What to Expect
We hold the Bible to be God’s word, the only source of our faith and practice. Our objective is to “restore” the New Testament church in our time – to determine from the Bible what the church was like in the beginning, and to be like that. We believe this is a worthy and reverent goal. When you come to visit us, you may be interested to know what our worship assembly is like. We’ll walk you through a typical worship assembly.
You will find our church facility simple and functional: not “high church,” but more of a family gathering. You will be made very welcome, and may feel free to sit where and with whomever you please. Be sure and let us know if you need help finding the nursery, classes, etc.
A WARM WELCOME
When you visit the Jerseyville church of Christ you will be our honored guest. We want you to know that you are welcome, and we appreciate your visit with us. We are always ready and willing to answer any questions you might have about your visit with us (1 Pet. 3:15).
A WELL-PREPARED BIBLE CLASS
At the Jerseyville church of Christ, we believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God (2 Tim. 3:16-17). We take our study of the Bible very seriously – one must hear the word of God in order to have biblical faith (Rom. 10:17) and be born again (1 Pet. 1:23). For this reason, we work very hard to make sure that the Bible classes taught by the Jerseyville church of Christ are well prepared and biblically accurate.
How is this for a refreshing change: no choirs, organs or bands, just the unmatched melody of the human voice. Our music, is “a capella,” that is, voices without accompaniment. It is also congregational; everyone participates fully as we worship the Lord. There are hymnals in the pews. Our music is a conviction with us, not merely a preference. We interpret the New Testament verse “making melody with your heart to the Lord,” (Ephesians 5.19), to be a mandate from God to use our voices in singing praises to His Name; adding instruments may detract from that simple musical expression. We believe you will find this to be an exhilarating and uplifting experience.
There will be several prayers during the assembly, including prayers for specific needs and requests (I Timothy 1.1,2).
You will notice the absence of titles such as Pastor or Reverend. The preacher of the gospel message is simply called by his given name. You will also notice the absence of special clothing or robes to set the preacher apart. The reason is that the scriptures teach the priesthood of all believers (l Peter 2.5,9); there is no “clergy/laity” distinction in the New Testament. The sermon will likely be from 20 to 35 minutes. We think your will find it refreshingly Bible-centered (2 Timothy 4.1-5).
At the close of the sermon an invitation will be offered, allowing those who wish to do so an opportunity to respond to the message preached. Those who respond do so by moving to the front of the auditorium as the congregation sings a hymn. Please don't feel ill-at-ease during the invitation. You will not be singled out or embarrassed in any way. There may be several who respond, maybe none. The ministers of our congregation wait down front to receive those who come forward. Some may respond to be baptized; some to confess sins and to request prayers for strength; some to ask for prayers for a specific need; some to request prayers for victories the Lord has granted. Others, new to the area, may wish to identify themselves as a believer who wishes to labor with that particular congregation. Those who respond for baptism will normally be baptized during the assembly. The baptism will be by immersion (Colossians 2.12), and will be for the remission of sins (Acts 2.38).
THE LORD'S SUPPER
Churches of Christ observe this memorial every Lord’s Day, and visiting on a Sunday morning you will find this to be a central feature of our worship. Once again, the reason for our practice is a desire to follow New Testament teaching. The first century church celebrated this observance on the first day of the week (Acts 20.7). History also testifies that in early centuries the Lord’s Supper was an every-Sunday commemoration. During this memorial, plates containing unleavened bread will be passed throughout the congregation. Following this, trays of grape juice will be distributed. This is done in keeping with New Testament teaching, reminding us of the body and blood of The Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1.23-25). Please don’t be embarrassed if you choose not to participate; simply pass the plate or tray to the next person.
In keeping with the New Testament, we give as we have prospered on the first day of every week (1 Corinthians 16.1-2). Therefore, on Sunday mornings, containers are passed throughout the congregation. As our guest, you are not expected to contribute. You may feel perfectly comfortable in simply passing the collection plate on down the row.
WHAT WILL BE EXPECTED OF YOU?
Nothing, except to be able to worship our God in a wonderful and uplifting way! You are welcome to participate or merely observe. One thing we would welcome is your questions – on any subject pertaining to our worship and practice. You may be asked to fill out a visitor’s card. This simply provides information, allowing the church to follow up by thanking you for your visit. Supply the information if you are comfortable doing so, but feel free to decline if you prefer.
We’re a diverse group, coming from varied backgrounds, and at different stages of knowledge and spiritual growth. We do have a mutual commitment however: to practice the truth found in Scripture. You see, our bond is not an illusion of perfection, but rather a recognition that we are sinners in need of the cleansing blood of Jesus (Romans 6.6-9).
You are welcome to attend any of our assemblies and activities, and are encouraged to ask questions if you have them. If you would like to learn a little more about Jesus, God’s grace, the power of the Spirit, and even the workings of the Jerseyville church of Christ, you are most welcome to attend and to ask whatever questions you may have about us or about your faith.
A cry room is also available at the back of the auditorium.