There are several activities that are essential to a Christian’s growth in faith. As a Christian we develop a closer relationship to God as we pray, worship, study the Bible, and serve His people. Listed here are opportunities and resources to help us build our faith foundation.
Throughout the Bible, God’s people call out to him: in praise, confession, gratitude and supplication. In Matthew 6, Jesus taught us to pray with the words of The Lord’s Prayer. This prayer serves as a model for Christians everywhere as they seek to become closer to God, find peace in a turbulent world, and help in their times of trouble.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and forever. Amen.
Some particular days of prayer:
- World Day of Prayer – worlddayofprayer.net.
- National Day of Prayer – nationaldayofprayer.org.
- See You at The Pole – syatp.com.
- Prayer for the Persecuted Church – idop.org.
Emmanuel has a Prayer Chain of individuals who are part of an email group who will offer prayers for church family concerns and circumstances such as for health issues. To join the Prayer Chain, or make a request, call Carol (Kurt) Stralow at 815-772-2036, or email her at email@example.com. Prayer Chain requests are not automatically listed in the Sunday Bulletin under Prayer Requests; call Pam at the church office at 815-772-3890 by Wednesday morning with information for the Bulletins.
Worship is a key part of a Christian’s life. During worship we thank Him for His love, praise Him in song, ask forgiveness for our sins, and through the reading and preaching of the Word, try to understand His will for our lives. Emmanuel has a strong dedication to and love of music in our services. Our music is an inspiring mixture of traditional and contemporary approaches, with organ, piano and praise team instrumental accompaniments.
As you participate in singing the songs and hymns during the services, please consider joining the sanctuary choir who enrich our services with their musical offerings. Emmanuel also leads the community in annual Voices of Praise community choir concerts. Extremely popular, this 85-member choir touches our hearts and minds with their powerful messages in song.
At Emmanuel, fellowship is an important part of our worship life: talking with others informally prior to the service, greeting one another during the service, and meeting for Sunday School and fellowship following the service. At the end of the worship service, while the children learn about God and His love in Sunday School, adults gather in the Christ Center attached to the church building for coffee, juice, cookies and good conversation.
In addition to its Sunday morning worship services, Emmanuel’s church family worships Thanksgiving Eve, Christmas Eve, and Maundy Thursday night.
Study the Bible
God speaks to His people through His Word. There are many opportunities to learn from the Bible: individual devotions, worship services, Bible Studies, even Bible applications on our phones or tablets. Regardless of which way you approach the Bible, God speaks to us at the time and with the words we need to hear Him.
Emmanuel has both a Women’s Bible Study groups, a Men’s Bible Study groups and an Adult Bible Study group. Church-wide small group Bible study series provide participants the opportunities to learn more about the Bible, and form deeper relationships within the church family.
Daily devotional studies offer a focus each day on a specific Bible verse, along with thoughts on how it can apply to our lives. Many daily devotions can be found on online sites and apps: below are a few.
- The Upper Room
- Our Daily Bread
- Words of Hope
- Max Lucado’s daily devotional
- Today in the Word
- Billy Graham’s library of daily devotions
Paper copies of The Upper Room and Words of Hope are available in the Fireside Room.
Serve His People
God has blessed His church by giving each individual unique gifts! Whether it be the gift of leadership, hospitality, insight in the Word, encouragement, compassion, preaching, teaching, or any of the other many spiritual gifts we might be given, God provides the abilities we need as a church, when we need them. God doesn’t necessarily choose individuals equipped with the needed gifts, but He always equips those whom He has called to service.
As Christians, we give back through service in gratitude for His grace to each of us. There are many opportunities to serve at Emmanuel. These opportunities can be found by participating in the specific groups shared on Emmanuel’s men’s, women’s, children and youth ministries pages, or in the music groups, in our local and global mission activities, or in the church leadership.
Among the blessings God gives are financial blessings. We can serve His people and church through monetary gifts towards Emmanuel’s missions, and ministries. There are several ways to donate to Emmanuel: in weekly offerings during our worship services, mailing or dropping off contributions to the church office, texting “GIVE” to (833) 390-0251, or using the GIVE button at the bottom of our website to make online contributions. Learn about online giving here.
Regardless of the gifts we choose to use, God blesses us in those endeavors.