administration of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper also takes place on appropriate occasions. The central event of our worship service is the preaching of God’s Word, the primary means by which God feeds, nourishes and builds up his people through the mouthpiece of his ordained servant.

 

How often do you celebrate Holy Communion?

Answer: At this time the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper (“Holy Communion”) is celebrated once per month, ordinarily on the second Sunday of each month.

 

What is required for partaking of Holy Communion at Lake Presbyterian Church?

Answer: We welcome to the Lordʼs Table all baptized persons who have professed their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and who are communicant members in good standing of an evangelical church (i.e., a church which proclaims and embraces the good news of salvation by faith alone in Christ alone). You are welcome to partake with us in Holy Communion if the following is true of you: (1) You have been baptized in the Name of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). (2) You are repentant for your sins. (3) You are trusting Christ alone for your salvation. (4) You are a member in good standing of a biblical church; and (5) You are determined to live a life of holiness and obedience to God, and to be at peace with fellow believers. Please contact the pastor if you would like to receive Holy Communion at Lake Presbyterian Church but are unclear about these requirements or would like spiritual assistance in meeting them.

 

How should I dress for worship?

Answer: Lake Presbyterian Church does not have a dress code. We welcome you to come as you are! We simply request that attendees use their common sense and dress in a manner that is modest and appropriate to the holy occasion of Divine worship.

 

Will I be able to follow along in your worship service?

Answer: We provide a church bulletin to attendees, which includes an order of service that makes it simple to follow along in the service.

 

What about children in the church? Do you have a nursery for young children? Are children welcome in the worship service?

Answer: At this time we are not able to offer a nursery for infants and young children. However, we love to hear the voices of children in worship, and we encourage families with young children to teach their children to participate in the Divine service as much as possible from their earliest years! If you have young children, please feel welcome to bring your children with you to worship. We would be delighted to have you and your children join us in worship.

 

Why does your church use creeds, a confession of faith and catechisms? Isnʼt the Bible enough?

Answer: The church’s creeds, confession of faith and catechisms are simply summaries of what we believe the Bible teaches. They are historically-rooted documents that have been written by some of the most educated, godly Bible scholars and pastors of Christ’s church, and have been officially adopted by Bible-believing churches (like the Orthodox Presbyterian Church). These documents are in no way equal to the Bible, for the Bible alone is the written Word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice. But they are useful and edifying summaries of what our churches believe the Bible to teach. They are also great tools for teaching Bible doctrine and passing along the Faith to future generations.

 

How do I become a member of Lake Presbyterian Church?

Answer: If you are not already a member of an Orthodox Presbyterian congregation (who may be received by a letter of transfer), then becoming a communicant member ordinarily involves the following process: (1) Begin attending the church regularly. (2) Sign up to take an Inquirer’s Class, which is taught by the pastor. (Contact the pastor if you desire more information about the Inquirer’s Class.) (3) After successfully completing the Inquirer’s Class, you may request a membership interview with the Session. (The “Session” is the spiritual leadership council of the church, and includes within its membership the pastor and the ruling elders of the church.) (4) If your membership interview is approved, the Session will schedule a time for you to be publicly received into membership during a worship service. This public reception involves affirming the five membership vows (see below), and at that time you would be invested with all the rights and privileges of membership in this church. Please contact the pastor for further information.

 

What are the membership vows which candidates for communicant membership at Lake Presbyterian Church must affirm?

Answer: The membership vows are as follows:

(1) Do you believe the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, to be the Word of God, and its doctrine of salvation to be the perfect and only true doctrine of salvation?

(2) Do you believe in one living and true God, in whom eternally there are three distinct persons – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – who are the same in being and equal in power and glory; and that Jesus Christ is God the Son, come in the flesh.

(3) Do you confess that because of your sinfulness you abhor and humble yourself before God, that you repent of your sin, and that you trust for salvation not in yourself but in Jesus Christ alone.

(4) Do you acknowledge Jesus Christ as your sovereign Lord, and do you promise that, in reliance on the grace of God, you will serve him with all that is in you, forsake the world, resist the devil, put to death your sinful deed and desires, and lead a godly life.

(5) Do you promise to participate faithfully in this church’s worship and service, to submit in the Lord to its government, and to heed its discipline, even in case you should be found delinquent in doctrine or life?

Source: pp. 164-165 in The Directory for the Public Worship of God, found in The Book of Church Order of The Orthodox Presbyterian Church: 2015 Edition (Willow Grove, PAThe Committee on Christian Education of  the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, © 2015)

 

What is a “Reformed” Church?

Answer: The “Reformed” churches are churches which came out of the Calvinistic wing of the Protestant Reformation. Reformed churches stress the absolute sovereignty of God over all things, especially in the area of human salvation. Lake Presbyterian Church is “Reformed” in its theology. (Go to the Links page for more information about Reformed theology.)

 

What if I’m not a Christian, or if I have questions and doubts about my Christian faith? May I still attend your services?

Answer: Absolutely, yes! We desire for as many as possible to hear the good news of Christ and to be exposed to Godʼs Word. We would be delighted to have you as our guest. Come and check us out. Bring your questions and doubts. We might not have all the answers to all your questions, but we believe the Holy Scriptures give us answers to the most important questions of life.

 

What is your churchʼs attitude toward homosexuality?

Answer: We believe that Jesus Christ offers the good news of forgiveness and hope to all people through the gospel, including those who experience same-sex attraction. Therefore we warmly welcome all people to attend our services and hear the good news with us. At the same time, because we believe the Bible to be Godʼs Word, and because the Bible plainly declares homosexuality (both in desire and practice) to be sinful; therefore we believe homosexuality to be sinful, contrary to Godʼs natural order and thus inconsistent with faithful Christian discipleship. The good news is that God’s grace in Christ can provide both forgiveness and the hope for change to the believer who struggles with homosexual sin.

 

What is your churchʼs position on marriage?

Answer: In line with Godʼs Word, our Confession of Faith teaches the following about marriage: “Marriage is to be between one man and one woman: neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband, at the same time.” (ch. 24.1) “Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife, for the increase of mankind with legitimate issue, and of the church with an holy seed; and for preventing of uncleanness.” (ch. 24.2)

 

What does the word “Presbyterian” mean?

Answer:  The term “Presbyterian” is derived from the Greek word presbuteros, which means “elder.”  Lake Church is a “Presbyterian” church because it is governed by congregationally-elected Elders, according to the pattern for church government revealed in the Bible.  The term “Presbyterian” also indicates that the church is connectional and accountable to higher governing assemblies, as was the case with the church in the New Testament (see Acts 15).  In historic Presbyterianism the governing body of the local church is called the Session, and includes the pastor(s) and ruling elders.  The regional governing body, called the Presbytery, includes all the ministers and ruling elders within a given region.  The General Assembly is the governing body of the whole church, and includes commissioned ministers and ruling elders from the various Presbyteries.

In historic Presbyterianism pastors are “ministers of the word” or “teaching elders.”  They are ordained clergy who, while called by local congregations, hold their membership in the regional church.  “Ruling Elders” are ordained lay elders elected by the local congregation to represent the people on the Session and in higher governing assemblies of the church.  This arrangement is intended to provide mutual accountability among the church’s leadership, and to prevent the abuses of clergy-dominated leadership.

 

Please contact the pastor if you have any further questions which are not addressed on this page.