Welcome to Church of the Free.
We are a non-denominational community of believers who believe that Jesus is what we need. For more on our beliefs click here.
The first and most important thing we hope you encounter when you worship with us is God. After all, isn’t that why most people go to church… to experience God?
We believe that church isn’t a building. It isn’t a worship service. It really isn’t something you go to. Rather, church is something you experience by being with other believers pursuing God. The Bible tells us that the church is the people who believe. And when the people who believe in God gather together, God does some pretty cool things in our midst.
If you’re a visitor to our community of believers we want to take the time to tell you a little bit about us and what we hope you experience. Our disclaimer statement is we are Church of the Free. You don’t need to do anything when you come to our church. You’re free to be yourself. You’re free to participate and you’re free to not participate. So please don’t feel any pressure, just come experience God with us. We believe if you participate, you’ll experience God in a greater capacity. But no participation is required.
What is a normal Sunday Like?
A normal Sunday with us will begin with music. After music we will usually give a chance for people to share. We’ll share about how we experienced God that week. Maybe it’s something that God is teaching us, a praise or thanksgiving, or a request for the church to be praying about. This is about 15-20 minutes. And then we’ll open the Bible together and learn about God.
If you’ve been in church before, what you will experience at COTF may be a little different than what you’re used to, but all of it is designed for us to experience God and for us to experience God through each other.
Worship Through Music & Prayer
Our music set is normally about 40 minutes. Music is a great way to pray to God. Sometimes people don’t know what to pray and are intimidated to pray in groups. Through song we pray to God. Some songs are praises about how great God is. Some songs are asking God to do something in us. Some songs are thanking God. In our music sets we will sometimes sing a song many times over. When people visit us for the first time this is something that people don’t get right away. They wonder why we are singing this verse again. We just want to experience God, that’s why! We have found that in repeating verses our understanding of the verses and what we are singing goes deeper into our hearts and souls. We find that it allows us to meditate on the truths of God and as we repeat a verse or chorus we see God differently. It allows us to go deep with God. We invite you to go deep. In a normal music set you’ll see people who are singing their hearts out and you’ll see people not singing at all. At different times the song will drive us to respond to God in different ways. Some are quietly reflecting and praying. Others are singing. Many people move in and out of singing and reflecting. We promise that you’ll experience God if you participate freely in worship and respond to God in the way you want to.
We desire for people to be known in our community. We don’t want people to just sit in a chair and not know anyone. If we are to experience God we believe that experiencing God together is something we want to capitalize on. When people gather together we realize that many different things are going on in people’s lives. Some come excited. Some come burdened. Some come just because. Some feel like they’re learning a lot from God. Others feel like life is beating them down. Some come hoping that God can help them. Some come needing God to intervene for them. Others come just to escape the reality of their lives. In our sharing time we want people to experience God through each other. If you’re learning something about God, we invite you to share it to encourage others. If you’re struggling and you want some prayer, we encourage you to share it so we can pray with you. If you’re burdened, share it so we can give the burden to Jesus. If you’re excited about something, share it… we want to be excited with you. The Bible says that all believers in Jesus Christ have spiritual gifts and we want our church service to take advantage of those different gifts God has given to people through His Spirit. It is through this time that people experience God in two ways. They experience God through others. They also experience God as He uses them to help others. We want people to experience God and we encourage this.
Time in the Bible
We desire for the word of God (the Bible) to come to life. We want it to matter to our lives. We want to see how it matters to us today. We believe that all scripture is God breathed and that it is useful for equipping us for every good work. To that end we want to dive into the word together. Sometimes Rick will preach in the way that many are used to. However, we have found that interacting together as we seek to understand the Bible is much more effective. Our sermon is very interactive. If you have a question… ask it. There’s no reason to sit there and wonder what something means. If you ask it, we can address it. Often if you’re thinking it someone else is too. Also, while Rick is very knowledgeable in the Bible (he has a Master of Divinity from Multnomah Biblical Seminary), and loves to preach the word of God, he believes that others have things to contribute also. So if you have an insight, we invite you to share it. We have discovered things about God because someone in the audience contributed something that Rick didn’t share. When we learn together like this, we experience God through each other. We also find that the bible becomes more applicable to our lives on a day to day basis because we are all involved in trying to apply it to our lives.
We would love to have you come join us on a Sunday evening. We believe you will experience God.