You will be welcomed but not embarrassed. We love to see people come and try us out, but we don’t track visitors down like insurance salesmen working on their quota. Someone is probably going to say hi to you, but not in a stalker sort of way. If you get there a little early, there is coffee and (sometimes) cookies. You are welcome to take these with you to your seat.
Spirit Chapel is a smaller building (we like to call it cozy). But it has an amazing sound system, a small stage, and three projectors set up. The side walls are for the “environmental” projectors. This will be a video of something that creates a cool atmosphere: it could be a snowfall scene, or a fireplace, or something that relates to the music playing. (You can get an idea of this if you check out any of our sermons online)
If you come early, you will notice a countdown timer running on the main screen — we like to be punctual. The service usually starts with a video to set the tone — sometimes it is funny, sometimes moving, and sometimes inspiring. From there we start the music which is usually about three songs. The lyrics show on the main screen, so you don’t need to squint at old hymnals with fine print. After the music, we send the kids to their age appropriate service. We have the Lookput for the younger folk and the Youth Group for Middle School and up.
In the main room, the sermon starts as the kids leave. The sermon takes full advantage of the multimedia capabilities of the church — and usually includes slides, movie clips, and moving images sure to keep the attention. It goes by fast. One comment we get a lot is how the service seems to be over too soon.
Currently, we have two services:
Our church is located in the Swiss Alpine village (right between Fox’s Pizza and China Fortune):
300 Swiss Way
Elizabeth, PA 145037
Spirit Chapel has a vibrant program for the younger set — the curriculum is geared for children ranging from preschool to elementary school. At this time, “The Lookout” is only open for kids during the 10 AM service. All people come to the main church for the worship service, but then we take a break and the kids head off to “The Lookout” which is a ship themed room that has their own movie screen and age appropriate teaching.
Our Youth Group launched a little over a year ago. It is for 11 yrs old and up. They meet in the LOFT which is next door to the church building. Everyone is in the main building for the worship, and then the youth break off to do their own thing next door under the supervision of our Youth Pastors.
Not at all.
Spirit Chapel was designed with the millennials in mind.
We saw too many young people checking out of church and never coming back because they were bored. The tragedy was they were entering a time in their lives when they were making life changing decisions, and they were doing it without any thought about God at all. We wanted to design a church that met them where they lived. All of us want to know that God is timeless and relevant to the lives we live today.
Now… that said, we don’t check IDs at the door. We have people coming from all generations. Anyone who enjoys a creative worship experience, solid Christian teaching, and a message that is relevant to the issues we face in our lives today, will enjoy it. We have had people walk into Spirit Chapel and tell us after one service: “Wow, I found my church.” And that has happened for people from many different age groups.
The music is a blend. We do some hymns — but they are done in a more upbeat style with guitars, pianos, and even the occasional drumbeat. We also do modern worship songs that you may hear on K-Love.
There is no band up front rocking it out. We don’t want people coming for a concert, we want them to feel they can participate in the singing. The words to the music is on the screen, combined with moving images and environmental projections, all of which is designed to create an atmosphere where worshiping feels natural. In older days, artisans used paintings and sculpture to enhance the atmosphere for worship, we use sound and moving images — but the intent is the same: We don’t want people to watch, we want them to experience.
One thing we don’t do is overpower the room with the sound system.
A lot of times, people look at our four 1000 watt speakers with 18″ sub-woofer and assume we are going to hurt people with the volume — but we don’t “crank it up.” The reason we have the large system is not for volume, it is for clarity. The bigger the speaker, the larger sound wave it can represent. The sound in Spirit Chapel is remarkable. Every note can be heard in the songs, and even if the Pastor drops his voice to a whisper, you will still hear every word.
Its kind of funny that we get asked this question a lot — considering that usually people are complaining that churches only want their money…
We don’t take up a collection because we are not God’s collection agency. As our lead Pastor is fond of saying: “We are a Spirit-led church, not a Spirit-push church.”
We believe in giving. We believe in Tithing. We just don’t believe that we need to guilt anyone into giving. In fact, after a careful look through the New Testament, the only time we saw Jesus pass out baskets is when He was handing out food.
In order to give your tithe or offering to Spirit Chapel, there are three ways:
1) there is a box by the door (marked Tithes and Offerings) that you can drop your envelope (which are in the pews) into.
2) On the outside of the building is a slot that you can feel free to drop an offering in any time, day or night
3) You can give online through the web page.
Actually, we prefer to be called unique, rather than weird… And as for the cult thing, that’s not us, either. We are a non-denominational Christian church. That means we’re not part of a mainstream church organization (meaning we’re not Presbyterian, Lutheran, Catholic, etc) although all of our members have come from churches like that. The people at Spirit Chapel are incredibly normal — with two things in common: We believe in Jesus Christ, and we don’t believe in boring churches.
Most churches are part of a larger organization, called denominations. There is a national church government that controls how those churches operate — though the amount of control varies from denomination to denomination. Although there are some good reasons for such a government, there are problems with it, too. When we started Spirit Chapel, we wanted to be free to have a church that is unique to our area and our neighborhoods. We started with a vision for our community, and developed the church from there — rather than starting with a church structure that was designed a hundred years ago. We all came from traditional churches, so we don’t hate them. There are some people who prefer to worship in a church with strong traditions, and historical structure. That’s cool with us! But there also needs to be an alternative –
We felt that Elizabeth Township needed a place that was more relevant and less traditional, so we forged a different path.
(Again with the cult thing?)
Spirit Chapel does not answer to a national denomination. But we are accountable. We are first and foremost a bible based church. Every part of our constitution and by-laws is grounded in scripture. Inside of the church, we have an Executive Ministry Team that makes decisions affecting the day to day operation of the church, as advised in Proverbs 15:22.
Beyond that, we discuss our church decisions with an informal Apostolic board, made up of local pastors in the area to ensure our theology “doesn’t go off of the rails.”
Spirit Chapel is not a personality driven church — it is a church built on the teachings of Jesus Christ and the bible.