If you have never attended a church of Christ before, you may wonder what to expect. Following is a basic summary of the activities in our Sunday morning assembly which, we hope, will set your mind at ease.
First, as you enter our meeting place, expect to be warmly welcomed! We love each other, and we love our visitors. We feel honored when people we don’t yet know come to meet with us. Probably several people will introduce themselves and tell you how happy they are that you are here, and how they hope you will return at every opportunity.
When starting time arrives, everyone will be welcomed once again, and a few announcements of general interest to the congregation will be made.
The song leader will announce the first song for that morning. Hymnals are in the book rack in front of you, or you may follow along with the songs as they are projected onto the screen at the front of the auditorium. You are not required to sing along with us, but you certainly are welcome to do so. Our purpose in singing is to praise God (Hebrews 13:15) and to teach and admonish one another (Colossians 3:16). We do not focus on entertaining ourselves or others as we sing. You will notice that our singing is vocal, unaccompanied by any musical instruments. This is what the New Testament teaches (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16), and was the practice of the early church as directed by the apostles of Christ. We think you will be amazed at the simple beauty of genuine A Cappella singing.
After we sing a few songs, one of the men of the congregation will lead us in prayer to God. As with all of our activities, you are welcome to pray along with us, but you are not obligated.
After a few more songs, several men will serve the Lord’s Supper (Communion). This weekly observance reminds us of the body and blood of Jesus, given upon the cross for us (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). In keeping with Jesus’ example, the bread will be served first, followed by the fruit of the vine (grape juice). Once again, you may participate or decline to do so; you will not be pressured either way.
After the Lord’s Supper has concluded, the same men who served Communion will pass the collection plates to take up the weekly offering (see 1 Corinthians 16:2). This is how the work of the congregation is financed. The collection is not part of the Lord’s Supper; however, since those who served Communion are already standing before the congregation, it is a convenient time for them to pass the collection plates as well. As our honored guest, you are not expected or required to contribute to this collection, though you may do so if you wish.
About midway through our time together, the preacher will stand before the congregation and deliver a sermon from the Scriptures. For your convenience, Bibles are in the book rack in front of you so that you may follow the reading. You will notice a strong emphasis on what the Bible teaches. We firmly believe that the Bible is the inspired, authoritative word of Almighty God. At the conclusion of the sermon, the congregation will stand and sing an invitation song to encourage anyone who wishes to become a Christian to do so. Those responding to the invitation will be assisted by the preacher or one of the elders.
Closing song & prayer
The assembly will conclude with a final song and prayer. After this, you are free to stay and visit as long as you please. Should you have any questions about what went on, or about anything Bible or Church-related, please feel free to ask. We will not be offended, and we will do our utmost to give you an answer that is in complete harmony with the Scriptures!