The popular series of “how to” books For Dummies has sold over 200 million books on approximately 2,500 topics. These books have introduced people to everything from computer coding to cooking and from auto repair to anatomy. Their success may be due to their underlying assumption that the reader knows absolutely nothing about the subject of the book. In a culture where fewer and fewer people have grown up in church, there is an increasing number of people who do not understand many of the basic elements of a Christian worship service. But it is also true that many of us who have spent our entire lives in church may have never fully understood why we do what we do in worship. Join us this fall for a six-week series titled Because, in which we will explore the biblical and historic reasons Christians do what we do in worship.

  • Part One: Why We Dunk People Under Water

    More than a religious ritual, baptism is a beautiful symbol of a person’s faith in Jesus Christ. Baptism is also a sign of what a believer is becoming as he or she follows Jesus from death to life. Finally, baptism is a seal of belonging. Like a wedding ring, baptism is a visible reminder that this person belongs to Christ and is a part of His Church. In part one of BECAUSE, Pastor Gary explains why we baptize people and what it means.

    For more information on believer's baptism listen to PLUNGE and WATERMARK.

  • Part Two: Why We Teach From the Bible in Every Sermon

    The Bible is the best-selling book of all times. It is read, respected, revered, and reviled by people from every nation. Each Sunday, the stories, teachings, and history as recorded in this collection of ancient writings shapes not only the preaching, but the entire worship services of millions of churches. From the lyrics we sing to the creeds we believe; the Bible is the central source of authority for the church’s faith and practice. In week two of BECAUSE, Pastor Gary looks at the Bible and explains why we use it and how we often abuse it.

    Check out these great books:

    Eat This Book by Eugene Peterson

    God Sightings - The One Year Bible

    Take a listen to Pastor Gary's message titled ANCIENT WORDS.

  • Part Three: Why We Always Ask For Money

    An often-repeated criticism of the church is that, “they are always asking for money!” While there are examples of financial abuse by churches, there is also an important spiritual connection between our money and our spiritual health. In fact, Jesus talked about money more than He talked about heaven and hell combined! Join us for week 3 of BECAUSE where we explore the basic concepts of stewardship and generosity and learn why your money is like a thermometer revealing the condition of your heart.

    Listen to our GENEROUS CITY series, IN GOD WE TRUST series, and MAKING CHANGE.

    Another great resource is the book, Passing the Plate, by Christian Smith.

  • Part Four: Why We Hang Out and Sing

    There are only a few places where people sing together and everyone is expected to participate. "The Birthday Song" at a birthday party, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh inning stretch, and in church. Some people love to sing, others dread it, so why do we always do it in church? Are we singing for our own benefit and enjoyment or is there something more going on when we lift our voices in worship? Join us for part 4 of BECAUSE as we answer the questions why we hang out and sing in church.

    Additional resources:

    The Heart of the Artist by by Rory Noland

    The Unquenchable Worshipper by Matt Redman

    Worship His Majesty by Jack Hayford

  • Part Five: Why We Eat Stale Crackers and Drink Welch's In Church

    Communion. The Lord’s Supper. The Eucharist. Mass. While it goes by many names, every Christian tradition includes a symbolic meal involving bread and wine or their equivalent substitutes. Where did this ancient tradition come from? What does it mean? Why do Christians around the world still do it? Join us for part 5 of BECAUSE as we consider why we eat the bread and drink the wine in worship.

    Check out our TABLES series for a conversation about the Lord's Supper.

  • Part Six: Why We Believe Everyone Needs to Hear About Jesus

    At Southside, we believe our sending capacity is more important than our seating capacity. This means, among other things, that we do not measure our success by how many people sit in our worship services, but by how many people leave our worship services to live out the Gospel through word and deed. Jesus told His disciples to “Go and make disciples.” A fundamental part of our worship service is the ability to engage, equip, and empower people to fulfill the great commission. Join us for the sixth and final part of the BECAUSE series as Pastor Gary focuses on why we believe everyone needs to hear about Jesus.

    Take a listen to our BEAUTIFUL FEET series.

    Additional resources:

    Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper

    Radical by David Platt

    The Insanity of God by Nick Ripkin

    The Insanity of Obedience by Nick Ripkin

    The Hole in our Gospel by Richard Stearns