where do I go?
We meet in the former Michigan Avenue Academy at 600 E. Michigan Avenue in Paw Paw. We encourage guests to park in the lot at the west end of the building, closest to town. Enter through the auditorium doors facing Michigan Avenue.
What's the message like?
Freshwater is a laid-back place. The messages are delivered in everyday language. We laugh, a lot. Messages are Bible-based and often focus on topics that are relevant to our everyday lives. You can watch past messages online any time.
What should I expect from the gathering?
On a typical Sunday, the gathering begins with a secular or non-church warmup song. One of the pastors will share a couple of announcements, followed by three or four worship songs. That’s followed up by a teaching that usually lasts about 35 minutes. We end the gathering with one or two more worship songs and any closing announcements. The entire gathering takes about an hour and fifteen minutes.
What's the music like?
We have a contemporary band that can really rock! You might hear an old, classic hymn, a FW band original song, or a bluegrass arrangement of a modern worship song. Our band can do it all, so they do!
Do I have to sing or clap?
How much you participate in worship is totally up to you. Sit or stand, clap, sing along or don’t – no one is watching you. Worship is personal, and we know not everyone participates in the same way. Do whatever feels right for you.
What should I wear?
There’s no dress code at Freshwater. Dress up, dress down, we don’t care. Wear whatever is comfortable for you. Our pastors usually wear jeans. In the summer, they even wear (GASP!) shorts! We’re a pretty casual bunch.
Do I have to talk to anyone?
When you arrive at Freshwater, you’ll be greeted by a volunteer on our welcome team. They are happy to chat with you if you’d like. But no one is going to pounce on you and interrogate you because you’re new. We want you to feel welcomed and comfortable, but never pressured.
Where do my kids go? How do you keep them safe?
Our kids program, Splash, is located on the second floor and is available for infants through grade six. We keep your children safe in a couple of ways. All Splash volunteers must pass a criminal background check. We also use an electronic check-in and check-out system, so no child is ever released to someone without the matching tag. If you’d like to know more about staff training, safety drills and onsite security, contact our office. We’re happy to go over it with you.
Do you do anything weird I should know about?
We focus on relationships, not religion or rules. We practice communion about once a month, but whether you participate is based on your relationship with Jesus. We don’t pass an offering plate or basket at Freshwater, either. If you feel led to give, use the envelope on the seat in front of you and drop it in a black offering box on your way out.
Communion is for those who have accepted Christ as their savior. We reflect on his sacrifice by eating a cracker dipped in juice. The cracker represents His body and the juice represents His blood. No one is required to, or barred from, participating. If you have questions about communion or salvation, one of our pastors is happy to help. You can see them after each gathering at the stage.
Who can answer my questions?
If you have questions, the volunteers at Guest Services can help you. Or, see any volunteer wearing a name tag. If you have questions outside of Sunday, you can call us at 269.657.6500 or email us.
Will I be struck by lightning?
No. No one has ever been struck by lightning while attending Freshwater. That we know of. No matter where you are in your faith, you’re welcome here. There is no one so far away from God that He wouldn’t welcome them to His church. We try to live that out at Freshwater.