What to expect when you worship with usWhat will happen:
During the Bible class hour, the classes are divided into age groups. You are welcome to take your children to class. Just ask one of the members and they will help you find the classes for the people in your family. The adult class will be a lecture with some discussion. We will worship in an organized way with prayer, a cappella singing, the Lord’s Supper (on Sunday) , Scripture reading and a sermon. After the sermon on Sunday feel free to respond to the invitation to request the prayers of the church or become a Christian.
What will not happen:
You will not be called on to say or do anything publicly.
You will not be asked to give money. You may give when the collection for the church is taken, but you are not expected to do so.
You will not be viewed with regard to your race, color, sex, physical appearance or political beliefs.
Who we are
You may know some of us already. We are your neighbors, friends, teachers, nurses, service professionals, factory workers, shop owners, farmers and other “regular” folks. We promise to do our best to welcome you, but at the same time, we will not embarrass you in any way.
What we do in worship...
First, know that you will not be called upon to do anything publicly. At the beginning of the worship service someone will make announcements and lead a prayer. You are then invited to join us in singing as we worship God together. We will sing a cappella (without instruments) since that is what the New Testament teaches and that is what the New Testament church did. We will also have the Lord’s Supper. This is a time when we remember our Savior’s death on the cross, partaking of bread which represents His body and grape juice which represents His blood. After the Lord’s Supper we will take up a free will offering. You are not expected to give. There will also be a Scripture reading and our full-time evangelist will give a sermon based on God’s Word. At the close of the sermon, we will stand and sing an invitation song to encourage anyone to make a request of spiritual help from the congregation or to become a Christian. We will end the service with a song and prayer.
Why we are interested in you...
You are valuable to God, so you are valuable to us. You have an eternal soul and God wants you to live with Him eternally. We do not know your spiritual condition, background or interest, but we are willing and eager to help you (like we help each other) to have the relationship with your Creator that will ensure your eternal home with Him in heaven. If we can help you in any way, please let us know.
What we believe
Ours is a plea for religious unity based on the Bible. In a divided religious world we believe the Bible is the only possible guide that can unite God-fearing people. We appeal to everyone to go back to the Bible. Our plea is to speak where the Bible speak and to remain silent where the Bible is silent in all matters that pertain to worship and living. We emphasize that in everything religious there must be a "Thus says the Lord." Our objective is religious unity of all believers in Christ trough a united understanding of, and obedience to the New Testament. Our goal is, and always has been the restoration of New Testament Christianity.
One of the earliest advocates of the return to New Testament Christianity in the United States was James O'Kelly of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He believed achieving unity of all believers in Christ was possible through a return to the practices of the New Testament church as taught in Scripture. In 1793 he withdrew from the Baltimore conference of his denomination and called on others to join him in taking the Bible as the only creed. His influence was largely felt in Virginia and North Carolina where history records that some seven thousand communicants followed his leadership toward a return to primitive New Testament Christianity.
In 1802 a similar movement among the Baptists in New England was led by Abner Jones and Elias Smith. They were concerned about "denominational names and creeds" and decided to wear only the name Christian, taking Bible as their only guide. In 1804, in the western frontier state of Kentucky, Barton W. Stone and several other Presbyterian preachers took similar action declaring that they would take the Bible as the "only sure guide to heaven." Thomas Campbell, and his illustrious son, Alexander Campbell, took similar steps in the year 1809 in what is now the state of West Virginia. They contended that nothing should be bound upon Christians as a matter of doctrine which is not as old as the New Testament. Although these four movements were completely independent in their beginnings eventually they became one strong restoration movement because of their common purpose and plea. These men did not advocate the starting of a new church, but rather a return to Christ's church as described in the Bible.
Members of the church of Christ do not conceive of themselves as a new church started near the beginning of the 19th century. Rather, the whole movement is designed to reproduce in contemporary times the church originally established on Pentecost, A.D. 30. The strength of the appeal lies in the restoration of Christ's original church. In fact, most members of the church know little about the history of the restoration movement in early America. We do not emphasize this because the history is not important. What matters is the principle of restoration: that we want to be the church that is described in the Bible.
