WHAT TO EXPECT
A brief description of our background may help you understand us. We are people who hold the Bible as God's word and as the only source of our faith and practice. Our objective is to "restore" the New Testament church in our time-to determine from the Bible what the church was like in the beginning, and to be like that. We believe this is a worthy and reverent goal. As you can see, we want to be a Bible-centered church. And we try to be. Yet we are also human, and as such realize that our practices are sometimes colored by habit, preference, tradition, or convenience.
Now let us walk you through a worship service...
Some churches of Christ meet in homes or rented facilities. However, most, for the sake of convenience, have erected a church building. You will find our facilities simple and functional; not "high church," but more of a family gathering. You may not know anyone in the auditorium, but make yourself at home, sit where and with whom you please. We'll be glad to see you. Please be sure and let us know if you need help finding the nursery, classes, etc.
How is this for a refreshing change? There’s no choirs or musical instruments, just the unmatched melody of the human voice. Our singing, you see, is "a-cappella." That is, no instruments; and it is congregational, with everyone participating fully as we worship the Lord.
This is a conviction with us, not just a preference. Since the New Testament directs that we make "melody with your heart to the Lord" (Eph. 5: 19), that is the melody we offer in worship. We therefore do not presume to go beyond that which God has specified by making melody on any form of mechanical instrument. We believe you will find this to be an exhilarating and uplifting experience.
There will be several prayers during the service. And there may be prayers for specific needs and requests (1 Tim. 2:1,2).
You will notice that the preacher doesn't have a title. He won't be called Pastor or Reverend. He will probably be referred to as brother, or even Mister. Or, even better, just called by his first name. He won't be wearing any special clothing or robes which set him apart. The reason for this is our belief in the priesthood of all believers, that all are equal (I Pet. 2:5, 9). The sermon will likely be from 20 to 30 minutes. We think you will find it refreshingly Bible-centered (2 Tim. 4:1-5)
At the close of the sermon, the preacher will "extend an invitation". This is simply an expedient time to invite those who are moved to do so to make a spiritual commitment or request prayer support. He will encourage those who wish to "respond" to come to the front of the auditorium while the congregation sings a hymn.
Don't feel ill-at-ease during the invitation. You will not be singled out in any way. There may be several who respond. Or none Some may respond for baptism. Some to confess sins and request prayers for strength. Some to ask for prayer for a specific need. Some to "identify" or "place membership" with this church.
If anyone responds for baptism, you will witness the baptism during the service. The baptism will be by immersion (Co!. 2: 12). And it will be for the remission of sins (Acts. 2:38).
THE LORD’S SUPPER
If you visit on a Sunday morning, the Lord's Supper will be included in the worship proceedings-because churches of Christ observe this memorial every Sunday. Again, the reason for this is our desire to follow New Testament teaching. The first century church celebrated this observance on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). We assume from this that they did it the first day of every week. And we know from respected historians that in early centuries the Lord's Supper was an every Sunday commemoration.
During this memorial, plates containing pieces of unleavened bread will be passed throughout the congregation. The bread symbolizes the body of Jesus. Each participating person will break off a piece of the bread and eat it.
Next, trays filled with small cups will be distributed. The cups will contain "fruit of the vine," usually grape juice, symbolizing the blood of Jesus. Each participant will drink the contents of one of the cups (l Cor. 11:23-25).
If you choose not to participate, don't be embarrassed. Feel free to just pass the plate or tray to the person next to you.
Also, if you visit on a Sunday morning, containers will be passed to collect the weekly financial offering (I Cor. 16: 1-2).
As our guest, you are not expected to make a donation. Feel perfectly comfortable in just passing the collection plate on down the row.
WHAT IS EXPECTED OF YOU?
Nothing at all. You are welcome to participate or you might simply observe.
You may be asked to fill out a Visitor's Card. This simply provides information so the church can write or call to thank you for your visit. Supply the information if you are comfortable doing so. But, feel free to decline this request if you prefer.
We're a diverse group, coming from varied backgrounds, and at different stages of knowledge and spiritual growth. We do have a mutual commitment; that is, to practice the truth we have learned from scripture. You see, we were not brought together by any illusion of our perfection or righteousness. We were brought together by our recognition that we are sinners in need of the cleansing blood of Jesus (Rom.6:6-9).
That's the reason we can worship together, stick together, and, with God's help, accomplish what scripture says in our lives and the lives of others. Bottom line, you will find people who love Jesus and love the Bible.
So why don 't you join us for worship this Sunday or on any Sunday, to give us an opportunity to show you what we are all about. We think you will find us to be a warm, caring group and we would love to have you visit. See you Sunday!