We want you to visit us at the Church of Christ. And we want you to feel comfortable. We realize visiting an unfamiliar place can be intimidating.
So allow us to tell you what you can expect when you honor us with a visit.
A brief description of our background will help you understand us.
We are a part of “The Restoration Movement.” Our goal is to “restore” the New Testament church in our time. We believe that the New Testament contains the pattern that will duplicate the first century church today. We believe this is a trustworthy and reverent goal.
We want to be a Bible-centered church. And we try to be. Yet we know that our conclusions aren’t flawless, and that our practices are sometimes colored by habit, preference, tradition, or convenience.
Let us walk you through a worship service. There may be some variations from the following description, because every church of Christ is autonomous; self ruled, Independent.
Some churches of Christ meet in homes or rented facilities. Most, like us, have built a building and meet there.
You will enter into our foyer, where we greet and chat with one another, and then you enter our auditorium. There are rows of pews for each to be seated. We have no assigned pews, no reserved seats. So, feel free to sit anywhere you choose.
In a book-rack in front of you, there will be a song book for your use. When the song leader announces a number, you can turn to that number in the song book to find the words and music.
A unique characteristic of churches of Christ — something you may find strange, is the “a cappella singing.” We sing without the accompaniment of musical instruments.
This is a conviction with us, not just a preference. We are seeking to worship according to the New Testament pattern; the way the first church did. Since the New Testament leaves instrumental music out, we believe it is best to exclude it, too.
You may consider us narrow on this point. But we believe you will respect our reason for it and our conviction. And we think you will find the singing meaningful, with everyone invited to participate.
There will be several prayers during the service. There may be prayers for specific needs and requests, also.
You will notice that the preacher is not referred to as Reverend or Pastor. He may be addressed as Dr., but only if he has earned that academic credential. He will probably be addressed as brother, or Mister, or just called by his first name.
He will not be wearing special clothing to set him apart. We believe in the priesthood of all believers. That all are equal.
The sermon will be approximately 30 minutes. We think you will find it refreshingly Bible-centered.
At the close of the sermon the preacher will “extend an invitation.” This is simply an expedient time to invite those who are moved to do so to make a commitment or request prayer for support.
He will ask those who wish, to come to the front of the auditorium while the congregation sings a hymn.
Don’t feel ill-at-ease during this invitation. You will not be singled out in any way.
It is possible that one or more may respond, or that no one will respond. Someone may respond for baptism. Some may wish to confess sins. Some may even want to “place membership” with this family.
If anyone responds for baptism, you will witness the baptism during this service. The baptism will be by immersion. And it will be for the remission of sins.
If you visit on a Sunday morning, the Lord’s Supper will be a part of the worship service. Churches of Christ observe this memorial every Sunday.
Again, the reason for this is our desire to follow the New Testament teaching. The first century church celebrated this observance on the first day of the week. Thus, we do too.
We know from respected historians that in the early centuries the Lord’s Supper was an every Sunday commemoration.
During this memorial, trays containing pieces of unleavened bread will be passed throughout the congregation. This bread symbolizes the body of Jesus. Each participant will break off a piece of the bread and eat it.
Next, trays filled with small cups will be passed. The cups contain “fruit of the vine”, grape juice, symbolizing the blood of Jesus. Each participant will drink the contents of one cup.
If you choose not to participate, don’t be embarrassed. Feel free to pass the trays to the person next to you.
Also, if you visit on a Sunday morning, collection trays will be passed to collect the weekly financial offering.
As our guest, you are not expected to make a donation. Feel perfectly comfortable in passing the collection tray on down the row.
Nothing at all!! You are welcome to participate. But don’t feel obligated to. Just observe, if that is your choice.
You may be asked to fill out a Visitor’s Card. This simply provides information so the church can write or call to say “Thanks for being our guest”. We would like a record of your attendance, but feel free to decline this request if you prefer.
What kind of people can you expect to find? Pretty much the entire spectrum, as in any group.
You will find traditionalists — and you will find those who prefer anything new over everything old.
You will find those who mistake our traditions for absolute truth, and get pretty bent out of shape when they are tampered with. And you’ll find those who consider themselves as liberated from tradition
You will find happy people — and grouchy people. Friendly people — and private people. Loving people — and difficult people. People who are growing up in their faith — and the mature. People who know next to nothing — and people who know everything.
Most often the Derby church is “the home of friendly people and a few quiet, private individuals.”
We hope you see that we are a diverse family, from varied backgrounds and different states of knowledge and spiritual growth.
We do not know everything. We do not always treat each other as we should. We have not arrived — we are on the journey.
We do not think we are saints; we realize we are all still sinners. We were brought together by our recognition that we are sinners in need of the cleansing blood of Jesus.
That’s the reason we can worship together, stick together, love together and with God’s help, accomplish some things that make an eternal difference in the lives of God’s creation.
You won’t have to look very far to find our failures. But, bottom line, you will find people who love the Lord, the Bible and each other.
We would love to have you visit us; please consider this your invitation to join us in worship of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Our times are:
Sunday Morning Class: 9:30 a.m.
Sunday Morning Worship: 10:30 a.m.
Sunday Evening Worship: 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday Evening Class: 7:00 p.m.