Following a brief greeting from the pulpit, our song service will begin. You will find hymn books in the rack in front of you, and the song leader will announce the number of the song to be sung. Just turn to that number to find the words and music.
Historical records and biblical references show us that the church of the first century used a cappella music in singing praises to God. That is, singing of hymns without the accompaniment of mechanical instruments of music. This conviction of ours is based upon the examples and commands of the New Testament. We are commanded to “sing” (Ephesians 5:18-19), not “sing and play.” The power to “teach and admonish” is found in the words of the songs, not the beat of the music. You are cordially invited to sing along in all the hymns sung.
We will conduct several prayers during the service. We would simply ask that you quietly listen as a leader directs our thoughts in prayer and help us keep these moments distraction free.
On Sundays, we will serve the Lord’s Supper to the audience. We observe this memorial every first day of the week. Again, the reason for this weekly observance is our desire to follow the New Testament pattern (Acts 20:7). Every week has a first day. During this memorial, plates containing the unleavened bread will be passed. Each Christian will break off a small piece of the bread and eat it. Next, trays filled with small cups will be distributed. The cups will contain the “fruit of the vine” (grape juice) to symbolize the blood of Jesus. Each Christian will drink the contents of one of the cups and replace the empty cup in the tray. If you choose not to participate, please do not feel embarrassed. Just pass the plate or tray to the person next to you.
Also, if you visit on a Sunday morning, we will pass collection baskets to collect the weekly financial offering (I Corinthians 16:1-2). As our guest, you are not expected to make a donation, but you can if you so desire. Feel perfectly comfortable in just passing the collection basket on down the row.
The preaching of God’s Word is important. You will notice that the preacher does not have some special title, and he will not dress in ecclesiastical vestments. He won’t be referred to as Pastor or Reverend. The reason for this is that the Bible teaches the priesthood of all believers – that we are all equal (Matthew 23:8-12; Galatians 3:36-28; I Peter 2:5, 9). The sermon will be about 30 minutes long, and we think you will find it refreshingly Bible-centered.
At the close of the sermon, the preacher will extend an invitation. This is simply an expedient time to invite those who feel the need to make a commitment to Christ to do so. Some come forward requesting our prayers in their behalf. The preacher will encourage those who wish to respond to come to the front of the auditorium while the congregation sings a hymn. Please do not feel “pressured” during this time. You will not be singled out in any way. Your decision to come to Christ must be YOUR decision made when YOU are ready. We stress the urgency of this decision, but it is totally up to you.
There may be several who respond, or none. Some might respond for baptism, some to confess sins, or some to ask for prayer for a specific need. If anyone responds for baptism, you will witness the baptism during the service. The baptism will be by immersion (Acts 8:35-39; Romans 6:3-4), and it will be for the remission (forgiveness) of sins (Acts 2:38). We have a baptistry filled and ready as well as other garments to wear during the baptism.