We want you to visit us at North End Church of Christ and to feel comfortable when you come. We know that sometimes an unfamiliar place can be intimidating, so we thought we would take a moment and tell you about what you can expect when you honor us with a visit.
North End meets in a church building on West Virginia Avenue. It may be much more modest than you are use to. When you enter our building, you will enter into our auditorium for worship. There will be rows of pews for the worshipers. There are no reserved seats, so please feel free to sit anywhere you choose.
The services generally begin with singing. You will find hymnbooks on the back of the pew before you. When a song leader announces a number, you can turn to that number in your books or you can read the song from the screen as most of our songs will be displayed through Paperless hymnal and sing along with us. We try to also post the song numbers for that day’s service up front in case you happen to miss the number called.
One of the neat things you will soon discover about our music is that it is all done without any musical instrument accompaniments. We seek to worship according to the New Testament pattern found in Col. 3:16, and since the New Testament leaves instrumental music out, we believe it is best to exclude it. You may consider us narrow on this point, but we believe you will respect our reason behind it. Once you accept our conviction regarding this, we believe you will find the singing very meaningful, with everyone being invited to participate.
There will be several prayers throughout the service. Some will include prayers on the behalf of our sick and afflicted. Sometimes you will be asked to stand for prayer, and other times you will just bow your head sitting down. Only one man at a time will pray out loud, and we are sure you will find our services very orderly.
There will be a lesson from God’s word presented by a speaker. His goal will be to explain the scriptures for us so we can better understand His will in our lives. We see this approach modeled for us in Nehemiah 8:18. The preacher is tasked by God with sharing His message unaltered, clarifying its original context and giving us a present day application of the ancient truths of the Bible.
The invitation of the Lord is always open. There is never a better time to respond to the message of the Lord than the present. We make a time of convenience after each message we present. The invitation will be extended for those wanting to be baptized or have prayers of the congregation. Anyone who wants to respond to the invitation walks forward and makes his requests known. The church then responds in kind, immersing that person for the remission of sins or praying for him/her and placing the names of all respondents on a prayer list. Feel free to respond if you need but no pressure will be placed on you whether you respond or not. It is a convenient time to respond to the Lord’s invitation that is always open.
If you visit us during the Sunday morning service, you will note that after the invitation, we will participate in sharing the Lord’s Supper with like-minded believers. We observe this memorial every Sunday as the New Testament church did. During this memorial, plates containing unleavened bread will be passed throughout the congregation. The bread symbolizes the body of Christ that was offered on our behalf. Each participating person will break off a piece of this bread and eat it and then pass on the plate. Next, cups containing grape juice, “the fruit of the vine”, will be served. The juice represents the blood of Jesus. Each participant will take one cup from the tray and drink its contents before replacing the cup back into the tray. You will notice that during the time of this memorial, the church will be very quiet as each member prayerfully reflects on their spiritual walk and the great price Christ paid for His followers. (1 Cor. 11:23-28, Mat. 26:26-28)
Please, do not feel that you need to participate during this memorial. Feel free to pass on the tray without being embarrassed. No one in our assembly will think any less of you for it.
Right after the passing of the cup, we will also pass containers to collect the weekly financial offerings of the congregation. We do this at this time for convenience sake and in keeping with the New Testament admonishment to lay up in store the first day of every week (1 Cor. 16:1,2). As our guest, you are not expected to give an offering. Please feel comfortable in just passing the collection plate on down the row.
We hope you will find us to be a friendly and warm people. We are a group of various backgrounds and at different stages of knowledge and spiritual growth. We know that we are continually learning and have not arrived at any point of perfection. We make our mistakes and hopefully we learn from them. We are fellow travelers coming together to worship our Father and to encourage each other along the way. We do not claim to have all the answers, but we all know that without Jesus we are nothing. We hope our love for Christ, His body, and the Bible is quite evident to you during your visit.
What do we expect from you?
Absolutely nothing! You are welcome to participate, but don’t feel obligated to do so. You will be asked to fill out a Visitor’s Card. This provides our church with information so that we can write or call to thank you for your visit. It is never shared outside of our church, but if you do not feel comfortable filling out the card, you do not have to. We do hope you will come and visit with us again, and if you have any questions about what you heard or any desire to learn more, we have people who are more than willing to help serve you in that manner.
After the services on Sunday morning, we dismiss to Bible Classes where we get the opportunity to learn in more detail the Scriptures. We have classes for all ages and men who are available to help you find the Bible class you may wish to attend. This is a wonderful time to feed from the Word, and we want to invite you to join with us during this time. Again, you will never be singled out or made to feel uncomfortable. You will find that this is not only a time for instruction but also a time for sharing questions and thoughts. It is less structured than the worship services.
If you feel uncomfortable in attending a Bible Class at this time, you may leave the church building during dismissal.