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What To Expect

What to Expect

We want you to visit us at the Rome church of Christ.   We would feel blessed and honored if you would be our guest one day.  We realize that visiting a church can be a puzzling process, and to make your visit more enjoyable, we would like to explain what you can expect when you honor us with a visit.

 The Setting

When you enter the building you will enter what we refer to as the "auditorium". There will be rows of pews for the worshipers. There are no reserved seats, so feel free to sit anywhere you choose.  Our worship service may be a little different from what you are accustomed to.  Please feel free to find your own level of participation.  If you are comfortable in doing so, join right in.  If not, that's fine too.  Our services usually do not begin in quiet meditation.  What you hear is the joyful chatter of our family enjoying fellowship.  Connecting with people is important to our church family, and we cherish every opportunity of coming together.

Singing

You will notice that the whole congregation is our choir and that we sing "a cappella." In our assembly, music is something we all participate in, not just observe.  We value the sincerity of praise much more than the perfection of performance.  (Hebrews 5:13; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16)  Our music, like that of the early church, is accompanied by the orchestra of joyful hearts.  Feel free to lift your voice to the Lord with us.  In a book-rack near you, 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.  There will be several prayers during the service.  They may be prayers for specific needs and or requests.  You will notice that our prayers are not from prayer books, but from hearts that know the Lord.  They are sincere conversations with our Father in heaven.

Lord's Supper

If you visit on a Sunday, the Lord's Supper will be included in the worship proceedings because we observe this memorial every Sunday, as was the example of the first century church which celebrated this observance on the first day of the week.  (Acts 20:7)  The emblems, the unleavened bread and the cup, remind us of the central facts of the Christian faith -- the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and savior, Jesus the Christ.  Sharing the Lord's Supper together is an expression of oneness with the Lord and each other.

During this memorial, plates containing pieces of unleavened bread will be passed throughout the congregation. The bread symbolizes the body of Jesus. (1 Corinthians 11:23-25)  Each participating person will take a piece of the bread and eat it.

Next, trays filled with small cups containing "fruit of the vine", grape juice, symbolizing the blood of Jesus. (1 Corinthians 11:23-25)  Each participant will drink the contents of one of the cups.  If you choose not to participate, don't be embarrassed. Feel free to just pass the plate or tray to the person next to you.

Offering

Apart from the Lord's Supper, and usually following it, there will be a freewill offering. This is a voluntary contribution of our members and our only source of support for the ministries of the church.  Containers will be passed to collect the weekly financial offering. (1 Corinthians 16:1-2)  As our guest, you are not expected to make a donation or offering. Please do not feel obligated to give.

Preaching

The sermon will likely be from 20 to 30 minutes. We think you will find it refreshingly Bible-centered.  The sermon will reflect the fact that we believe the Bible is God's inspired Word.  It will be a practical message from the scriptures intended to be applied to daily life. Follow along in your Bible or take notes if you like.  By all means, feel free to ask any questions after the service.  Our interest is in discovering and applying Biblical truth to our lives.

Invitation

Most sermons call for some kind of response.  This is known as the "Invitation."  At the close of the sermon, the preacher will "extend an invitation".  Don't feel ill-at-ease during this invitation. You will not be singled out in any way. There may be several who respond to the invitation or none at all.  Usually the response will simply be between the hearer and God.

 We traditionally stand and sing an "Invitation Song" at the close of the sermon to facilitate those who want to make a public response according to their various and individual needs.  Some may respond for baptism, some to confess sins, or some to ask for prayer for a specific need.  What ever the need, anyone is welcome to respond.  If anyone responds for baptism, you may witness the baptism during the service. The baptism will be by immersion. (Acts 8:35-39, Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:12) And, it will be for the remission of sins. (Acts 2:38)

What Will Be Expected of You

Nothing at all!  You are welcome to participate.  But, please don't feel obligated to do so if you don't feel comfortable.  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.  Feel free to decline this request if that is your preference.

The People

What kind of people can you expect to find?  We're a diverse group, coming from varied backgrounds, and at different stages of knowledge and spiritual growth.  We don't know everything.  We don't always do everything right.  We don't always treat each other as we should.  We haven't arrived - we're just on the journey.

We were not brought together by any illusion of our perfection or righteousness. We were brought together by our recognition that we are sinners 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.  Bottom line, you will find people who love Jesus and love the Bible.    

 


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