The most recent dependable estimate lists more than 15,000 individual churches of Christ. The "Christian Herald," a general religious publication which presents statistics concerning all the churches, estimates that the total membership of the churches of Christ is now about 2,000,000. There are more than 7,000 men who preach publicly. Membership of the church is heaviest in the southern states of the United States, particularly Tennessee and Texas, though congregations exist in each of the fifty states and in more than eighty foreign countries. Missionary expansion has been most extensive since the World War II in Europe, Asia and Africa. More than 450 full time workers are supported in foreign countries. The churches of Christ now have five times as many members as were reported in the U.S. Religious Census of 1936.
Following the plan of organization found in the New Testament, churches of Christ are autonomous. This means each local congregation operates outside the leadership of any centralized Board, Synod, Conference or governing body. Our common faith in the Bible and adherence to its teachings are the chief ties which bind us together. Other than our Chief Shepherd, Christ, we have no leaders with more authority than local elders (pastors). Congregations do cooperate voluntarily in supporting each other in worship activities, and benevolent outreach. Our benevolent cooperation, though, does not flow through any governing body, but through voluntary cooperation among local churches. This principle also applies to our support of mission work. We have no missionary societies of global or regional overseeing bodies. Rather local churches may join others in supporting a work that spreads the Gospel in other places.
Members of the church of Christ support forty colleges and many secondary schools, and orphanages and homes for the aged. There are approximately 40 magazines and other periodicals published by individual members of the church. A nationwide radio and television program, known as "The Herald of Truth" is sponsored by the Highland Avenue church in Abilene, Texas. Much of its annual budget of $1,200,000 is contributed on a free-will basis by other churches of Christ. The radio program is currently heard on more than 800 radio stations, while the television program is now appearing on more than 150 stations. Another extensive radio effort known as "World Radio" owns a network of 28 stations in Brazil alone, and is operating effectively in the United States and a number of other foreign countries, and is being produced in 14 languages. An extensive advertising program in leading national magazines began in November 1955.
Another outreach that churches of Christ cooperate with is the publication “House to House, Heart to Heart.” The church in Jacksonville, Alabama conducts this program with the support of many other churches. House to House began in 1994 with the idea of having churches of Christ throughout the world cooperating to seek and save the lost through direct mail. HTH is a bi-monthly publication that has grown to a circulation of nearly 3 million. It is distributed by over 1,100 congregations in 48 states and 8 foreign countries, and has been translated into four different languages. It has surpassed the circulation of the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Oprah Magazine, and the USA Today.
It is important to know that the many magazines, radio and TV programs do not speak for the church as a whole as the authority on what the church believes and teaches. The Bible is our authority.
We have no “official” conventions, annual meetings, or publications. The "tie that binds" is a common loyalty to the principles of the restoration of New Testament Christianity.
In each congregation, which has existed long enough to become fully organized, there is a plurality of elders or pastors who serve as the governing body. Scripturally, the terms “elder,” “pastor (shepherd)” and “overseer (presbyter)” are all different names or descriptions given to the same man or position. Throughout Scripture there is never a single elder/pastor/overseer, but always a plurality of these leaders. These men are selected by the local congregations on the basis of qualifications set down in the scriptures (1 Timothy 3:1-8). Serving under the elders are deacons, teachers, and evangelists or ministers. The latter are not pastors and do not have the authority equal to or superior to the elders. They serve under the headship of Christ who, according to the New Testament, is the chief shepherd/pastor (1 Peter 5:1-4). There is no earthly authority superior to the elders of the local church.
The original autographs of the sixty six books which make up the Bible are considered to have been divinely inspired, by which it is meant that they are infallible and authoritative. Reference to the scriptures is made in settling every religious question. A pronouncement from the scripture is considered the final word. The basic textbook of the church and the basis for all preaching is the Bible.
Yes. The statement in Isaiah 7:14 is taken as a prophecy of the virgin birth of Christ. New Testament passages such as Matthew 1:20, 25, are accepted at face value as declarations of the virgin birth. Christ is accepted as the only begotten Son of God, uniting in his person perfect divinity and perfect manhood.
Only in the sense that God predestines the righteous to be eternally saved and the unrighteous to be eternally lost. The statement of the apostle Peter, "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation he that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable unto him" (Acts 10:34-35.) is taken as an evidence that God did not predestine individuals to be eternally saved or lost, but that each man determines his own destiny.
