Certainly. You do not have to be a Christian to visit us. BLC welcomes everyone just as they are, wherever they are on their faith journey.
At BLC, our worship services usually begin with a time of singing and prayers, followed by a time of when the Pastor shares a message based on the Bible readings of the day. Following the message, the church has a time of giving (called “tithes and offering”) – as a visitor, please do not feel compelled to give (though you are welcome to). After that, we will usually make a few announcements and concluded with the “BLC Family Circle” where we join hands in one big circle for a Closing Prayer (we call this the “Benediction”). After service, we have serve refreshments to which you are very welcome to help yourself to.
You should come dressed as comfortably as you want to. Don’t be surprised to see church members coming in dressed in t-shirts and shorts!
One of BLC’s core values for worship is to help families worship together. Children are welcome at all times in the main service area. At the same time, we do have a small room for mothers with young babies who may want to have some privacy when feeding them.
No problem. That’s why we have a big screen with the words projected on to it so that you can follow along.
We encourage everyone to put their phones on silent mode. But should an important or urgent call come through, you could quietly move out from your seat and exit the building to take your call so that you do not distract other people from focusing in church.
It is a very common sight in BLC to see smartphones and tablets being used throughout the service. Some use it to refer to their e-Bibles, take notes while others even tweet or Facebook about whatever is happening during service. There are some who will even take pictures throughout the service to blog about it! We welcome all this as various forms of engagement with the service, but ask that this be done considerately without becoming a distraction for others. Oh yes, don’t forget to silence your phones and take calls outside the church sanctuary while service is on.
It is true that there is a time for our church members to give an “offering” during the service. Church members do this because we are grateful for God’s blessings in our lives and not by force or out of coercion. For us, it is an act of worship. However, please do not feel that you have to participate in it, if you are not comfortable. For your information, the offering is managed with the greatest care and it is meant to cover the running expenses of the church and for worthy causes which we support as a church.
Well, according to our Founding Pastor Sivin Kit, the reference is based on Jesus’ saying in John 14:1-4:
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.”
When we started in 2000, the premises still had 4 rooms next to the main hall. Each room had some nice names like, the “Thinking Room” for the office; the “Learning Room” for the library, and the “Growing Room”, for the nursing mothers’ room. It also gave us a chance to tell newcomers, “There’s always room… for you.” It provided an environment and culture that felt more like family, welcoming like a home, rather than that of a school, battle station or even a cold centre. It further allowed us to make a distinction between the Church as the people of BLC, and the ‘church’ as a place or building.
The “BLC Family Circle” at the end of service is a distinct BLC tradition. We have been doing this for as long as we can remember. What we do is gather everyone into a circle (of sorts) and join hands for the closing prayer. Usually, this includes The Lord’s Prayer, the Benediction and singing the “three-fold Amen”, before ending with a call to “Go in peace and serve the Lord.” To which, we reply, “In the name of Christ, AMEN.”