First and foremost, let us tell you that you are always welcome at Southwest! We know visiting a church can be a little intimidating. "What should I wear?" "Will I find a seat?" "Will people speak to me?" "Is there something for my kids?"
Here is a rundown of things we do during a typical worship service...
We worship in the room referred to as the auditorium or worship center. There are no reserved seats so sit anywhere, and remember there is also a balcony available. Currently, you can expect around 700 people joining you in this gathering.
We love to sing! We sing songs of glory and honor to God and His Son Jesus Christ, and songs of encouragement to each other. We use a projection screen to display all the lyrics to the songs we sing. You are encouraged to join with us in singing and enter in to worship with us, or simply listen to the words and music and let that draw you nearer to God.
More often than not, Doyle Corder is leading our worship times. Doyle utilizes many elements to focus us on God and His son. A praise team of 8 singers joins Doyle in leading the singing part of our worship times. If you are interested in serving the Southwest body by leading with the praise team, contact Doyle firstname.lastname@example.org.
We believe in the power of prayer, and we often pray for specific needs and requests. We will hve several public prayers during our service and many times include silent individual prayers.
We observe this memorial every Sunday. This Supper is a way of remembering the sacrifice Jesus has made on our behalf. During this, plates containing pieces of unleavened bread (they look like crackers) will be passed throughout the congregation. The bread symbolizes the body of Jesus. Each participant will break off a piece of the bread and eat it and spend a moment remembering Jesus in any way they choose. Some open the Bible, some silently pray, some listen to a song that is being sung or sing along themselves. They will also pass trays filled with small cups. The cups will contain grape juice, symbolizing the blood of Jesus, and participants spend another moment remembering that our sins have been forgiven. Once again, with the exception of passing the tray as it comes down your row of people, you are not required to participate. And if you don't, no need to be embarrassed. And feel equally as free to join in.
While we have many special services and variations in our gathering time, we usually have a time dedicated to teaching and preaching from scripture. More often than not, Brian Mashburn, will be leading that teaching. You can listen to many of his recent talks on our Teachings page.
You may notice videos, drama, dramatic readings, special music, testimonies, and other elements in our times of worship. These are all used in design to challenge us, draw us closer to God, and draw us closer to each other.
You will probably hear or see references to small group gatherings when you visit with us on a Sunday morning. At Southwest, we believe you will receive the most benefit by being in a small group which is intimate, interpersonal, and centered on Christ. You can contact Ryan Porche at 806-352-5647 or email@example.com to find the perfect small group for you.
We value your children very much at Southwest. We are not inconvenienced by children at all, no matter what the issue. For parents of young children, childcare is provided during all or most of the worship service. We want you to know that we take seriously your trust in us when you check-in your child.
All children have to be checked-in at the children's check-in area in the children's wing. We use a computer based security system and there will always be volunteers at the Neighborhood Desk to assist you. You will receive a name badge that you will be required to show to pick up your child.
Class time for all ages begins at 9:30 and ends at 10:15.
For 5th & 6th graders we have Route 56. This is a time to hang out with friends as well as large group and small group time. The doors to Route 56 open at 9:15.
For 1st grade through 4th grade, all ages start together in Club 513. The kids are given time (especially if they arrive early!) to play and run around with their friends before they are drawn back to to begin the time of big-group learning. On Sundays we have a time of large-group worship and Bible story before the kids go into their grade-level classes for a time of hands-on learning. The doors to Club 513 open at 9:15.
Kids Village is for kids 2 through Kindergarten. Our teachers and leaders are committed to making the stories about Jesus fun and to making them age-appropriate. Your child will receive much love and attention as they explore more about the Bible through songs, hands-on activities, crafts, and play time. Besides our great volunteers who are constantly engaging the children, Kids Village also includes a play-kitchen, a snack area, and lots of toys. Our hope is that as your children play/eat/learn, they are reminded that Jesus is crazy about them. The doors to Kids Village open at 9:20.
Starting Blocks is our ministry from newborn babies to 24 month old toddlers. Your child will love the sights and sounds as they learn that God made the world and Jesus loves them. Lessons and routines are repeated so that your child will learn to recognize certain songs and activities. Our rooms are spacious and allow for your little one to crawl, walk, and explore or be held and rocked by one of our teachers. More than anything, your child will be exposed to the love God has for them through the love and attention they receive from our fantastic teachers.
If you need childcare during worship, we have an attended nursery for our younger ones, infants and toddlers (up through 2 years old) and 3 years old through Kindergarten have Children's Worship in Club 513. If your child is going to attend Children's Worship, please take them to worship time with you, and they will be dismissed prior to the sermon time. For more info see Childcare During Worship.
We have classes for every age group. Our class time starts at 9:30 and ends at 10:15. See Adult Class Schedule for more information and class locations.
Wednesday nights, we offer classes that must be registered for. As offerings become available they will be listed on Adult Class Schedule page.