by: Bobby Witherington
- You may be surprised that everyone in the assembly is invited to participate in the singing portion of the worship services. We have no choirs, special groups or solos. We use no pianos, drums, organs or guitars, etc. All music is acapella (vocal) as the New Testament indicates it was in the apostolic days (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). Contrary to what you may have heard, the singing is good singing, soul stirring and encouraging!
- You may be surprised that visitors are NOT requested to make a contribution. Local members contribute on the first day of the week, each and every week. This is done without demand in the form of “dues” or “assessments.” Free-will giving on the basis of other New Testament principles is impressed as the plan of scriptural giving. No pie-suppers, crab feeds, raffles, or money raising schemes are used! We do not bum or beg from those outside the Lord’s own family. All contributions, if the Lord’s will is respected, are freely given.
- If you visit with us on any Lord’s Day (the “first day of the week”), you may be surprised to find that we commemorate the death of Christ by partaking of the Lord’s supper, which was instituted by Christ and commanded and taught by Paul, the Apostle (Matt. 26:26-29;1 Cor. 11:23-26). In the first century, “upon the first day of the week the disciples came together to break bread” (Acts 20:7). Therefore, since every week has a first day, it follows that the Lord’s death must be commemorated every week! Not once every six months, or only on “Easter Sunday”!
- You may be surprised that no hyper-emotional appeals are made. You will not be urged to act or move in response to the invitation of the Lord until you have sufficient knowledge of the Truth, to serve as a basis for your faith (Jn. 20:30-31; Acts 16:32).
- It may surprise you that most Christians attend every assembly of the church because they want to, enjoy it, know it is commanded and because they realize that assembling to worship is vital to their spiritual growth and service to God (Acts 2:42; Heb. 10:25).
- You may be surprised to know that we have no man-made prayer book, no church-authorized discipline, manual or creed and no ritualistic worship (2 Tim. 3:16-17 & 4:1-4).
- You may be surprised at the manner of our services. You will not hear shouting, screaming or any other manifestation of unbridled emotions. No one will fall out in a faint, roll around on the floor or speak in “unknown” tongues. You will see that the admonition of the apostle Paul that all things “be done decently and in order,” is sincerely observed (1 Cor. 14:40).
- You may be surprised that the service is NOT conducted by a man claiming to be a part of a special priesthood. Since the Lord Jesus Christ is our High Priest and all Christians now make up a general priesthood and can themselves approach God and offer their prayers and sacrifices, it should be evident that no special earthly priesthood is necessary today (1 Pet. 2:5, 9; Heb. 4:14-16).
- With virtually all denominations having earthly headquarters, it may surprise you that the church of Christ has neither earthly headquarters nor an earthly head. Christ alone is head of His body and the church’s headquarters is in heaven, where Christ now sits and rules with ALL authority (Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:22-23; Phil. 3:20-21).
- Contrary to what you may have heard, you may be surprised to know that the church of Christ is not intent on condemning everyone to Hell, but invites all to come to our Lord in obedient faith, in faithful service and worship and in Godly living, that one may enjoy the benefits of His grace and strive for the hope of eternal life (Tit. 2:11-12; 1 Jn. 2:25).
- Finally, you may be surprised to learn that the Lord’s church is neither Catholic, Protestant, sectarian nor denominational. The Lord’s church in the first century was obviously none of these. If we are correct in our claim that we follow His Word alone (admitting that not all “churches of Christ” can honestly make this claim) and in every way seek to be simple New Testament Christians, then we are the same as it was in the first century. Being of the same head, doctrine and practice results in being the same body the Lord purchased or built and therefore antedates both Catholicism and all Protestant denominations (Acts 20:28; Matt. 16:18).
We greatly desire the unity for which Jesus prayed, but, we believe that scriptural unity is found only in Christ (Jn. 17:20-21). Both Catholicism and denominational sectarianism stands opposed to this unity. We stand upon the Word of our Lord alone, respecting His authority in everything and speaking only as He directs us if we “all be one” in Christ as He so fervently prayed (Matt. 28:18; 1 Pet. 4:11).
Please open your Bible, search the Scriptures, and come visit with us again!