Gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic
Join us Sundays at 10:30AM online via our live stream at www.pillarbible.org/live.
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing individuals, organizations, and governments to evaluate and reflect upon their values and responsibilities and the church is no exception. Many churches, in a non-sinful act, have canceled their services. They have done so under the guidance of Scripture to obey civil government (Rom 13:1–7; 1 Pet 2:13–16).
Many have turned to technology to resolve the issue of suspended public gatherings. Churches have encouraged their members to meet in the digital world through live stream services to replace or supplement the lack of the physical gathering. While technology has its advantage, we should take a few precautions with such a decision.
- Our Sunday and regular ministry gatherings are suspended until further notice. In order to help slow the spread of the virus we are complying with the government to suspend our gathering together physically. This also means we will not partake of the Lord’s Table online.
- We will utilize a live stream on Sundays. The live stream is intended to function as a spiritual aid during our hiatus, not as a replacement for the regular church worship service. It will be a platform for us to share updates, read Scripture, pray, and have a short study of Scripture. Join us online Sundays at 10:30AM at www.pillarbible.org/live.
- Small Groups and Bible Studies are encouraged to utilize technology as well. Leaders of small groups and Bible studies are encouraged to utilize technology to meet for accountability, prayer, and book studies (e.g. FaceTime, Zoom, Google Hangouts).
- You are encouraged to find ways to love one another. Find unique ways to serve one another that do not require physical gatherings (e.g., text, phone, write letters, etc.).
- Anticipate our next physical gathering. God never intended for us to fulfill our brotherly responsibilities to one another via the internet. Therefore, a situation like this should cause us to anticipate the next church gathering.
Service starts at 3:15 PM [On hiatus until further notice during the COVID-19 pandemic]
Location: California Heights Baptist Church Building
Address: 4130 Gardenia Ave. Long Beach, CA 90807
Finding the Building
We rent from California Heights Baptist Church and have one afternoon service. We are behind the 76 gas station and next to Taqueria La Mexicana. Look for the building labeled “Calif. Heights Baptist Church.”
Feel free to park in the small private parking lot next to the church building on the corner of Gardenia Ave. and Cartagena St. While the lot is reserved for guest and family parking, it does tend to fill up leading up to the worship service start time.
If you need additional parking, free street parking is available anywhere in the surrounding neighborhood. We do request that you be respectful to our neighbors and park with courtesy to other cars and not protrude into the driveways.
The entrance is on the West side of the building, along Gardenia Ave., where the welcome sign is located.
6/5/2020 UPDATE: Gathering returns
What Should I Wear?
Generally, our church membership is not a gathering with formal attire. While those who lead the worship may be dressed in business casual attire, most of the attendees dress comfortably and modestly.
What Time Should I Arrive?
We recommend arriving 15 minutes early to allot plenty of time for parking and seating.
Sunday School is held before the main worship service at 1:30PM. If you plan to attend, we recommend arriving 10 minutes early.
[3/22/2020 UPDATE: Until further notice, Sunday School will not be held.]
Where Do I Go?
After parking, find the main entrance on Gardenia. Upon entrance, you will be greeted by a church member who can give you a program and help you find a comfortable seat. If you are interested in more information make sure you receive a welcome packet, gift, and brochures from the guest cart.
What Happens During Sunday Service?
Our worship service is very straightforward and can be divided into the following five portions.
- Praying the Bible
- Singing the Bible
- Reading the Bible
- Studying the Bible
- Seeing the Bible
For a detailed explanation of each part of the worship service, please take a look at the Worshipping With Us tab.
What Happens Afterward?
After the service, we continue into our dining hall for fellowship. We encourage this as a time to interact with our church members, ask questions, converse, and enjoy refreshments before going home. It is here where we get connected on a more personal and individual level. We would love for you to join us!
Sunday School—Deepening Our Pursuit of Godliness
Our Sunday begins with a time of equipping for adults at our Sunday School. Our Sunday School classes are scheduled to begin before our corporate gathering. The Sunday School meets from 1:45-3:00PM. These classes run parallel with a traditional semester system (15 week semesters).
Normally, there are 1-3 options to attend. The core curriculum covers material that help foster the growth of every Christian. The following is a list of our core classes:
- Bible Survey—Old Testament I
- Bible Survey—Old Testament Survey II
- Bible Survey—New Testament Survey
- Doctrine I
- Doctrine II
- Doctrine III
Other electives are offered throughout the year and include: Spiritual Disciplines, Ecclesiology, Biblical Counseling, and other aspects of Christian living and theology.
