New here? We want to extend a warm welcome to you!
We’re glad you are interested in our church. You probably have questions. The answers to the most frequently asked questions you can find here.
Your first visit to our church service
No, it’s not necessary to register. Our church services take place every Sunday at 9:30 and are open to everyone. You can just drop by and visit anytime—we’d love that!
A typical church service includes several aspects. A “praise time” in which we sing songs together; a “prayer time” in which church service attenders are welcome to pray in their own words to God (but of course don’t have to) and a sermon. Sometimes there are other aspects to the service such as special music performances, personal testimonies, presentations, etc. At the end of each church service usually we sing 1-2 songs and then a blessing is spoken over the attenders. Once a month we celebrate communion together.
There is no dress code—you are welcome, just as you are! You’ll see our church attenders come typically dressed in jeans and t-shirt, dress, Lederhose or also a suit. Note: our rooms are heated in the winter. 😉
Church services typically run from 9:30-11:00am. During the second half of the church service there is the option for children to have a child-friendly program in a group setting. For parents with babies, there is a lovely baby room where you can listen to the service.
Yes! There is normally English translation through headphones available. Before the service, get a receiver with headphones at the back of the sanctuary.
No, the visit to church is free. If you’d like to give anyways, you are welcome to give a freewill donation (offering) that takes place during the church service, or through a bank transfer.
Good, that religion is not your thing! Jesus could not gain anything from religion; he even preached against it! God does not want you to follow empty religious rituals or that you repeat prefabricated prayers when your heart is not in it. Much more, God desires a personal, living relationship to you. Original, practical, up-close. How does that work? You can find the answer under the question “How do I become a Christian?” But why should Christians attend church? Simply put: because the Bible says that we need each other. In order to learn from each other, help one another out, and worship God together. And anyways, together life is much nicer, right?
About us and our programs
There are many things that link us together with the catholic, protestant and other Christian churches. We all trace our beginnings to the same source: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Another example is the “Apostles Creed”, a statement of faith we Christian churches would all acknowledge and apply.
Despite our shared foundation of faith in Jesus, there are a few points that distinguish the theology and praxis of the different Christian denominations. To give you a better understanding, we will mention a few specific differences. Like the name “free church” implies, our freedom to make a personal decision is an important aspect to us as you will see in the various points:
- Voluntary baptism: We don’t baptize babies because they cannot intentionally, freely make a decision of faith. Instead of a baby baptism we do have a service where we dedicate our children to the Lord, and bless them. When they come of age to make a personal decision of faith, they can be baptized. We call this a “believers baptism”.
- Voluntary financial support: According to the model of the very first christian church in the Bible (see 2. Corinthians 9:7) we support ourselfes by donations. Our church members do not pay an obligatory church membership contribution.
- Freedom for pastors concerning marriage: Since the Bible does not forbid pastors to marry, we do not either.
- Freedom of the local church: Our local churches are independent. That means that we do not have a human leader such as a Pope or a Bishop who makes decisions for all churches. The rationale is that God’s word is supposed to be the only basis for every local church.
Basically, every local church should have the freedom to go by what the Bible says – to the best of one’s knowledge and free from institutional laws. Since everybody interprets the Bible in a different way because of culture and background, there is a wide spectrum of free evangelical churches ranging from traditional to modern and conservative to liberal. It’s very important to us to value this variety and seek unity amoung ourselves and with other Christian churches as much as possible. But: In the end it is not important which church you go to. What counts is what you really believe in your heart.
We use the same Bible as the protestant and catholic church. It consists of the Old and New Testaments. There is one difference: the Catholic church uses Bibles with the “apocrypha” included (these books are not officially part of the Biblical canon).
Our church is financed through free-willing donations. Why? Because the Bible teaches us that God is pleased when we give only from a willing and glad heart. According to the Bible, each person should give as much as they are able and desire. In the Old Testament, the time before Jesus, there were different rules about giving your offering, specifically the command to give a tenth. Many Christians even today use this as a benchmark and give 10% of their salary—some through a bank transfer, some by giving in the offering basket. If you would like to support us financially, you can find our banking information here.
Marriage preparation courses are planned in the future. If you would like you can contact us at any time. We can then inform you about our current possibilities for courses.
Currently we are not offering those courses. We hope to soon offer the courses from Alpha for couples and parents. If you are interested, please contact us—so that we can give you further information and put you on a list of those who are interested.
