This is your hearty invitation to come visit the Silver St. church of Christ. We would be happy to meet you.
However, if you have never visited with us before, we realize you may be hesitant to come. Many people are apprehensive about going to an unfamiliar place, especially a religious gathering, where there's
several people you've never met before.
We want to put you at ease. We hope to alleviate any reservations you might have by describing what to expect when you visit us.
First, in front of our meeting house, you will notice a sign saying we are a "church of Christ." Such existed in the days of the apostles when the apostle Paul wrote, "the churches of Christ salute you" (Romans 16:16). This means we're simply a church (a group of Christians) that is "of" (belonging to) Christ. We belong to Christ as our Lord and
Savior, since He purchased us with his redeeming blood (Acts 20:28). As a group of penitent believers who have been baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of our past sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38), we have found peace of mind, joy in living, hope for the future, and purpose in life.
Christ came into this world to show us the way out back to God (John 14:6). Jesus is the only hope for our sin-sick world. He has
transformed our lives for the better and teaches us how to cope with life's problems. He said, "I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life....I came that they might have life and have it more abundantly" (John 8:12; 10:10). We know He can bless and enlighten your life too!
Christ "is head over all things to the church" (Ephesians 1:22). Jesus is our only religious Head, who reigns in heaven at God's right Hand (Ephesians 1:20). Our resurrected Lord has "all authority" to direct us "to observe all things" He commanded the apostles (Matthew 28:18,20). His directions for His church are found in the part of the Bible called the New Testament. These last 27 books of the Bible are all together "the word of Christ" (Colossians 3:16). He rules over every aspect of our lives, both in our individual duties and our
collective congregational work and worship. We sincerely endeavor to have Christ's authority in book, chapter and verse for all our beliefs and practices. Our mission is to do the Lord's work in the Lord's way.
It is our aim to be just like the Lord's church, patterned after the original ideal set forth in the New Testament. Nothing more. Nothing less. We are not part of a human denominational church, for such
organization is unknown in the New Testament. In fact, sectarian
division is forbidden (1 Corinthians 1:10).
In our jaded religious age, it is our idealistic aim to restore the
simplicity and purity of New Testament Christianity. We're a loving fellowship, endeavoring to help each member to become the best Christian possible. Thereby, the Lord is glorified and each one of us is fitted for heaven.
Upon entering the meeting house, we hope that you find a warm greeting from our different members. Jesus taught us to "love your neighbor as yourself' (Mark 12:31). Being a stranger in an unfamiliar place, we want to make you feel at home. We want to lovingly take an interest in your personal welfare. Some have been burned by
hypocritical religion, so you might wonder what we're after. However, the apostle Paul's words apply here: "I do not seek what is yours, but you" (2 Corinthians 12:14). True Christianity is a religion of love. The Lord teaches us to always seek others' highest good.
We'll treat you as an equal. Everyone is precious to God. The apostle Peter said, "God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right, is welcome to Him" (Acts 10:34-35). God plays no favorites and neither should we.
If you don't mind, someone may ask you to fill out a visitor's card, so we might have a record of your attendance. It's refreshing to see your interest in spiritual things. So many people in our society have
forgotten God and have neglected the study of the Bible. You will not be singled out or embarrassed by your visit. You will be allowed to
quietly observe for your own spiritual edification.
Also, don't think that you're required to wear expensive, fancy clothes to attend our services. While not recommending sloven or indecent
attire, your inner disposition of heart is more important to God than outer wardrobe (1 Samuel 16:9; Matthew 5:8). Our assembly is a spiritual exercise, not a ritzy fashion show.
On Sunday morning and Wednesday night, we have Bible classes for all ages. If you have children, most anyone would be glad to help you find their classroom.
The Lord charters a local church to be "the pillar and support of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:15). We are a spiritual arrangement with a
spiritual work. That's why we do not divert church resources to
promote fun, frolic and secular amusement. Too many churches have become glorified social clubs. We endeavor to take the Bible seriously, since it is God's only roadmap to eternity for man.
God's "word is truth" (John 17:17). So, expect the truth of the Bible to be taught and studied. No time is wasted on politics, crafts, or frivolous entertainment. Only by going "back to the Bible" can we be set free from sin, self and religious error (John 8:31-32). Christ's Word is our only guide, the rule of faith and practice. The opinions and religious traditions of men are shifting sand and cannot save (Mark 7:6-13). It does not matter what we think about it, but only what God has revealed about it that ultimately matters.
In our worship, we engage in the simple acts prescribed in the New Testament. Our worship is done "decently and in order" (1 Corinthians 14:33). There are no chaotic, emotional outbursts.
One of the brethren will humbly lead the assembly in prayer
(1 Timothy 2:1-2,8). There are no rote prayers read, since prayer
expresses "the heart's desire" (Romans 10:1). There is no special clergy above us through which we offer worship, since each Christian is a spiritual priest (1 Peter 2:9). We're participants, not sideline spectators.
Like the first Christians, we engage in the soulful music of singing "psalms, hymns and spiritual songs" by "making melody with your heart to the Lord" (Ephesians 5:19). This "a cappella" music (vocal singing without mechanical instruments) based on the simplicity of the New Testament order. It may surprise you what the voice of
history says: "All the music employed in their early services was
vocal" (Frank L. Humphreys, Evolution of Church Music, p. 42). "Only singing and no playing of instruments was permitted in the early Christian church" (H. Leichtentritt, Music, History and Ideas, p. 34).
On each Sunday, we celebrate the Lord's Supper in memory of Christ, who died and arose again on our behalf, just like the early Christians did (Acts 2:42, 20:7).
We take up a collection of members' freewill offering to support the authorized work of this local church (1 Corinthians 16:1-3). We do not solicit the money of our visitors. It is the sole responsibility of
members here to contribute.
A lesson is presented from God's Word, which contains "the whole message of this life" Acts 5:20). You will not be asked to accept someone's opinions about the Bible. You will be encouraged to read along for yourself, "to see whether these things were so" (Acts 17:11). Hopefully, the lessons will be clear and practical. You'll see God transforming truth impacts all vital areas of your life. We seek to teach and practice all the Scriptures teach and nothing that they do not teach.
During the course of your visit, questions may come to mind. If you want to know more about what is taught or done, we'd be delighted to talk with you about this. We're never offended by sincere inquiries. We seek to give book, chapter and verse for all we believe and
practice (1 Peter 3:15). In fact, the preacher or one of the members will gladly get together with you, at your convenience, to study the Scriptures with you. Teaching and practicing the pure religion of Christ is the most important thing in our life. We offer several Bible tracts, Bible correspondence courses and videos for your spiritual
instruction. If you do not have a Bible, we would like to give you one.
We hope you will want to come back and be with again after your first visit.
By W. Frank Walton