The Sunday Worship
Pillar Bible Church is intentional with structuring our worship service after the Bible. The following principles guide a majority of our worship.
Praying the Bible
First, Pillar Bible Church loves to pray the Bible. We are committed to regular prayers throughout our Sunday worship (e.g., opening prayer / call to worship, pastoral prayer, and many others). We want our prayers to be patterned after sound doctrine.
Singing the Bible
Second, Pillar Bible Church loves to sing the Bible. Our worship is largely contemporary in music (we do have a praise band or praise team). Still, we are committed to singing both contemporary songs and hymns. The Christian music ministries that influence our church include Sovereign Grace Music, Keith and Kristyn Getty, Citizens and Saints, Sojourn Music, Dustin Kensrue, and the like!
Reading the Bible
Third, Pillar Bible Church loves to read the Bible. Our worship service has a section dedicated to the public reading of Scripture. We have a call to worship and a dedicated time to systematically read through a book of the Bible.
Studying the Bible
Fourth, Pillar Bible Church loves to study the Bible. The largest portion of our worship service is dedicated to studying the Bible through expository (or sequential verse-by-verse) preaching. It is our time to listen to God and His authoritative Word in our lives.
Seeing the Bible
Fifth, Pillar Bible Church loves to see the Bible. We see the Bible when we practice the ordinances of Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. Baptisms are conducted in services as needed when sinners come to saving faith in Christ. The Lord’s Supper is practiced on the first Sunday of every month.
Other aspects of our worship include worship through giving where church members are given the opportunity to cheerfully give. We also recognize a short time of worshiping God through greeting one another. Here, members are able to greet one another and guests can take the time to meet a few new people.
Our Order of Worship
The Sunday gathering runs from 3:15PM-4:45PM. It is during this time that we gather together to praise God, pursue godliness, and proclaim God’s Word. Consider our order of worship and the following description:
We informally begin our worship with announcements. This helps us stay focused upon worshiping God.
Call to Worship & Prayer
Our formal worship begins with the reading of a Scripture that calls all who are in attendance to worship God. This takes place through the reading of Scripture that reminds us of God and His attributes and our responsibility to worship Him. A prayer is given to calibrate our souls for the purpose of worship.
Worship through Prayer
After our time of worship a prayer is given by one of the elders. The could be a prayer of confession, adoration, thanksgiving, or supplication depending on the main content of the sermon or the needs of the church.
Worship through Reading
Pillar Bible Church is committed to the public reading of Scripture (1 Tim 4:13; cf. Col 4:16). We systematically read through a book of the Bible every week. Normally, we alternate between Old and New Testaments in order to expose the church to the entirety of God’s Word.<
Worship through Greeting
The Bible does command Christians to greet one another (Rom 16:16; Phil 4:21; 1 Thess 5:26). Therefore, we make sure we give a short time to giving a warm greeting towards one another. This allows members to greet each other and for guests to become more acquainted with us on a personal level.
Worship through Giving
The Bible commands Christians to give to their local church in a cheerfully manner (2 Cor 9:6-7). This is an opportunity for believers to practice Christ-like humility (2 Cor 8:9). More information about giving can be found on the How to Give page.
Worship through Prayer
The congregation is led by the pastor in a pastoral prayer before the preaching of God’s Word. Depending on the life and health of the church, these prayers can range from prayers of confession, adoration, repentance, etc. This prayer normally ends with a request to receive the preaching of God’s Word with humility.
Worship through Preaching
The majority of our service is dedicated to the preaching of God’s Word. Pillar Bible Church is committed to expository preaching (i.e. the style of preaching that makes the main point of the text the main point of the sermon). This is often practiced in a verse-by-verse fashion.
Worship through Singing
Our service draws near to a close with a song, normally, related to the preaching of God’s Word.
Worship through Reflection
After singing, we pause for a few moments for thoughtful reflection. Christianity is a worldview that requires constant reflection and personal evaluation. These moments allow us to review and take in the contents of the worship service and ask God to make us more like Him.
Worship through Prayer
Our closing prayer is a blessing given by the leaders of the church for the saints to go and live a life of piety.
Worship through Fellowship
After our formal worship service we have a time of worshiping God through fellowship. We gather for accountability, time to catch up, and serve one another (often with food). Christians are also called to be personally invested in one another’s lives and this time of fellowship helps to cultivate healthier relationships among Christians and especially church members.