The fear of the unknown, we’re all familiar with this! In regard to visiting with an unfamiliar church, we have lots of questions. Will they want me to make donations? Will I be pressured to participate, or may I just observe? Are they going to get snakes out and play with them??? What is the preaching like? Will I feel comfortable there, or will I be overwhelmed with just how weird these people are?
So we would like to give you a view into what we do when we assemble together! You will not be pressured to join in our activity; you are welcome to sit and observe if you wish. We want to make you feel welcome and appreciated, and several of us will probably introduce ourselves to you before or after the assembly.
Our auditorium is rather typical, with pews, and at the front an area for the speaker. To begin our Sunday morning assembly, one member or another will share a brief thought or passage with us, to focus our minds on our purposes: the worship and praise of God, or perhaps the blessings of learning His Word.
As the Christians in the New Testament were told to share psalms and hymns with each other (1 Corinthians 14:26, 14:15), another member will have come prepared to lead us in singing songs of praise to God and encouragement to one another (Ephesians 5:19-20, Colossians 3:16-17). We sing congregationally, each joining as he or she is able.
Near the beginning of our assembly, and at the close, there will be ones who lead us all in prayer to God, just as Christians in the first century prayed together. Our prayers are in our normal speech (rather than in unknown tongues that some churches practice), so that anyone hearing can join in mind, and say Amen in agreement at the end (1 Corinthians 14:15-16).
Just as the church in Troas (Acts 20:6-7) assembled on the first day of the week for the purpose of breaking bread, observing the Lord’s Supper (or communion), we too make that our purpose on the first day of the week. The Lord instituted this rite the night before His crucifixion, praying before taking the bread, and praying again before taking the fruit of the vine (Luke 22:14-20). These are the elements He ordained to remind us of His body and blood sacrificed on the cross. As we repeat this rite, we proclaim His death until He comes again (1 Corinthians 11:23-29).
In the New Testament we see the early Christians contributing money for the needs of the church, of the Christians. When some among them were destitute, others contributed. When men were busy preaching, others contributed to provide them with income. As Paul directed Christians to put money aside on Sundays for such purposes (1 Corinthians 16:1-2), we too take up a collection each Sunday from the members who wish to contribute. We do not seek the money of visitors. This is a responsibility only of those who have joined the congregation, to work and worship together.
Our various men present lessons from scripture for us when we assemble. These lessons are designed to help us learn the will of God as revealed in scripture, and to help us live by the same things. Though we feel the emotion and importance of our messages, we speak in conversational tones, seeking to communicate and inspire, rather than in overly dramatic ways merely to excite. We speak those things that are good for edification, exhortation, and consolation (I Corinthians 14:3). Although Paul, in a special visit, continued his message until midnight (Acts 20:7), we don’t speak so long!
Our Sunday morning assemblies begin at 10:30, and conclude anywhere between 11:30 and 11:50.
We also have a discussion oriented Bible class period on Sunday mornings prior to our assembly. An adult class and classes for various children’s ages begin at 9:30 and conclude at 10:20. These are studies of scripture, and all are welcome to attend, whether you join in the discussion or not.
Our Sunday evening assembly is very similar to that on Sunday morning.
On Wednesday evenings we concentrate mostly on the separate Bible classes, similar to the Sunday morning Bible classes – though we do all assemble for just a few minutes after those classes are over.
We would be very happy to see you come and visit with us!