March 8, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions

This is a bit of a quick guide to who we are as a church and hopefully will answer some of your questions.

What happens at a church service?

Our services revolve around the Bible, because we believe the Bible is God’s way of communicating with us. It tells us about how he reached out to the world by sending Jesus. We try to deal with one big idea from the Bible every week. If you don’t own a Bible, don’t worry – we’ll hand you one at the door (and give you a smile) as you arrive. We’d love you to keep it.

The whole Sunday service – from the songs we sing, the videos we share, to our prayers, to the Bible reading, to the talk – and what happens in Kids Church – is focused on the same big idea. You can listen to the podcast, or watch the vodcast, of past talks here on the website to get a sense of what we’re on about.

Here’s how a service will basically run, some of these things might be weird if you’ve never been to church before, but we think each of these things are important parts of following Jesus together:

    • A few songs. We love singing about Jesus and what he has done for us at the cross. We think music is really helpful for communicating, and learning, and really enjoyable. The songs link in with the talk, and you can see what songs are on the list in any series by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.
    • Some prayers. When we get together on a Sunday we’re getting together because we follow Jesus and that means we have a relationship with the God who made the universe – so we talk to him – usually we say something about how great he is based on what we’re thinking about that Sunday, we say thanks for the good things he has given us (especially Jesus), we say sorry because we do wrong things, and we ask him for things – we pray about the things that are wrong with the world, and that more people would meet Jesus. If you come along and you don’t know Jesus already – you are, quite literally, an answer to our prayers.
    • A Kids Talk.  Because Jesus is for everybody we want to speak about Jesus in a way kids will understand. Kids Talks happen every week at Carina and are coming soon to Springfield and South Bank. They happen just before the kids head out to Kids Church.
    • A video.  we live in a multimedia world, and Creek Road Media makes videos that provoke us to think about the big idea and that are designed to start conversations.
    • A reading from the Bible. We believe the Bible is all about Jesus. It tells us who Jesus is, who we are, and how we should live if we want to follow Jesus as our king. We want all services to be based on the Bible, and we want to make what the Bible says clear and engaging.
    • A 20 minute Bible talk. This talk is often called a “sermon” – it’s a chance for us to hear from somebody about how the bit of the Bible we’ve read is about Jesus, how Jesus answers big questions for how we live now, and we hope it will raise questions for each person hearing it. We aim to go for about 20 minutes – like a TV show – but sometimes they’ll be a bit longer.
    • A Closing Song – We hope this final bit of singing will help us reflect on what has been said, and how we’ve been challenged.

We really want what goes on at church to be clear, interesting, and easy to understand – so feel free to ask questions if we’re not clear enough, or there’s something we haven’t explained in a way that clicks for you.

Who is church for?
Church is for everybody.
We believe the good news about Jesus is for everybody – so we try to cater for people of all ages and stages in life.

We have Kids Church at our 9am service at Carina, at our 10:30am service at Springfield, and at our 10:30 service at South Bank. We do what we can to provide space for parents, and children of all ages. We’re a family friendly church.

Our services are all about Jesus, this week and every week. They’re about who he is, and what he’s done for us. They’re all about God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – and God’s mission to save us through Jesus.

We really mean it when we say Jesus is for everybody – that means old or young, rich or poor, married, unmarried, divorced, single, or widowed – and every category of person you can imagine, is welcome to connect with us and find out more about who Jesus is every Sunday, at any of our services.

But I’m….!

It doesn’t matter if you’re the worst type of person you can think of. You’re really welcome to come and join us on a Sunday. Just remember we’re a bunch of broken and imperfect people serving Jesus, who lived a perfect life to restore us. Even if we sometimes look like we’ve got things together – that’s all because of Jesus and what he’s done for us.

What are the next steps after my first Sunday?

If you talk to our Connect Team, we’ll tell you more about the next steps you can take if you want to find out more about Jesus or Creek Road, or anything really, and we’ll invite you to join us at a Connect Course, where we’ll do some of that thinking together.

We don’t want to come on too strong – but we really do want people to meet Jesus and get to grips with his life changing, and world changing, story.

