Most people are a little apprehensive about visiting a new church. We hope a few words will help set your mind at ease about visiting our congregation.
The church of Christ is a growing, friendly church. We are a diverse congregation that reflects the fact that God’s church is for all people. The crowd often ranges in age from newborn babies (a nursery is available) to those who have seen most of a century pass. There are those from all walks of life; from blue-collar to white-collar; students to retirees. We have business owners, plant managers, educators, office workers, retail employees and everything in between. Churches of Christ are diversified – people of all races and nationalities worship and work together as God’s children.
Our services generally open with a brief welcome and announcements from one of the members. The song leader then leads the congregation in two – three songs. An opening prayer is offered, followed by another song, and then we partake in the Lord’s Supper and the Offering (on Sunday mornings). Then the preacher delivers a sermon from the Bible. At the end of the sermon, the Lord’s invitation is offered for any who want to become Christians or rededicate their lives to God. The service lasts about an hour and concludes with a song and a final prayer. Guests may sit silently through the service or they may participate.
Our worship music is “a cappella”. That is, we sing without the accompaniment of musical instruments. We do this in keeping with the practice of the early Christians. We simply want to worship God by focusing on praise to our heavenly Father (Ephesians 5:19).
Spoken prayers, lead by one of the men, are a large part of our gatherings. We believe in the power of prayer, and we often pray for specific needs and requests.
The Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper will be included in the the Sunday morning worship service. We observe this memorial every Sunday. The reason for this practice is our desire to follow the pattern of the early church and observe it 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. Each participating Christian will break off a piece of the Bread and eat it.
Next, trays filled with small cups of grape juice will be distributed. The grape juice symbolizes the blood of Jesus (1Corinthians 11:23-25). Each participating Christian will drink the contents of one cup.
At Henderson Church of Christ, baptized believers are encouraged to participate in the Lord’s Supper every Sunday. If you choose not to participate, do not be embarrassed. Feel free to pass the plate or tray to the person next to you.
You will not be asked to make a contribution. Our membes will give weekly as part of our worship to God (1Corinthians 16:1-2). As our guest, you are not expected to make a contribution.
Who preaches is not as important as what is preached. Our preacher does not have a special title. He is not referred to as Pastor or Reverend. He does not wear special clothing that sets him apart. The reason for this is our belief that all are equal in the brotherhood of believers (Matthew 23:8-12; Galatians 3:26-28;1 Peter 2:5,9).
The lesson will be about 25-35 minutes in length and Bible-centered. You will find Bibles for your use in the pews and most Scriptures will also be displayed on the screen at the front of the auditorium. At the close of the lesson, the speaker will “extend an invitation.” He will encourage those who wish to “respond” to come to the front of the auditorium while the congregation sings. Someone will be at the front to meet and minister to any who respond.
Do not feel ill-at-ease during the invitation. You will not be singled out in any way. There may be several who respond or none. Some may respond for baptism, to confess sins, or simply to ask for prayers for a specific need.
If someone responds for baptism, they will confess their faith in Jesus Christ and will be baptized for the forgiveness of their sins. You will witness the baptism during the service. The baptism will be by immersion ( Acts 8:35-39; Romans 6:3) and for the remission of their sins ( Acts 2:38).