Why the name "Carleton Gospel Hall" ?
The word “Hall” is a general name for a public building. Since the Gospel is preached regularly in our building, the name "Gospel Hall" is appropriate for its use. We are also showing the difference between the church (the group of people) versus the building we meet in. The word "assembly" is a useful word to describe the gathering of church members at a single location. Some assemblies choose to name their building a “Gospel Chapel” or "Christian Assembly", or use the name of the town or street such as “Smithville Hall”.
Carleton is the area in South-East Vancouver where the church has met continuously since 1966, and we have taken the name from the surrounding community.
What are the Services held in Carleton Gospel Hall ?
Following the pattern of the first churches in Acts, church meetings in the gospel hall will include devotional worship on Sunday, Bible studies, Gospel preaching, pastoral teaching for believers, reports from missionaries and meetings for elders of the church.
Every Sunday, the assembly will meet to break bread. This meeting is either called the “Worship meeting”, “breaking of bread” or the “remembrance meeting” based on Jesus’ actions and the teaching included in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. The focus of this meeting is to remember & worship Jesus Christ - his divine character, life, death, and resurrection. Each man will take turns in leading the congregation in prayer, reading a scripture or choosing an appropriate hymn for the congregation to sing. During this meeting, someone will specifically thank God for the bread which symbolizes the Lord’s body. The loaf of bread is handed around the congregation so everyone can take a piece. Similarly, someone offers a prayer of thanks for Christ’s blood which is symbolized by the cup. It too is shared and then placed back on the table. Far from being an entertaining experience, the breaking of bread is an expression of reverence where Christians offer praise to God through the value of the blood of Jesus Christ.
The Teaching meeting is an instructional meeting for the benefit, exhortation and comfort of all believers. One person will take 30 to 60 minutes to read a portion of the Bible and teach the meaning, its context and apply it to daily living. In addition to the teaching sessions hosted at Carleton Gospel Hall, we participate in several annual Bible conferences where hundreds of believers will meet in a rented auditorium for a more intensive or in-depth session of teaching.
We host a weekly public presentation (designed for new attendees) called the Gospel Meeting. At the Gospel Meeting, a speaker will read from the Bible and explain salvation – sin, the soul, redemption, the character of God, eternity, faith, assurance etc.
We conduct a Prayer and Bible study on Wednesdays. We read a few thank-you letters from missionaries and preachers who have received financial support from us. Several of the men will lead the congregation in prayer for various needs. The assembly will then conduct a public bible study on a portion of scripture. One person will give a short synopsis of the topic and then the remaining time is an open forum to compare ideas on the meaning of the chapter. This is the forum to learn bible doctrine, ask questions, and consult commentaries or dictionaries.
Sunday School classes are held on Sunday mornings during the same time period as the adult teaching meeting. The goal of a Sunday school is to plant the gospel message into young minds that might not have any other source for their spiritual knowledge.
One meeting that is "non-scheduled" is the Missionary Meeting. Periodically, we are visited by a Christian missionary who works in another country. We hold a public meeting for them to report to us how God is working their area. Carleton has sent missionaries to Central America and Africa, and continues to support them in a variety of ways. Some of our former Sunday School students are now serving the Lord many thousands of miles away! It is a privilege to help them.
The elders of an assembly meet periodically to pray, discuss the needs of the people in the assembly, meet with church members privately to encourage and answer questions, schedule “house calls” for sick believers, plan the assembly calendar and discuss other matters.
What type of church government exists at the Gospel Hall ?
The leadership of the church consists of servant-leaders called elders. According to the Bible in 1st Timothy 3 and Titus 2, the leaders of a church must be of good moral character, able to teach the bible and care about the people of the church. These leaders are ultimately responsible for the doctrine taught in the church, the integrity of the use of funds and pastoral care of the church.