We know an unfamiliar place can be intimidating. So, let us tell you what you can expect when you honor us with a visit.
Bible classes are offered for all, ages 2 years and up. This gives each of us an opportunity to study the Bible with others of our age group. Only the Bible and Bible subjects will be taught in these classes.
What do we expect from you? Nothing at all! You are welcome to participate, but don’t feel obligated to. Just observe if that is your choice.
Only men lead worship (1 Timothy 2:12).
There will be several prayers during the service. There may be prayers for specific needs and requests.
One of the unique things about the churches of Christ – and something you may find strange – is that the music is “a cappella.” We sing without the accompaniment of musical instruments. This is a conviction with us, not just a preference. Since the New Testament leaves instrumental music out, we simply believe it’s best to exclude it as well. You’ll find the singing meaningful, with everyone being invited to participate.
If you visit on a Sunday morning, the Lord’s Supper will be included in the worship. The churches of Christ observe this memorial every Sunday (cf. Acts 20:7).
During this memorial, plates containing pieces of unleavened bread will be passed throughout the congregation (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:23-24). The bread represents the body of Jesus. The “fruit of the vine” symbolizes the blood of Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:25).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 around to collect the weekly financial offering (cf. 1 Corinthians 16:1-2). As our guest, you are not expected to make a donation or offering. Feel perfectly comfortable in just passing the collection plate or container on down the row.
You will notice that the preacher doesn’t have a title. He won’t be referred to as Pastor or Reverend (cf. 1 Peter 2:9). We believe in the priesthood of all believers. All of us are equal as Galatians 3:26-28 tells us. Plain Bible teaching is the purpose of each sermon. You will be able to sit quietly and follow in your own Bible as the lesson is presented. We believe the scriptures are sufficient for all teaching and we do not appeal to human creeds (2 Timothy 3:16). The sermon will likely be from 25 to 35 minutes. We think you will find it refreshingly Bible-centered.
At the close of the sermon, the preacher will “extend an invitation.” This is simply 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. If anyone responds for baptism, you may witness the baptism (Let’s link this word to the page on the plan of salvation) during the service.
What kind of people can you expect to find? Pretty much the entire spectrum, as in any group. You will find happy people – and grouchy people. Friendly people – and unfriendly people. Loving people – and cantankerous people. People who are babes in Christ – and those that have been Christians for a long time. You get the picture. We’re 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 an 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 (cf. Mark 2:17). 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, the bottom line is, you will find people who love Jesus and love the Bible.