What To Expect
It would give us great joy for you to visit us at the The Church of Christ on the Highway. And, we want you to feel comfortable. But, we know an unfamiliar place can be intimidating. So, let us tell you what you can expect when you honor us with a visit.
Let me briefly describe some of the things you will
What kind of people can you expect to find? Pretty much the entire spectrum.
We're a diverse group, coming from varied backgrounds, and at different stages of knowledge and spiritual growth. We don't know everything. We haven't arrived - we're just on the journey.
But, you see, we were not brought together by any illusion of our perfection or righteousness. We were brought together by our recognition that we are people in need of the cleansing blood of Jesus. Mark 2:17, Romans 5:6-9, Ephesians 1:7, John 1:7
That's the reason we can worship together, stick together, and, with God's help, accomplish some things that make a difference.
You won't have to look very far to find our faults. But, bottom line, you will find people who love Jesus,who love each other, and who love the sweet words of God.
Not only do we welcome
visitors, but we appreciate them greatly. Such people who show an interest
in spiritual things encourage us. You won’t find any special pews for prominent
visitors while the back row remains reserved for all others (James
2:1-9). We try to treat all people with respect and kindness.
Order And Reverence
Worship will be in spirit and in truth (John 4:24),
lively, but not wild and out of control (1 Timothy 3:15). The Lord expects us to do all things
"decently and in order.” (1 Corinthians 14:40). We invite you to
ask questions about anything you observe. If we cannot show you from the Bible
why we do such things, we ask you to simply ignore us.
Churches of Christ brethren meet in a nice comfortable setting. However, most, for the sake of convenience, have erected a church building.There will be rows of pews, a nursery for the little ones and comfort place for all worshipers. There are no reserved seats, so feel free to sit anywhere you choose.
There will be a hymnbook for your use. When the song leader announces a number, you can turn to that number in the hymnbook to find the words and music.
One of the unique things about Churches of Christ - and something you may find strange - is that the music is "acappella". That is, we sing without the accompaniment of musical instruments.
This is a conviction with us, not just a preference. It has its roots in the first century church. We are seeking to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth according to the New Testament pattern. Since the New Testament leaves instrumental music out, we simply believe it's best to exclude it as well. 1Corinthians 14:15, Ephesians 5:18-19, Colossians 3:16, Hebrews 2:12.
Even our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ after conducting the first Lord's Supper with the twelve disciples when out and they sung a hymn (Mark 14:26). It's so sweet and simple "No instrumental music was needed to sing to God, just the singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord"
You may consider us narrow on this point. But, we believe you will respect our reason for it, and our conviction. We think you'll find the singing meaningful, with everyone being invited to participate.
There will be several prayers during the service. And, there may be prayers for specific needs and requests. Acts 12:5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him...(Colossians 1:3) We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.
You will notice that the preacher doesn't have a title. He won't be referred to as Pastor or Reverend. He will probably find him referred to as brother, or just by his first name.
He won't be wearing any ecclesiastical vestments which sets him apart. The reason for this is our belief in the priesthood of all believers, that all are equal in the sight of God. Matthew 23:8-12, Galatians 3:26-28, 1Peter 2:5&9.
The sermon will likely be from 25 to 35 minutes. We think you will find it refreshingly Bible-centered with lots of "speaking the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15)
At the close of the sermon, the preacher will "extend an invitation". This is simply an expedient time to invite those who are moved to do so to make a commitment or request prayer support.
He will encourage those who wish for special prayer request"respond" to do so after the congregation sings a hymn.
Don't feel ill-at-ease during this invitation. You will not be singled out in any way. There may be several who respond, or none at all.
Some may respond to the gospel of Christ and will be baptized in the name of THE FATHER and THE SON and THE HOLY GHOST. (Matthew 28:19). Some to confess sins (1 John 1:1). Some to ask for prayer for a specific need. Some to "identify" or "place membership" with this church.
If anyone responds for baptism, you will may witness the baptism during the service. The baptism will be by immersion only.(Acts 8:35-39, Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:12),) And, it will be for the remission of sins. Acts 2:38
If you visit on a Sunday morning, the Lord's Supper will be included in the worship proceedings - because Churches of Christ observe this memorial every Sunday.
Again, the reason for this is our desire to follow New Testament teaching. The first century church celebrated this observance on the first day of the week. Acts 20:7
During this memorial, plates containing pieces of unleavened bread will be passed throughout the congregation. The bread symbolizes the body of Jesus. 1Corinthians 11:23-25 Each participating person will take a piece of the bread and eat it.
Under the bread filled with small cups will contain "fruit of the vine", usually grape juice, symbolizing the blood of Jesus. 1Corinthians 11:23-25 Each participant will drink the contents of one of the cups.
Also, if you visit on a Sunday morning, containers will be passed to collect the weekly financial offering. 1Corinthians 16:1-2
As our guest, you are not expected to make a donation or offering. Feel perfectly comfortable in just passing the collection plate or container on down the row.
What Will Be Expected of You
Nothing at all! You are welcome to participate. But, don't feel obligated to. Just observe if that is your choice.
You may be asked to fill out a Visitor's Card. This simply provides information so the church can write or call to thank you for your visit. Supply the information if you are comfortable doing so.