One of the comments we hear most from visitors is that our worship service has an elegant simplicity. This is not an outgrowth of taste, but a reflection of our devotion to the New Testament pattern for worship.
Song books are located in a rack on the seat-back in front of you. A number will be announced and congregational singing will begin. Everyone is encouraged to participate. No instruments accompany our music. You might find this unusual. We sing a cappella because the New Testament directs us to sing (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 14:15; Hebrews 2:12). We add nothing to that.
Prayers will be led at different times during the worship service to thank and glorify God as well as for specific needs and requests (Acts 12:5, 12; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; 1 Timothy 2:1) . We pray to God not only because He requests it, but also because we deeply desire to approach God's throne of grace in our time of need. The Scriptures will also be read at various times, so that we might hear and follow the voice of God (Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 2:15). We need Him every hour and our worship reflects this attitude.
The sermon will be Bible-centered and application will be made (Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 14:37; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; Ephesians 4:11-12). At the end of the sermon, the preacher will offer a specific opportunity to respond for those who may have a need. A person may decide to become a Christian by being baptized for the forgiveness of his or her sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16). Another may come forward to confess sins that may have brought reproach upon the members of the congregation and to ask for their forgiveness. Another might respond to ask for prayers or encouragement. Several people may respond, or no one may respond. Response is a personal choice and no one is singled out in any way.
On every Sunday we observe the Lord's Supper (Acts 20:7). Jesus instituted it on the night He was betrayed (Matthew 26:26-30; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26). This is a quiet and respectful time full of meaning and purpose, as Christians remember the Lord's death until He returns. Each is reminded to partake in a respectful manner (1 Corinthians 11:27-32). During this observance, unleavened bread represents Christ's body and the fruit of the vine (grape juice) represents His blood. Those who participate do so by breaking off a piece of the bread as it is passed to them and by drinking the juice of one of the small cups, returning it to the tray, as it is passed.
An offering will be collected every Sunday as well (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). There are many good reasons for this (Matthew 6:33; Luke 6:38; 2 Corinthians 9:7). It is a separate item of worship, but usually done at the same time as the Lord's Supper for convenience sake. Every member is encouraged to contribute to the work of the local church as we have been commanded.