What to Expect?
What can you expect from our family here?
We want family. There may not be a more special relationship or bond than a person and his family. But there are many today who don’t know what it’s like to have a family. Some didn’t have parents in the home. Some came from homes filled with abuse and neglect. We long to know that we’re loved, that we have a place we belong.
We want renewal. Have you ever wished you could just start over again? Have you looked back over your life and thought, “I wish I could go back and change the way I lived.” We want to know that it’s not too late, that we can start over, that there’s hope for a new and better life – to know that God hasn’t given up on us.
We want eternity. We are surrounded with the reminder that life here is temporary. The best things come to an end. Books, movies, vacations, even our bodies, all come to an end. The Bible teaches that God has placed eternity in man’s heart (Ecc. 3:11). We long for things to last. However everything around us breaks, stops, ends, and dies. Is there anything that will last forever? Is there anything that won’t end/fade away?
In God we HAVE family. When we submit our lives to Christ, it’s not that we are friends with God, or merely servants of God, we are His children, adopted into His family. And we gain brothers and sisters, fellow Christians united by a sincere love and devotion for one another (Eph. 2:19-20; Gal. 6:10; Rom. 12:9-16).
In God we HAVE renewal. When we obey the gospel of Jesus we are “born again.” The past is erased, the slate is wiped clean, we are forgiven by God, given a second chance for a new life in Him rather than living for ourselves, we can live a life of purpose and meaning, a life that blesses others and honors God. (Eph. 1:7; 2 Cor. 5:14-17; Tit. 2:11-14)
In God we HAVE eternity. God offers us an incredible promise in Him. It is an abundant life (John 10:10), a life of blessings here on earth, and life beyond the grave, eternal life and a home in heaven; life of blessings and joy that never comes to an end! (Rom 6:23; Matt. 6:19-21).
What you'll Experience
Our worship services are patterned after the simple practices of the first century church, as described and observed in the New Testament. You will find that we sing together in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Colossians 3:16). You will also observe one of the brethren leading the congregation reverently in prayer (1 Timothy 2:8). If you are present on Sunday, the Lord's day, you will see the congregation eating unleavened bread and drinking the fruit of the vine in memory of the death of Christ (Matthew 26:26-29). We also take up a collection of funds on the first day of the week as we see example in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 16:1-3). At the Fishers church of Christ, we endeavor to follow the scriptures and the example set over 2,000 years ago.
The Lord's Supper is a memorial of the death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We partake of the bread and fruit of the vine which represents Jesus’ body and blood that was shed on the cross in His death (1 Cor. 11:23-26). This memorial is not a mere ritual, nor should it be seen as something monotonous. Instead, it is an act of devotion that must be done in a "worthy manner" -- truly remembering that sacrifice made for the atonement of our sins (1 Cor. 11:27).
As Christians, we understand that everything we have comes from, and belongs to, God (Psalm 24:1). As Christians, we give every part of our lives to God. When we gather to worship, we have the opportunity and obligation to dedicate a portion of our financial blessings to the local church for the work of the Lord. This money is to be used by the church to spread the good news about Jesus, strengthen the family of God, and help our brethren in need. If you visit the Fishers church of Christ on a Sunday, a collection will be taken from the members of the congregation (1 Corinthians 16:1-2).
“And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight” (Acts20:7). Even in biblical times, there are many accounts of preaching. The Apostle traveled to teach; and sometimes even stayed at one place for a time to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the book of Acts 18:11, the Author states that Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God. According to 1 Timothy 3:15 the purpose of Christ’s church is to be the pillar and buttress of the truth. The church’s job is not to discover the truth or decide what truth is. The church’s job is to uphold the truth God has revealed. Of course, John 14:6 explains that Jesus is “the way, and the truth, and the life.” Upholding the truth means upholding Jesus for the world to see. That means upholding who Jesus is, what He stands for, what He said through His word.
What is the New Testament pattern? How did saints worship God in music? They were commanded to be involved in "teaching and admonishing one another ... singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord". This is the form of musical praise to God, as directed by the New Testament Scriptures. What is the type of song that they used? The first century Christians sang "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs". The content should also serve to "teach and admonish". Popular songs that entertain, but fail to teach and admonish have altered the harmony of God's arrangement. To whom should the songs be directed? Although we are to "teach and admonish one another", the ultimate object of all worship is God ("singing hymns to God", "sing to Your Name", "singing ... to the Lord", etc.) This is an obvious fact, but it seems to be frequently overlooked in practice. We sing acapella and do not use musical instruments.
Prayer is our way of communication to God. We also know from the book of Acts that the early church often prayed together as part of their worship to God. In Acts 6, the church prayed together when the first deacons were chosen. In Acts 12:5, the church was praying for the safety of Peter during a time of persecution, and later in that chapter, verse 12, "many were gathered together praying". In Acts 20:36, Paul prayed with the elders of the church at Ephesus. At the Fishers church of Christ, prayer is an important and integral part of our worship service. Prayers are often for specific people who are suffering. Prayers are made for our government, our military and for those who have not committed to Christ (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
At the end of each service one of our men will speak to the congregation and deliver a short message. This message will mirror Christ’s invitation spoken in Matthew 11:28 - "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." The message spoken will be heartfelt, and have a twofold purpose: One, for those who would like to become a Christian (Mark 16:15-16); and two, for Christians who have fallen away and would like to make their lives right (Acts 8:20-24). We simply ask all to follow God's plan of salvation.