What to expect
A nursery is available during worship service for your convenience.
We want you to visit us at the church of Christ. We want you to feel comfortable, however we know that an unfamiliar place can be intimidating. So let us tell you what you can expect when you honor us with a visit.
A brief description of our background may help you understand us. We are a part of "The Restoration movement." Our goal 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.
Our desire is to be a Bible-centered church and we try to be. We know that our conclusions aren't always flawless. Yet, if we keep going back to the Scriptures as our only guide, we will find the truth. Therefore, we recognize no manmade rules of faith. Now, let us walk you through a worship service. There may be some variations from this description, because every church of Christ is self ruling, and independent.
Some churches of Christ meet in homes or rented facilities. However, most, for the sake of convenience, have erected a church building.
You will enter what we refer to as the "auditorium." There will be rows of chairs or pews for the worshipers. There are no reserved seats.
In the bookrack under the seat in front of you, there is a hymnbook. The song leader will announce a number in the book to find the words and music. The music is sung "a cappella," that is, we sing without the use of an instrument.
This is a conviction, rather than a matter of preference. We are seeking to worship according to the New Testament pattern. Since the New Testament leaves instrumental music out, we believe it's best to exclude it too.
Upon examination, we believe you will respect our reason and conviction for it. We think you will find the singing meaningful, and invite you to participate.
There will be several prayers during the service. And there may be prayers for specific needs and requests.
You will notice that the preacher doesn't have a title. He won't be referred to as Pastor or Reverend. He may be addressed as Dr., but only if he has earned that academic credential. He will probably be referred to as "Brother." Or, "Minister," Or, just called by his first name.
He will not be wearing any religious clothing that will set him apart. We believe in the priesthood of all believers. All Christians are equal. The sermon will be from 20-30 minutes. We think you will find it balanced and Bible focused.
At the close of the sermon, the preacher will "extend an invitation." This is a time to invite those who are moved to do so to make a 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 this invitation. You will not be singled out in any way. There may be several who respond, or none. Some to confess sins. Some to ask for prayer for a specific need. Some to "identify" with this local congregation.
If any one responds for baptism, you will witness the baptism during this service. The baptism will be by immersion for the remission of sins.
The Lord's Supper
If you visit on a Sunday morning or evening, the Lord's Supper will be included in the worship hour. Churches of Christ observe this memorial every Sunday. The reason for this is our desire to follow the New Testament teaching.
Since the first century church celebrated this observance on the first day of the week, we recognized the practice to be normal for the church today. 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. 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.
If you visit on Sunday morning, containers will be passed to collect the weekly financial offering. Our guests are not expected to donate. Feel free to pass the offering tray with or without contributing.
What Will be Expected of You
Nothing at all. You are welcome to participate, but don't feel obligated. Just observe if that is your choice.
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. Feel free to decline this request if you prefer.
What kind of people can you expect to find? Pretty much an entire spectrum, as in any group.
You will find happy people -- sad people -- friendly people -- some who are shy -- Loving people -- Learned people -- and some beginning to learn.
We are a diverse group, coming from varied backgrounds, and at different stages of knowledge and spiritual growth.
We don't know everything. We don't do everything right. We don't always treat each other as we should. We haven't arrived -- We're just on the journey.
But, 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 (Mark 2:17; Romans 5:6-9).
That's the reason we can worship together, stick together, and, with God's help, accomplish some things that make a difference. You won't have to look very far to find our failures. But, bottom line, you will find people who love Jesus and love the Bible.
Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah, offers:
- Forgiveness of the Past
- Purpose for the Present
- Hope for the Future