Who We Are and What to Expect
We are a Southern Baptist Church, by affiliation. We cooperate with, and are part of a larger denomination. East Shore Baptist Church (ESBC) is an independent church, which truly believes in God’s Word, the Bible, as the sole source of faith and practice. We believe that the Bible is God’s absolute truth; God’s revelation of Himself to man; and that there is no “truth” that conflicts with God’s Word.
We understand that searching for “the right church” can be difficult. From the church’s location, denominational affiliation (if any), styles, preaching, and more, we know it can at times seem overwhelming. At East Shore Baptist Church (ESBC) we have made an effort to help you in your quest by addressing some often asked questions. We are also working to produce some short videos to address some of these questions in such a way as you get to “meet us” before… well… you meet us. In them I pray you will see that we are both very serious about God, His Word, and the work He has called us to; and that we also love to have fun, embracing the joy of our salvation and fellowship, and not taking ourselves overly seriously. Thank you for taking the time to check us out. May God bless you in your search for where He would have you to worship and serve in His Kingdom work. Pastor Brian Harrison
What Kind of Church are We?
We are by association and cooperation part of the Southern Baptist Convention. ESBC is an independent church which truly believes in God’s Word, the Bible, as the sole source of faith and practice. We believe that the Bible is God’s absolute truth; God’s revelation of Himself to man; and that there is no “truth” that conflicts with God’s Word. As a church body, we strive to be part of God’s Kingdom work in our community, the Harrisburg metro area, and beyond. If you’re looking for the “perfect church”, please know we are not “it”. Churches are often described as “a family”, and that would be an apt description of us. From spiritual (and physical) infants to the mature in faith, to guests; and who doesn’t have the “odd uncle” or “strange aunt” <grin>; we are very much like an extended family. And every time someone comes to be a part of our family, we change a bit again. Ours is a church where you have opportunity and even the challenge to grow in your faith. Expressed in our Mission Statement is the commitment to know and grow in Christ. At ESBC, Christ is Lord, and you are welcome!
Note: If you are interested in learning more about the Southern Baptist Denomination, please visit www.sbc.net. The site also contains the Baptist Faith and Message, which explains the beliefs of Southern Baptists.
What should I wear?
When it comes to what we wear, we are more informal and relaxed. We believe God is far more concerned about the state of our heart than He is about what we are wearing. If you are accustomed to wearing suits and dresses to church, then feel free to do so. If you prefer jeans and t-shirts, then feel free to wear that. Got tattoos? That’s OK too, you’re welcome! The most important thing is that you come and worship our transcendent God and put your faith into practice. Do we have a request? Yes. Our only request is that your dress is modest; and that is because we want to focus our attention on Jesus and not each other.
What is the Preaching Like?
Our preaching is Christ-centered and Biblical. In John 8:32, Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” Our pastors know, that there are many things that compete with going to church on Sunday mornings. If a church will not share word from God, and the promise of hope and life from the Bible, then what is the point of going to church? We truly and sincerely believe that the Bible is the most important object in our church. What’s more, we believe that God’s Word has much to say to us today. We strive, with every message, to make it relevant and understandable. We also endeavor to teach the “whole counsel of God”. Sometimes, we teach on tough, timely subjects. Some of the previous messages are on this website. If you’re looking for a church that truly believes in values that stand for truth and righteousness, that preaches and teaches truth , in love and with grace, then you might want to check us out. Some of our sermons are found here.
What is the Worship Like?
We believe that true worship is much more than music, but we also understand that music style is often the focus of this question. Our worship music is diverse. We embrace some of the best of contemporary worship music and we also believe that many of the classical hymns are some of the “greatest hits” in Christian music. “Blended” is a term that probably best describes our music. Dave Stewart is our Minister of Worship and Arts. He leads our worship band and worship team in genuine worship, striving for excellence in all that they do.
Do You Expect Me To Give Money?
