~ What to Expect ~
When visiting one of our Sunday morning worship services, here are the different acts of worship you may expect to experience:
- Partaking of the Lord’s Supper – Prior to His death, Jesus instituted what has come to be known as the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:26-29). Every week, the members of the Baldwin church of Christ remember their Lord’s death by joint participation in this memorial feast (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29). It is a very special aspect of our worship service that takes our minds back to the cruel cross of Calvary. We are blessed as we contemplate the sacrifice Jesus made for the forgiveness of our sins.
- Singing – The early disciples praised God in the singing of worship songs (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). This form of worship allowed each member to engage in the “teaching and admonishing” of other disciples. We praise God in song at every worship service. On the second Sunday of every month, we devote our 11:00 a.m. assembly to singing spiritual songs. The songs are led by men in the congregation who desire to lead others in this act of worship. In addition, we devote one Friday evening four times each year to a special worship in song service (Event Calendar).
- Praying – The Biblical record indicates that the disciples of the first century continually devoted themselves to prayer (Acts 2:42). Why? Because they understood that it was the means whereby God would make provision for their needs, both spiritual and physical (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9; Matthew 6:11). We join in this act of worship at each assembly as one of the men of the congregation lead our thoughts in prayer.
- Weekly Collection – The early church engaged in certain collective works that required monetary resources for funding purposes. First century congregations supported evangelists to preach the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:9-14; Philippians 4:15-16). They also practiced benevolence, both locally and abroad (Acts 2:44-45; Acts 4:32-35; Acts 11:27-30). Finally, the disciples engaged in teaching efforts aimed at the members of the local church that might require the use of church funds (Ephesians 4:11-16). The Biblical pattern was for the disciples to make a weekly contribution on each Lord’s Day (Sunday) to fund their collective works (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). While we do not expect visitors to make this contribution, as a visitor you may expect to witness a period during which the individual members engage in this act of worship (note that this collection should be considered as worship given the apostle Paul’s references at Philippians 4:18 to the financial support received from church at Philippi as “a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God”).
- Preaching – After His death, Jesus charged the apostles with the responsibility to preach the gospel throughout the world (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15). In addition, they were commanded to teach those who would obey the gospel “to observe all that I commanded you” (Matthew 28:20). The New Testament bears record to the faithful execution of these commands. As those seeking to following the New Testament pattern, we too strive to faithfully preach the word of God. It is our desire to preach the truth without addition, change, or deletion (Jude 3; 2 John 9; Revelation 22:18-19). When visiting our assemblies, you may expect to hear Bible based preaching that is aimed at strengthening the souls of the disciples as well as encouraging those who have not become Christians to do so. We consider this an act of worship because it is done in response to that which God has done for us (Romans 1:16-17).