What To Expect
Whether you live near us, are looking to learn more about us, or are just traveling through, you are always welcome to visit with us at any of our scheduled assemblies. However, we understand that it can be daunting to walk into a building full of strangers. This may especially be true if you are unfamiliar with how we do things. The following will tell you a little bit about what to expect when you come visit with us.
If you arrive before our worship begins, you will see almost everyone engaging in casual conversation. Among other reasons, we come together to "stimulate one another to love and good deeds" (Heb. 10:24-25). The time before and after worship serves as an opportunity for us to grow closer with one another by engaging in conversation.
As our worship begins, one of our men will make a few announcements concerning our congregation. Scripture gives us examples of Paul giving the church reports concerning his own work (Acts 14:27; 15:3-4) and the lives of other Christians (cf. Rom. 16). Announcements help us fulfill the command to "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep" (Rom. 12:15). Some of the announcements you will hear in our assembly will concern the work of the church (i.e., assembly times, upcoming gospel meetings, etc.), while other announcements will concern our members (i.e., illnesses, those traveling, deaths, etc.).
At various times throughout our assembly we offer public prayers to God. The New Testament tells us early Christians "were continually devoting themselves... to prayer" (Acts 2:42; cf. 12:5). We usually offer a prayer at the beginning of our assembly (to request God's blessings upon our worship) and another one at the conclusion of our services (to request God's care as we leave).
Another thing you will notice in our worship periods is that we sing without instrumental accompaniment. We worship this way because the New Testament never mentions the use of instrumental music, it simply instructs us to sing (see Matt. 26:30; Mark 14:26; Acts 16:25; Rom. 15:9; 1 Cor. 14:15; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Heb. 2:12; James 5:13). Although popular instruments and trained performers might be more appealing, our desire is to be pleasing to God by following his commands.
The Lord’s Supper:
We set aside time during our Sunday assemblies to remember Christ's death by taking the Lord's Supper. This is the same memorial feast that Jesus commanded (Matt. 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20) and Paul reiterated (1 Cor. 11:23-26). This is the same memorial feast that the first Christians took every first day of the week (Acts 20:7). Therefore, after offering prayers, a few men will pass around the bread (which represents Christ's body) and the fruit of the vine (which represents His blood). This is something that Christians are instructed to do in order to memorialize their Savior's sacrifice.
Another activity we engage in during our Sunday assembly is a collection of funds for the work of the church. Although our focus is primarily on spiritual things, there are certain things that the church must finance (i.e., helping needy saints, providing a place for worship, supporting an evangelist, study materials, etc.). The New Testament teaches us that this is to be done cheerfully (2 Cor. 9:7) and the example we have is of the Corinthians contributing "on the first day of every week" (1 Cor. 16:1-2). Therefore, we set aside the time immediately after the Lord's Supper to take up a contribution. This is an opportunity for our members to contribute; we never solicit funds from our visitors.
At each of our assemblies we take time to consider God's Word. When we open the book of Acts, we find early Christians were frequently preaching the gospel and having it preached to them (cf. Acts 5:42; 15:35; Acts 20:7). Our Sunday morning and evening lessons may last from 30-45 minutes, while Wednesday evening we only offer a brief thought of encouragement. We do our best to make sure that these lessons are based on and full of Scripture.
At the end of every service we invite everyone to make appropriate changes in their lives. In doing this, we follow the example of Peter (Acts 2:42) and Paul (Acts 17:30). After the lesson the preacher will prompt the congregation to stand and sing one final song. During the course of this song, anyone who needs to change their life (whether it be confession and repentance of sins, or baptism into Christ) can make their way to the front of the building. It is our custom that the preacher will visit with those who come forward and make the appropriate announcement following the song.