People who are searching for a church home often have many questions about what churches believe and practice. They often feel awkward just walking in the door of an unfamiliar church.
We understand this. So here are answers to questions that people commonly ask about Westside.
What is Westside Bible Fellowship like? Westside is a multi-generational church of ordinary people who believe Jesus Christ is the all-sufficient Savior. Our mission is to seek to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and become true worshippers of Christ in all areas of life. We're "Westside" because our church meets in Hillsboro west of Portland, Oregon. "Bible" is our middle name because we believe the Bible is authoritative and relevant for every situation that we may face. We're a "fellowship" because personal relationships are important to us. We're learning to encourage and serve one another.
Where are you located? We're a church fellowship that meets in Hillsboro, Oregon at the corner of SE 9th and Walnut.
Where can I park? We have two parking lots. One is directly in front of the church and a larger one is across the intersection of 9th and Walnut. Street parking is also available. There are special reserved spots for seniors and the disabled in the lot in front of the building.
What are the times of your Sunday morning services? Our Breaking of Bread (Communion) service begins at 9:30. This service is focused on remembering and worshipping Jesus Christ. Our Sunday School for children age 3 through high school and Family Bible Hour begin at 11:00. A nursery and Spanish translation are provided for our morning services.
Where do I go when I arrive? We encourage you stop at the special visitor welcome table located immediately on your left when you enter the front door. We'll be glad to answer your questions and help you find your way around. Then come enjoy a free cup of coffee in the Fireside Room with other people who call Westside home. You'll receive a warm welcome!
Should I bring my Bible with me? We encourage you to bring your Bible with you in the translation and format of your choice. If you don't have a Bible and want one, we'd be happy to give you one. We sometimes say that "Bible is our middle name," and you'll notice that we frequently read from the Bible in our church meetings. Having a Bible with you - printed or electronic - will make it easier for you to follow along.
What should I wear? Our congregation spans a range of ages and backgrounds. You'll see people dressed in a wide variety of styles—from jeans and slacks to business suits and dresses.
Who is your pastor? Westside is led by a group of elders who serve as pastors and undershepherds of Christ. This is an intentional decision on our part. We believe Scripture teaches that local churches should be led by elders who are to be both plural and equal. Also, shepherding the local church flock is too big a task for any one person. The leadership section in our Church Handbook explains our leadership structure.
What does Westside have for my family? We highly value the family and believe it is God-ordained and one of the most important building blocks of our society. For this reason, we offer teaching and worship activities for all ages. See the Get Connected section of this website.
Do you have a nursery? A safe, secure and well-equipped nursery staffed by trained and caring volunteers is available for infants and toddlers up through age 3 for all Sunday morning services.
Do you offer activities for children and youth? Yes, very much so. Sunday mornings at 11:00, we have a complete Sunday School program for children age 3 through Junior High. Our youth ministries meet on Sunday evenings at 6:00. This includes our high school ("Bridges") and Junior High ("The Power") ministries that meet for Bible teaching and fun activities. Check the calendar for the current schedule.
What kind of music do you use? We use a great variety of music ranging from the older hymns of the faith to contemporary worship songs. We also use a variety of instrumentation. Above all, we want our music to honor Christ and to lead us to worship and follow Him.
What is the Lord's Supper service? The Lord's Supper (also referred to as the Breaking of Bread) is one of the "core" meetings of our church. Its purpose is to remember and honor Jesus Christ. It's called "the Lord's Supper" because it belongs to Him. The meeting is not planned in advance. It is rather orchestrated by the Holy Spirit as He prompts various men from the body to contribute a hymn, scripture reading, comment or prayer that will help us all focus on and exalt Jesus Christ.
Do you offer small group Bible studies and fellowship times throughout the week? Small home fellowship groups, called Life Groups, are one of the core ministries of Westside and provide unique opportunities for group Bible study, building close relationships and learning to minister to one another. Trained leaders direct the groups in Bible-centered discussion, sharing, prayer and planning for outreach to others. We put a very high priority on these Life Groups because they play such an important role in the personal growth of people in the Westside body. English Life Groups meet in various homes from September to May on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. A Spanish group ("Grupo Hispano de Vida") meets Friday evenings at 7:00. Check the Sunday bulletin for details concerning locations.
Do you have special activities and gatherings for men and women? Our men's ministry is called Men's Time Out. MTO organizes weekly men's breakfasts in local restaurants, retreats and other special gatherings. Women of Westside, our women's ministry, includes women's Bible studies called Lifeline, retreats and other fellowship and learrning opportunities. Check the calendar for a schedule of these opportunities.
How can I find my ministry niche? We want everyone who considers Westside to be their church home to have a vital ministry function. Some serve in more public ministry while others serve behind the scenes. But the service of all is essential to the growth of the Body of Christ. The elders are available to help people find the niche that best fits them.
Do you take an offering? All the ministries of Westside are supported by financial gifts from Christian believers. Because giving to the work of the Lord is to be an act of worship, we only take offerings at the Breaking of Bread (Lord's Supper) service on Sunday mornings. This is because this core service is focused on the worship of our Savior, and the vast majority of those in attendance consider Westside to be their church home. Gifts may also be placed in the offering slot in the hall just outside the church office. Visitors have no obligation to participate in the offering. If you visit, we just want you to be our guest and to learn and be encouraged. Specifics about our practice of giving are found in our Church Handbook.
Are you a denomination? We're an independent local church and no denominational hierarchy dictates what we believe and practice. We try to closely follow the Bible in all we do. Westside has it roots with a group of churches that are known as the Plymouth Brethren. However, we rarely talk about this because our loyalty is to Christ and the Scriptures.
Does Westside teach from a certain Bible translation? No. The English-speaking world is blessed to have a number of good English translations of the Bible, including the New International Version, the New American Standard Version, the English Standard Version and the King James Verson. We give people, including our teachers, freedom to exercise their own personal preferences in this area.
Do you offer special services in Spanish? Closed-circuit Spanish translation is available during the Sunday morning Lord's Supper and Family Bible Hour meetings. If you would like to make use of this service, ask for earphones at the sound booth at the back of the auditorium. In addition, "Grupo Hispano de Vida," a Spanish language Life Group, meets at Westside each Friday evening at 7:00.
If you still have questions, you may contact us online.. Or call us at 503-640-5151 and leave a message so one of our elders (pastors) can return your call.