What’s all this Connect, Grow, Serve stuff?

If you stick around long enough (probably about five minutes) you’ll probably hear the words “connect,” “grow” and “serve” bandied about, or see them written somewhere.

All three words are really summed up in Jesus. We connect through Jesus, we grow to be like Jesus, which means we serve like Jesus.

Do you guys just want my money?

No. We don’t.

We want you to hear this very clearly. The mission to reach the city and reach the world takes money – and we do talk about giving and money – because Jesus spent lots of time talking about giving and money – but Jesus wants much more than your money. Jesus wants you. All of you.

We talk about money – mostly in Bible Talks where giving comes up in the passage we’re looking at. We don’t pass a collection plate around during our services. We don’t manipulate or cajole. We will always link talking about money to talking about Jesus and talking about God’s mission to change lives.

We talk about money, but if you’re not following Jesus, if God hasn’t transformed your heart yet then we do not want your money. Keep it. We want you to meet Jesus. If you don’t know Jesus we want you to be our guest. We want you to come along to church each week and hear about who Jesus is and what he has given you.

If you are a follower of Jesus, if your heart has been transformed by what God gave you at the Cross, then we want you to think about how you can give generously of your money, your time, and your whole self.

Our commitment is to using the money we are given to invest in God’s mission, to be and to be transparent about where it goes. It’s not about lining our pockets or funding massive building projects – it’s about saving lives.

Here’s a video that explains giving at Creek Road clearly.

What happens during the week?

Our big focus is on making every Sunday service a great chance to hear about Jesus clearly, but we do some important things during the week. Especially our Growth Groups.

Growth Groups are for people of all different stages and walks of life – you don’t need to be a follower of Jesus to come along to our groups, they’re a great way to learn more about who he is, and have your questions answered in a safe environment. Most of our Growth Groups meet in homes, some meet in our building, and others meet in convenient locations for workers, mums, or retirees.

Growth Groups meet in many different time slots, we’re really keen for everybody to have the opportunity to join a Growth Group because we’re not a church with Growth Groups, but a church of Growth Groups.

Being just a church with growth groups is an approach that says: “the groups are there if you want one – just for the keen ones.”

Being a church of growth groups is an approach that says: “everyone needs to be cared for, and everyone has a role to play in caring for others.”

Being a church of growth groups is not always the easy way. Relationships are hard work. We are called to love each other, not because of how lovable we all are, but because of Christ’s love shown to us in his death on the cross.

But it’s worth it! Being a church of growth groups benefits everyone. It’s a great way to fulfil the biblical picture of a church family sharing in the Word and prayer as we grow together.

After you’ve done a Connect Course, which is the first step to connecting with us as a church family, and explains some of the things we’re on about in a bit more depth.

We also offer a some opportunities for people in our congregation to connect with others at similar stages of life – we have playgroups where parents can connect with other parents, Kids Connect and YouthCONNECT which meet in our building most Friday nights during school term, and Seniors Connect where we invite elderly people to connect with us on a Friday morning every month. Please contact us if you’d like to join us for any of these events – we’d love to connect with you.

What are you guys on about?

We really want to be known for knowing and loving Jesus – and for being shaped by the central part of Jesus life and mission – the cross.

The cross was where Jesus gave up his life, because he loved us. It’s a model of sacrifice. It’s the heart of our message. We want to make sure that when people come through our doors, hear us speak during our services, and chat with us, that the cross is central. We work pretty hard at getting rid of distractions, and at communicating what the Bible says about Jesus in a clear and relevant way that speaks the language of our city.

We think the Cross is the best thing we can offer Brisbane, because we think the love of Jesus is the key to living life how it’s meant to be lived  – how the God who created the world meant us to live, putting others first – and a key to a better future – eternal life in heaven with God. That’s why we’re all about the newcomer – the person who doesn’t know Jesus yet – because we were once disconnected from God too. The cross shapes our approach to justice and to how we operate as members of society as individuals and as a community.

Without Jesus and his death and resurrection there could be no Christianity, no church, no Creek Road.

We can only connect to God, we can only truly connect to each other through the cross of Jesus.

