By Way Of Introduction
Many people hesitate to visit a church unless they know what it will be like when they go. We hope this page will help you know what to expect when you visit us.
We Are Not A Denomination
Neither are we inter-denominational. It is our sincere desire to be non-denominational, to wear no other name than Christ’s, and to be known simply as Christians, members of the body of Christ. (Acts 11:26; Ephesians 1:22-23). Collectively we refer to ourselves as the church of Christ, the Lord’s church, or some other scriptural description to identify ourselves as the saved people belonging to Christ (Ephesians 5:23).
We Strive To Be The Same Church Described In The New Testament
It is our purpose to be identified with the Christians of the first century. We believe this to be possible to all who will learn, believe and be guided by the plain teaching of God’s word. When Jesus declared such to be “the seed of the kingdom” (Luke 8:11), He was emphasizing a known fact of nature that specific kinds of seed, when planted, will always produce after their kind. For example, wheat will produce wheat. In like manner the word of God, when planted in the hearts of honest people, and obeyed, will produce Christians just as it did in the first century – nothing more and nothing less.
We Have No Human Head
There is no man, or group of men, who legislate for the church. We have no one to answer to except Christ our Lord. He is the head of the church (Colossians 1:18). There is no human head.
As was true in the first century, there is no inter-congregational organization. Congregations in different locations, with Christ as Lord, function independently of each other. According to the authority of Christ, when a church matures to the point where two or more men meet the qualifications, overseers (also called bishops, elders, and pastors) are appointed to look after all the affairs of the local church. Such men are appointed when they meet all the qualifications listed in I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. They then have the responsibility to “feed the flock” with spiritual food found in the scriptures, and to be examples for others (I Peter 5:1-3). In churches of Christ, preachers are not “pastors” (unless they meet the qualifications cited above), but are simply teachers of the gospel.
The Bible Is Our Only Guide
Therefore we have no man-made creeds to follow. We are governed in faith and conduct by the Bible alone. While recognizing the guiding principles of the Old Testament, we seek to conform to the pattern of the New Testament (Hebrews 1:1-2; I Peter 4:11). We accept the Bible as being both verbally inspired and infallible in content (II Peter 1:20-21; I Corinthians 2:11-13). Consequently, when the Bible speaks upon any given subject, its pronouncement is accepted as final. By its own testimony, no one may alter a single word with impunity (Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:6; Revelation 22:18-19).
Our Plea For Unity
We plead for unity among all who obediently respond to the doctrine and commandments given in the New Testament. Such is in harmony with the prayer of Jesus, and the pleadings of the apostles (John 17:20-21; I Corinthians 1:10; Ephesians 4:1-6). We consider such unity to be possible, or Jesus would not have prayed for it. Since division has always been the result of departure from God’s pattern, we believe division can be healed by a return to the revealed truth of God’s word. For this unity we plead.
What Is Done In Our Assembly?
Our worship procedures are simple, spiritual and orderly, key-noted by the words of Jesus, who said, “true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24). The frenzied emotionalism so common in churches today is absent. Each element of worship finds its origin in the commands and examples found in the New Testament.
- The entire assembly joins in singing gospel songs. There is no choir or special groups, but simple congregational singing. Since there is no evidence in the New Testament that the early church used mechanical instruments to accompany their singing, we do not use them in our worship (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16).
- The congregation is led in prayer by one of the men in the assembly. We pray, not only to praise and thank God, but also to ask for our needs and the needs of others (I Timothy 2:1-4).
- The lessons and sermons are designed to teach God’s word so as to encourage compliance by those who listen. It has become increasingly popular for preachers to appear sensational by discussing subjects not revealed in the Bible, and even laying claims to miraculous powers. We make no claim for sensationalism – just plain Bible teaching and study.
- The Lord’s Supper
- Like the church during the time the New Testament was written, we partake of the Lord’s supper each first day of the week (Acts 20:7). The supper consists of unleavened bread and fruit of the vine as memorials of the body and the blood of Jesus (I Corinthians 11:20-36).
- Giving As We Prosper
- We do not take up a collection every time we meet, but only on the first day of the week (I Corinthians 16:1-2). Should you attend our Sunday service when the collection is taken, you are not expected to give. This is the responsibility of the members, not our guests.