We make it our priority to communicate the Christian message in a way that doesn’t assume you went to seminary. In fact, for many in our community, Fair Haven is their first church. That said, we don’t shy away from actually learning, and growing and engaging challenging conversations. In other words, you don’t have to have any previous church experience, but we also don’t expect you to shut off your brain either.
It’s a real question for any of us when we come into a new environment and meet new people. Really, you’re welcome to dress how you would normally dress everyday. People wear everything from shorts and blue jeans to dress clothes and suits. We want you to feel comfortable being who you are. If dressing up feels right to you as you come to worship, we want to encourage you to do that. If you want to “come as you are” before God with other people, we want to encourage you to do that. We realize that different people approach worship from different places.
We do sing corporately every week. We realize that corporate singing isn’t a normal cultural experience these days unless in the audience on The Voice, at a U2 concert, or singing “Take me out to the ball game…” at a baseball game. However, we believe that singing is important for the heart and the soul, and singing together is an act of worship that means something and changes us.
You’re welcome not to sing when you come, but we hope you will try it sometime. We understand this is a journey for many people, and we are glad to walk the journey with you.
We do value songs from the past and many of us have fond memories of traditional church songs. However, we don’t sing those that often. We are more often singing new songs (“Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.” Psalm 96:1) because we want to keep our faith fresh and also connect with the culture in which we live – including making strides to connect our ageless ancient faith with the culture in which our children are growing up. We may sing some songs you don’t know, but sometimes that’s helpful because new songs can wake us up to the lyrics and the words we’re actually singing together.
Click here to find out more about our beliefs.
We believe that the words of the Bible are actually God’s words to us. We believe they are timeless and that they matter in every culture throughout time, including ours. We also believe that Jesus – God’s son – was fully human when He was on the earth and that He experienced what we experience in real life. Our goal, then, is to connect our real lives in these moments with the dramatic arc of history that God alone sees and knows. We try to connect with the life that God desires for us because He is the one who made us, knows us, and knows our future. He knows what’s best for our lives, so we seek to find that and follow it. Our Sunday morning messages are our attempt to connect the lives of real people with a real God who loves them deeply so that we can be transformed and our lives can be transformed by discovering His best for us.
We understand how easy it is to come to church and get “lost” in the mix. We don’t want that to happen to you! We recommend three things if you desire to see Fair Haven Church become “your” church:
- Come: While we realize there are a lot of things that compete for your Sunday mornings, if you really want to feel connected, a regular commitment to coming on Sundays is the best first step.
- Connect: We encourage you to attend a Discover Fair Haven event and also check out various opportunities to get connected, including breaking bread groups, classes, and women’s events.
- Serve: We are always looking for help – and would love to plug you in!
These churches originally out of Fair Haven Church, and we are now a growing family of churches in West Michigan. Fair Haven has for years been known as a Harbor of Hope in its community, and beginning in 2010 began to expand its presence through additional “harbors” throughout the greater Grand Rapids area. We believe that safe places are needed throughout our world where real people can find their way back to God. He has shown us this hope through his Son Jesus Christ.
A multi-site church is a church that has multiple congregations on multiple sites. Our “family of churches” currently has 5 congregations (Fair Haven Church, South Harbor Church, Harbor Life Church, Harbor Chapel) on 3 sites (Fair Haven Church, South Harbor Church, Harbor Life Church.) Click here to find directions to these sites.
We are also a member of the Reformed Church of America, and in the RCA, we’re considered a Collegiate Church, which is defined in the RCA’s Book of Church Order as “many congregations governed by one Consistory.” A Consistory is the board of elders and deacons and is the governing body of the church.
Nope. While we share the core theology, convictions and mission of the Reformed Church of America (RCA), many in our community did not grow up in the RCA. In fact, we have a wide range of different backgrounds and denominations.