Our vision is all about the wonderful cross of Jesus. We hope this is a vision that you want to be part of too.

What sort of church are you?

We love Jesus.

We believe the God who created the world has revealed himself to us in Jesus, a real man who lived, died, and was raised from the dead, in the Middle East, almost 2,000 years ago. We believe that this proved that Jesus was the king the Old Testament (the first half of the Bible) had promised was coming. We believe that Jesus the ascended up to heaven, and supplied his followers with the Holy Spirit – who works to make followers of Jesus more like him, more like the children of God that humans were created to be. This means we’re Trinitarian – we believe in one God, in three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This means we stand in the traditions of the earliest church, as recorded in the Bible and then made official by council meetings who put together things called “creeds,” which outline what Christians believe.

We love the Bible.

Because we believe God wants us to know him through Jesus, and we believe the Bible tells us who Jesus is, we love the Bible and think that it is the best way for us to understand who God is. Feelings and emotions are good tools, but the Bible is the ultimate guide. So we want everything we do to be consistent with what the Bible says about Jesus.

We love God’s family, the church.

We believe that people who follow Jesus become part of God’s family – that this is the ultimate form of human relationship – more important than marriage, more important than your own biological family – these things are great, and important, but the ultimate relationship is our relationship with God, and that flows into new relationships with his other children. We love marriage, we love family, but we want to be a community where people who aren’t married, or who don’t have children, feel like they’re absolutely as valuable to us as anybody else. Because if you’re a follower of Jesus, you’re a child of God. That’s what it means to be part of a church.

What is a Presbyterian?

It means we’re part of something bigger – we’re not just part of the whole number of children of God who have ever lived, we’re joined with a bunch of other Christians around the world, around Australia, around Queensland, and around Brisbane who share a similar understanding of what it means to follow Jesus, and how we should structure our community. We don’t really make a big deal about being Presbyterian – we want people who’ve come from all sorts of other church traditions to feel comfortable being followers of Jesus with us, and there are hundreds of other ways to do church, but here’s why we like being Presbyterian.

  • Accountability: As Presbyterians we not only need to sign up to what our core beliefs are, we have a system that makes sure we stick to it. This starts with our elders – who work within our church to make sure the things we do are stacking up with what we believe, and what we’re on about, but it spreads to our relationship with other churches in our area, Queensland, and Australia.
  • Majors on the right things: The Presbyterian Church is really solid on the important stuff, like who God is, who Jesus is, what the Bible is about, how people become followers of Jesus, and what that means. It has a long history of fighting for and holding on to those truths, and traces its roots back to the Reformation, where the “reformers” (the people who launched the Reformation) were really big on making it clear that faith in Jesus, not stuff we do, is what counts for everything.
  • Lets small things be small things: The Presbyterian Church also gives different churches in different places freedom in how we do church so we can reach different people in different ways with these same truths.

If you want to find out more about what “Presbyterian” means – or any of this stuff – we want to invite you to come along on a Sunday and join us for a Connect Course.

Who do I talk to about ___?

Creek Road has a big “Ministry” team – ministry is another word for “service” – but we use it to talk about service that’s designed to help other people know Jesus. Our “ministry team” includes all the members of our church community who are serving together – we call members of these teams our Ministry Partners. Each ministry of Creek Road has what we call a Ministry Leader – some of those people are also our paid staff.

If you have questions about weddings, funerals, or baptisms – please contact the office (using the details below) and we’ll talk you through our policies in those areas.

If you have any questions not answered here, or want to talk to us about anything at all – we’d love you to get in touch with us. Here are the best ways to do that:

Any of those options suit us just fine – so please choose whichever option (or options) you feel most comfortable with.

If you email us someone will get in touch with you, just let us know how you’d like that to happen – we can email back, call you, or arrange to meet you at church on a Sunday.

 

If you have any questions not answered here, or want to talk to us about anything at all – we’d love you to get in touch with us. Here are the best ways to do that:

Any of those options suit us just fine – so please choose whichever option (or options) you feel most comfortable with.

If you email us someone will get in touch with you, just let us know how you’d like that to happen – we can email back, call you, or arrange to meet you at church on a Sunday.

 

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