Over the years I have had a number of conversations with various visitors to our worship assemblies. One of the things that I have noticed is that people are sometimes surprised about how we worship. Some of these “surprises” have resulted in bible studies, some have resulted in people not wanting to come back, and some have resulted in serious inquiries about why we do what we do.
Singing: We wish to express our gratitude and love to God, so, each time we gather together we sing praises to our God. Paul told the Colossians to “Let the word of God dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord (Colossians 3:16).” Paul would write similarly in Eph. 5:19 “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.” The melody making is upon the instrument of the human heart. Jewish historian Josephus said of Christians that they were too spiritual a fiber of people to couple lifeless instruments with their voices. We also know that it wasn’t until the 11th century that churches began using musical instruments. As such, we, hoping to mirror the church of the New Testament do not use mechanical instruments in our song services.
Prayer: Paul also wrote that we are to “Pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17).” Paul would tell Timothy that we were to lift up holy hands unto God in prayer (I Tim. 2:8). Prayer is a solemn moment in each of our services as we are given the opportunity to pour our hearts out unto our Great God. In our prayers you can expect to hear our needs, thanksgiving, and most importantly our praise given unto God. We typically will ask one or two men form the local congregation to guide us in this service as they tend to know more about our needs as a congregation.
The Lord’s Supper: Every Sunday we partake of the Lord’s Supper or communion. We believe the pattern provided to us in Acts 20:7 demands a weekly observance. We do not believe that this lessons the importance of this memorial feast no more than going to our parent’s grave each week would lesson the fact that they loved you, and gave up much for you. Furthermore, according to pattern which Christ gave us in Luke 22:19-20 we are to use unleavened bread which is a memorial to his body and fruit of the vine or grape juice which is a memorial to the blood which Christ shed for our sins. We do this in remembrance of Christ and proclaim his death until He comes (I Corinthians 11:23-32).
The Collection: When attending with us, you will see the Christians of Grinnell lay by in store as we have prospered this past week. Paul commanded us to do so in I Corinthians 16:1-2. This is a commandment given to the saints. We do not solicit funds from our visitors. If you are visiting with us, know that we do not want you to feel obligated to give as the saints do.
Preaching/Teaching: When visiting with us, you can expect to hear a message from the word of God. You will not receive lessons on man’s opinions; neither will you hear lessons on earthly things. While discussions on sports, politics and personal finances have a place in this world, we do not believe the pulpit is the place to discuss these things. The time allotted to the speaker is given to him so that he might proclaim God’s word. Peter wrote that we are to long for the pure milk of the word that we may grow by (I Pet. 2:2). The preacher/teacher will be presenting lessons that help the hearer to grow. This is made possible by sticking to the word of God.
A Loving Attitude: Christ taught that his disciples would be identified by their love (John 13:35). Much of what you have read thus far describes the worship service. We believe if love is absent it does not matter what you do in the worship assembly or in life for you cannot please God. "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profits me nothing (I Corinthians 13:1-3). Here at the Grinnell church of Christ you can expect to find a loving family; a family that reaches out to its members and those visiting with us.
Grinnell church of Christ
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What to Expect When You Visit the Lord
Volume 7 Issue 39