The word baptize comes from the Greek word "baptizo" and literally means, "to dip, to immerse, to plunge." In addition to the literal meaning of the word, immersion is practiced because it was the practice of the church in apostolic times. Still further, only immersion conforms to the description of baptisms as given by the apostle Paul in Romans 6:3-5 where he speaks of it as a burial and resurrection.
No. Only those who have reached the "age of accountability" are accepted for baptisms. It is pointed out that the examples given in the New Testament are always of those who have heard the gospel preached and have believed it. Faith must always precede baptism, so only those old enough to understand and believe the gospel are considered fit subjects for baptism.
No. Ministers or evangelists of the church have no special prerogatives. They do not wear the title of Reverend or Father, but are addressed simply by the term brother as are all other men of the church. Along with elders and others they do counsel and advise those seeking help.
No. God the Father is considered the only one to whom the prayers may be addressed. It is further understood that Christ stands as a mediator between God and man (Hebrews 7:25). All prayers are therefore offered through Christ, or in the name of Christ (John 16:23-26).
It is expected that every member of the church will assemble for worship on each Lord's day. A central part of the worship is the eating of the Lord's supper (Acts 20:7). Unless providentially hindered, each member considers this weekly appointment as binding. In many instances, as in the case of illness, the Lord's supper is carried to those who are hindered from attending the worship.
As a result of the distinctive plea of the church - a return to New Testament Faith and practice – a cappella singing is the only music used in the worship. This singing, unaccompanied by mechanical instruments of music, conforms to the music used in the apostolic church and for several centuries thereafter (Ephesians 5:19). It is felt that there is no authority for engaging in acts of worship not found in the New Testament. This principle eliminates the use of instrumental music, along with the use of candles, incense, and other similar elements.
Yes. The statement of Christ in Matthew 25, and elsewhere, are taken at face value. It is believed that after death each man must come before God in judgment and that he will be judged according to the deeds done while he lived (Hebrews 9:27). After judgment is pronounced he will spend eternity either in heaven or hell.
No. The absence of any reference in the scriptures to the temporary place of punishment from which the soul will eventually be released into heaven prevents the acceptance of the doctrine of purgatory.
Each first day of the week the members of the church "lay by in store as they have been prospered" (1 Corinthians 16:2). The amount of any individual gift is generally known only to the one who gave it and to the Lord. This free-will offering is the only call which the church makes. NO assessments or other levies are made. No money-making activities, such as bazaars or suppers, are engaged in. Simply, Christians giving from the heart as they have been blessed by the Lord.
No. At least, there is no creed in the usual sense of the word. The belief of the church is stated fully and completely in the Bible. There is no other manual or discipline to which the members of the church of Christ give their allegiance. The Bible is considered as the only infallible guide to heaven. As stated earlier, though there are many magazines books, videos and other publications produced by members of the church, none of these are considered authoritative beyond the Bible.
In the salvation of man's soul there are 2 necessary parts: God's part and man's part. God's part is the big part, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9) The love which God felt for man led him to send Christ into the world to redeem man. The life and teaching of Jesus, the sacrifice on the cross, and the proclaiming of the gospel to men constitute God's part in salvation.
Though God's part is the big part, man's part is also necessary if man is to reach heaven. Man must comply with the conditions of pardon which the Lord has announced. Man's part can clearly set forth in the following steps:
Hear the Gospel. "How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14).
Believe. "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Repent of past sins. "The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commands men that they should all everywhere repent" (Acts 17:30).
Confess Jesus as Lord. “As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, "Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?" 37 [And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (Acts 8:36-37).
Be baptized for the remission of sins. “Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
Live a Christian life. “But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
Not only is this return to New Testament Christianity a wonderful basis upon which all believers in Christ can unite, it is absolutely solid ground. If we do just what our Lord commanded we know that our salvation is certain. Come with us as we go back to the Bible, back to Christ and his church!
Times and contact
Bible Classes For All Ages………………...…......9:30
Bible Classes For All Ages…….……………….....7:00
If you have a special need, or would like to know more about the church of Christ, contact:
Church of Christ
1113 Country Club Road
Winfield, KS 67156
Phone: (620) 221-9465