We believe that when Christians meet together, God is among us (Matthew 18:20). Our worship focuses on praising God and edification (1 Corinthians 14:26). We strive for a reverent atmosphere where all parts of the service are done in a decent and orderly fashion (1 Corinthians 14:40).
The following is intended to provide an overview of our beliefs and what to expect in a typical worship service.
We are a people of restoration spirit - wanting to restore the New Testament church. We study the Bible to find out what the Lord’s church was like and attempt to imitate it. Our desire is to follow the New Testament pattern just as the apostle Paul instructed the Lord’s Church in Corinth and Thessalonica (1 Corinthians 11:2, 2 Thessalonians 2:15).
We consider ourselves to be non-denominational and simply members of the church which Jesus Christ established. That is why we wear His name, a descriptive term indicating that the church belongs to Christ (Romans 16:16).
Our message is the same as the first-century church:
Our worship is modeled after the first-century church. We believe the pattern is important. Jesus said, "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24). Worshipping God in truth is to worship Him according to His Word, because His Word is truth (John 17:17). Therefore, we must not exclude any item found in His Word, and we must not add any item not found in His Word (Revelation 22:18,19).
The five items of worship observed by the early church were:
If you have visited the Lord’s church at Westside, you are probably aware that our practice is different from most religious groups. So permit us to focus on two of these. These two are the weekly observance of the Lord’s Supper and A cappella singing.
This memorial supper was inaugurated by Jesus on the night of His betrayal (Matthew 26:26-28). It is observed by Christians in memory of the Lord's death (1 Corinthians 11:24-25). The emblems - unleavened bread and fruit of the vine - symbolize the body and blood of Jesus (1 Corinthians 10:16).
We observe the Lord' Supper on the first day of every week following the pattern of the first-century church as set forth in the new Testament (Acts 20:7).
Each Sunday morning the Lord's Supper will be included in the worship service. During this time, men from the congregation will pass plates. The first plate will contain unleavened bread. Each person participating will break off a piece of the bread and eat it. Next, trays filled with small cups of "fruit of the vine" (grape juice) will be passed. Each participant will drink the contents of one of the cups. If you choose not to participate, just pass the plate or tray to person next to you.
We sing a cappella. The ancient meaning of a cappella is "as in the chapel." This means without instrumental music. The New Testament pattern leaves out mechanical instruments of music, therefore, we believe it right to leave it out too. If we used the instrumental music we would have to do so without New Testament authority (Ephesians 5:18-19; Colossians 3:16).
There will be an able man from the congregation that will lead the assembly in the singing.
Men of the congregation will offer several prayers during the service (Philippians 4:6). We pray to God praising Him and thanking him for blessings, especially the sacrifice of His Son for us. We also pray for specific needs of our members, community, state and country.
Usually the pulpit minister will present a Bible centered sermon. You may notice that he does not have a title and we do not address him as Pastor or Reverend (Matthew 23:8-12 ; Galatians 2:6-8; 1 Peter 2:5). He will not be wearing any special clothing to set himself apart. We believe in the priesthood of all believers, and that all are equal. The sermon will last from 25 to 35 minutes. It will be refreshingly Bible-centered.
Sunday mornings, often after the Lord’s Supper, plates will be passed to take up a financial offering ( 1 Corinthians 16:1-2). As our guest, you are not expected to give. Please just pass the collection plate to the person next to you.
How can I become part of the Lord’s church?
The Lord’s church does not have a set of procedures or ceremonies to follow to be inducted into the church. The New Testament gives certain steps to become a Christian which were taken by people in the first-century. When a person obeys the Gospel he is added to the Lord’s church (Acts 2:36-47). (Please check out “GOD’S PLAN OF SALVATION” on our home page).
Nothing! You are welcome to participate in any or all of the service but do not feel obligated to do so. You will be asked to fill out a visitor’s card. If you do not feel comfortable in giving some or all the information, do not. It is not required. Please stay a few minutes after services so we can greet you. You are also welcome to attend one of our Bible classes. We have Bible classes for all age groups from cradle roll through adults.
We believe that following the Bible pattern is essential. God vested all authority in Christ (Matthew 28:18) and since he serves as God’s spokesman today (Hebrews 1:1-2), it is our conviction that only Christ has the authority to say what the church is and what we should teach ( Ephesians 1:22-23).