In our worship services we take up an offering. Whether you call it a tithe, offering, giving, or passing the plate, we see it as a significant and vital part of our worship and an expression of our faith, our trust in God. If you are a new guest, we do not expect you to give, and we do not want you to feel obligated to do so. You certainly may, but we realize that ESBC is not (at least not yet ) your church home. It has been said by some that “All the church wants is my money”. People who say such things are either unfamiliar with God’s Word, or have attended a less than biblical “church”. What we give is not only an act of faith and obedience; but it is also an incredible privilege in that we can directly partner with Christ in His work through His local church, and also beyond through the missions giving of the church (FYI, over 20% of our general giving goes to missions work; and we are fully accountable for the monies given through the church with monthly financial statements).
What Programs do you offer for Children?
A lot! We invested much of our time and resources to our children’s ministry. Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings, there are very active ministries for children of all ages. We don’t “baby-sit” or entertain our young people; we teach them God’s Word. Our elementary aged children are challenged in all classes to memorize and know Scripture, to have daily quiet time, and to have a personal relationship with God. Don Good leads our Children’s Ministry.
What Programs do you offer for Youth?
Brian Mader leads our Youth Ministry, and it is an exciting and excellent one. We use the Word of Life Bible Clubs, and several years in a row, the ESBC Youth Ministry Program received leadership awards. Our youth are challenged to know and memorize God’s Word, spend daily quiet time with the Lord, perform Christian service, and share their faith. While Wednesday evening is our principle Youth service, our Sunday morning Bible study time is very active as well. To help our Youth introduce Christ to friends in a relaxed setting, we also engage in periodic on and off-campus Youth oriented activities.
What Programs do you offer for Adults?
We offer a number of studies and small groups for adults, from Young - to - Senior Adults. A core ministry of our church is Home Fellowship Groups (HFG’s); multi-generational small groups designed not only to connect with Christ, but also with each other in genuine community. Our HFG’s meet in various homes throughout the week in genuine community, and are challenged to address and apply the sermon from Sunday. We offer Bible Studies at 9:30 AM on Sunday; adult Bible Studies, and small groups on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 PM, and periodic Bible Studies on and off campus throughout the year. We also engage in a number of off-campus conferences, such as the Word of Life Men’s and Women’s Conferences, and more.
What Programs do you offer for Senior Adults?
We have a very active senior adult ministry in our “JOY Club”. They meet monthly for fellowship, ministry projects, and other activities. They also have regular “Knife and Fork Club” gatherings at neighborhood restaurants; and have a number of outings each year.
What Involvement does ESBC have with World Missions?
Our church is very committed to supporting missions work Internationally, throughout North America, and locally. We give generously to the Cooperative Program of the SBC, which funds the largest International and North American mission organizations in the world. We also support individual missionaries, pastors, and ministries. Our church encourages and engages in local – to – foreign mission projects, and we have sent out a number of mission teams, and will do even more in the future. We take to heart Acts 1:8, and truly desire that Christ be known in our own “Jerusalem”, and to the uttermost corners of the earth!
What is the "Multiplying Church Center" all about?
ESBC, in partnership with Living Legacy Church in Hershey, PA, is part of a network of SBC churches throughout PA and South New Jersey – known as MC2 - that works to identify places of need, and to facilitate the planting of new churches. ESBC is actively engaged in training, mentoring, and helping to resource church plants in the Capitol Region. Having helped to sponsor and partner with Living Legacy, together we now are currently working with Transcend Church and Redeeming Grace Church, and are actively looking to facilitate other church plants in our region. With encouragement from our Pastor, quite a few of our families have left ESBC to form a committed core for these new churches.
What is offered in the Biblical Counseling Ministry at ESBC?
A team of counselors, both men and women, are committed to free “biblical” counseling i.e., ministering to people’s needs, not through modern day psychology or therapeutic counseling, but going back to our Creator and His Word, to address the deepest needs of the human soul, with truth. We minister to adults, couples, children, and families. Please see the link to the Biblical Counseling website for more information. www.eastshorebc.org