I'm New Here...
Updated: Jan 16
Visiting an unfamiliar congregation can be intimidating. Let’s take away the mystery so you know exactly what to expect.
You are among friends. When you come through our doors, expect to be welcomed with a warm handshake and answers to any immediate questions you may have (such as "Where is a class for my children?" or "Where can we sit?"). We are glad you chose to visit us and we think you'll be glad too!
A Setting for Worship
Worship services are held just inside the auditorium. Sit anywhere you feel comfortable. Before worship begins (9:30 AM Sunday Bible Study, 10:30 AM Worship Service, and 5:00 PM Service), there's a lot of "visiting" going on. That's because through God we are a family! Many folks will talk to you and welcome you to our assembly. You are our honored guest! We also welcome you on Wednesdays at 7:30 PM for Bible study.
Tell Us About You
Worship services normally begin with a brief introduction and welcome. We will ask you to fill out our "Visitors Card". We use these cards as a means of communicating important things: Bible questions and visitor information. You are important to us!
We regard the Bible as the inerrant (incapable of being wrong), inspired word of God! During our worship service, we will have a scripture reading. The scriptures represent the mind of the One who created the universe, so we give Him our respect. Listening to or following along in our own Bibles helps us focus our attention on the reading.
Singing is a special opportunity to worship God. When we feel happy, we often sing! It's natural. It's no surprise then that God would want us to channel some of our worship through singing. If you want to follow along or don't know the words, just pick up a hymnal right in front of you. The song leader will give us the key and soon we are singing together. We try to make it just as beautiful and joyful as we can! What you won't hear are musical instruments. The reason we sing without instruments is not merely our preference. We want to worship God according to the New Testament pattern, and God has not requested musical instruments in that pattern. We are determined to offer to God what is acceptable in His sight (cf. Eph. 5:19 Rom. 10:3).
Prayer is our communication to God. While each Christian should pray often and in private, we, as a congregation, pray together. A man will walk to the front and speak a prayer. We all try to focus our attention on his words and make his prayer our own. We are commanded to pray for each other, so this prayer may include many specific names and circumstances. Prayer is effective!
Expect to hear a Bible-based sermon that will encourage faithful Christian living from all. Our preachers, Doug Martin and Eli Schnell, are typically the ones who give the message. You may notice that neither is given special religious titles such as "pastor" or "reverend," nor will they wear any special garments to set them apart from others. That's because all Christians are viewed by God as "priests" (1 Peter 2:9).
The sermons typically conclude with an invitation to respond personally to the message. One of congregational leaders will meet with every person who responds and talk with them about their particular need.
The Lord’s Supper
Each Sunday we follow the New Testament pattern by sharing the Lord's Supper. The unleavened bread and grape juice are each distributed throughout the assembly. The Lord's Supper or "communion" is both a solemn and joyful occasion. Jesus commanded that His followers observe this to remember His death on the cross for the sins of every person. It is sad to think that Jesus had to suffer and die to redeem us. But it is wonderful to think that He loves each one of us that much! (cf. 1 Cor. 11:23-26)
Giving is a way of expressing our gratitude for God's blessings. Each Christian gives voluntarily and cheerfully to support the work of the church. However, you--our guest--are not expected to give. As the collection basket comes to you, you are welcome to pass it to the next person. (cf. 1 Cor. 16:1-2)
Some Final Thoughts about Worship
The Village Creek church of Christ seeks to worship God according to Christ's command: "in spirit and truth" (John 4:24). To worship God "in spirit" requires that we come to God with a humble attitude, understanding that our salvation in Christ is not by our own righteousness or works, but by God's grace (Ephesians 2:8,9). We humbly come to God to worship Him, and He lifts us up (James 4:10) with the understanding of His love for all men through His Son Jesus (John 3:16) and the anticipation of being in Christ's presence for all eternity! (I Thessalonians 4:17, 18). Worshipping God at the Village Creek church of Christ is a humble celebration of the love we share in Christ and our anticipation of heaven.
Equally important is worshipping God "in truth." The New Testament gives specific commands, shows positive examples or implications of how the church worshipped God during the period of inspired guidance--the first century. Rather than trusting man-made ideas on how we should worship God, we trust God's word, the Bible, to provide the pattern of how we should worship Him. Worshipping God this way is refreshingly simple and clear. There is no need for great ceremony or the slickness of a stage show. Together, we - pray (I Timothy 2:1) - sing songs that teach the truth and encourage Christian living (Colossians 3:16) - are reminded of God's will for our lives as we hear the preaching of God's word (Acts 10:42) - give to help others and support the many works of the church (II Corinthians 9:7) - "break bread," (Acts 20:7) by partaking of the bread and grape juice, simply called the Lord's Supper (I Corinthians 11:20). Worshipping God in truth is truly a time of fellowship with God, His Son Jesus, His Holy Spirit and God’s children, the church.
Worshipping God in spirit and in truth is a time we look forward to! It's a time of learning, spiritual growth and encouragement. It’s a time of peace and personal reflection. It's a time for receiving God's love and mercy.
Isn't it time you were there?