Welcome to the

Church of Christ in Payson

Purpose

We are a family of Christians who are committed to serving our Lord and Master.  As believers our intent is to continue Jesus' mission.  We know that  Christ came to seek and save the lost.  We  further understand that all men are sinners. Without God's grace all men would be lost and without hope.  Our purpose is to spread the good news of Jesus to others that they too might enjoy God's saving grace.

 
We are here to bring people to God through obedience to His word, help them to Christ like maturity, equip them for ministry in the Church, prepare them for lifestyle evangelism in the world, and to glorify God by helping others in need.  If you are looking for a church home please consider this family.
 
What to Expect

We want you to visit us at the Payson 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.  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.
 
You may follow along with the song displayed on the screen or when the song leader announces a number, you can turn to that number in the hymnbook to find the words and music. Hymnbooks are located in a book rack near you.
 
This is a conviction with us, not just a preference.   We are seeking to worship according to the New Testament pattern.  (1 Corinthians 14:15), (Ephesians 5:18-19), (Colossians 3:16), (Hebrews 2:12)

Prayers

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 break off a piece of the bread and eat it.
 
Next, trays filled with small cups containing "fruit of the vine," usually 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 honored 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". This is simply an expedient time to invite those who are moved to do so to make a commitment, re-dedication or a request prayer.
 
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, some to ask for prayer for a specific need, and some to "identify" or "place membership" with this congregation.  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?  You will find happy people and grouchy people; friendly people and unfriendly people; loving people and cantankerous people; people who are learning and people who think they already know everything.
 
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 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 is 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.



"What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also."
"And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;" "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;"
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."
"Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee."
"And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight."
"For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:" "And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me." "After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me."
"Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye." "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come."
"Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus." "And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?" "And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." "And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him." "And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing."
"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?" "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
"Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead."
"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
"When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly." For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him."
"In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;"
"The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe."

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