The first steps of faith
The ways in which God wins people to Himself are diverse and wonderful. Some Christians have found faith in God through a conversation with someone, others through reading the Bible, through church, through online videos, at an event or even in the middle of the night through a dream. That’s why there is no certain “procedure” for becoming a Christian. But what is always included in becoming a Christian is: 1. Understand/experience 2. Decision 3. Life! The four following tips should help you find your personal way to God:
- Tip 1: Get a Bible and do your own research
Ideally, get a translation that is easy to understand such as the “English Standard Version” or “ESV”. Read it regularly. A good place to start is in the “gospels”, the books named: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They are found right at the beginning of the New Testament, and tell of the life of Jesus. You will learn more about God, God’s plan for your life, and how you can become a follower of Jesus Christ (in other words, how you can become a Christian).Taking part in a faith basics course (for example the Alpha course or an online course) can also be a good way to learn more about God. If you are seeking God with your whole heart, God will help you find faith in Him, and enable you to understand the Good News of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. The Bible promises that!
- Tip 2: Seek out other Christians and a local church
Surely there are other Christians and a church in your area. Look for a place you can have good fellowship and visit regularly. Most churches also have a smaller group meeting weekly outside of the Sunday service, called a “Bible study”, “cell group”, “prayer meeting”, or “small group”. This small group setting is especially a great way to get to know other Christians who will help you together to seek God, and to follow in His footsteps.
- Tip 3: Make a firm decision for Christ
You will discover that God is a holy God. There is nothing false in Him; He is good through and through. He is so incomprehensibly holy, that every unholy thing ceases to exist in His presence. Picture a completely dark room with a light. The light is so incredibly strong that no shadows can linger in the room, the light fills every corner. God has created humanity to live with Him together in His light—in the light of His love. But we have chosen the shadows, in that we have chosen things that are not right, and do not please God. That’s why we cannot be close to God anymore, because our sins stand like walls between us and God.But God longs to tear down these walls—because He loves us. That’s why He sent His only Son Jesus Christ to this earth. Jesus was completely blameless, without sin. When He died on the cross, He willingly took the punishment for your and my sins upon Himself. By giving Himself He tore down the walls and we can now live in God’s nearness—freed from the burden of our sins and bad conscience. Because of this, peace between God and humanity is once again made possible, just as the angel announced at Jesus’ birth: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” This is the Good News!If you believe this, and would like to receive Jesus as your personal savior and new boss of your life, make this decision firm by praying to God. The Bible says: “ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) It can be helpful to pray this prayer with another Christian or for example to write it down in a journal.
- Tip 4: Live your faith
Being a Christian means making a daily choice to follow Jesus, to live in the everyday rhythms of life with Him. We are able to experience God in a very personal way at work in our own lives! The Bible says we are to “grow in faith” and that our behavior and character should become more and more resembling Jesus’.That’s why you should continue reading your Bible, to learn more about Jesus. Pray to God, to align your heart with His, to thank Him and to bring your troubles and requests before Him. Learn to recognize the work of the Holy Spirit in your life, and to welcome it. Practice living a life of loving your neighbors, just as Jesus did. Spend a lot of time with other Christians, for example in church. God made us to need each other. Not only do you need other Christians—they need you, you with your unique, God-given gifts! You will experience, over time, how God transforms you in His wonderful way. And not only this: He will also touch many people with His love through your life.
Since the Bible was originally written in Hebrew and Greek, there are a variety of English translations available. For beginners, we recommend good understandable translations in modern English, for example a Bible with the “English Standard Version” (ESV) or “New International Version” (NIV). There are also number of types of Bibles issued such as pocket Bibles, Bibles in large print, study Bibles or bilingual Bibles. Our workers at the book table would gladly help you find the Bible that’s a good fit for you. Alternatively, you can also order a Bible online or through the Christian bookstore “Crossroads” in Linz.
We don’t personally offer online courses, but we can recommend the following online faith courses:
- “Faith—how does it work?” Online faith course in 10 units from ERF Medien—there are also many other courses
- “Faith Course Vertical” Online faith course with 10 videos from Missionswerk Werner Heukelbach
P.S.: When you’d rather do a faith basis course in a group, we can recommnd the Alpha course!
Membership and Baptism
A visitor visits our church once or even regularly, in order to get to acquainted with us. However, a member has more of a legal connection—similarly to a membership of a club. A membership in our church is an official commitment that you want to be a long term part of our church and even brings rights as well as duties along with it. On the one side, you gain a say and a voting right in the membership gatherings. And on the other side, it is expected of you that you will be active in your God given gifts and take part in the life of the church. New since 2014: children of members can visit the free-church religion classes in school.
If you would like to become a member, then please make an appointment with our pastor. He will go over the process of membership with you and tell you whether membership is possible. Requirements for membership include, for example, regular church attendance and (adult) baptism.