What to Expect

What Can You Expect When You Worship With Us?

We prepared this page to give you an idea about what to expect when you visit us. We would like you to feel at home and to better understand our worship services.

The Columbia Church of Christ, like other Churches of Christ around the world, is overseen by a group of local men, rather than by a national or world headquarters. Although the Church of Christ that meets at Columbia is autonomous, you will find many similarities if you visit other Churches of Christ around the world. This is because the Churches of Christ attempt to follow the example for worship found in the New Testament. We want to worship God “in spirit and in truth.”

The following paragraphs contain a brief description of what will take place during our worship to God.

An area of the worship service you will notice right away is singing praises to God. One of the members will lead the church in congregational singing at various times throughout the worship. You are welcome and encouraged to join us in singing praises to God, but don’t feel uncomfortable sitting quietly if these songs are new to you. Songbooks are available for everyone. The song numbers are announced before each song.

The singing is a cappella, or voices only, because we believe that the Bible tells us to sing praises. Consistent with our goal of using the Bible as our guide, and in following the example of the early church, we do not add any instruments to the New Testament’s instructions.

Several times during the service today, one of the men of the congregation will lead a prayer. Generally, people bow their heads and close their eyes when a prayer is being offered during the worship. However, this is simply our tradition which is intended to show reverence to God. The important thing to us is focusing on what is being said. The members of the congregation will be praying silently along with the one who is leading their thoughts.

An important time during the worship service is the time we remember the sacrifice Jesus made for all of our sins. Churches of Christ observe communion (also called the Lord’s Supper) each Sunday. This is done because of what Jesus taught. He told his disciples to eat bread to remember his body which was sacrificed for our sins and raised from the dead. He also told the disciples to drink “the fruit of the vine” to remember the blood that he shed for our sins.

Unleavened bread and grape juice are used in the communion service because we believe this is most like what the first Christians used. The Lord’s Supper served today is for any Christian, whether or not you are a visitor.

We will be taking an offering from our members during the worship service. We do this each Sunday immediately following the communion; it is one of the parts of our worship.

The money contributed by the members is overseen by the men of congregation and used for evangelism and benevolence both locally and around the world. As a guest, you are not expected to contribute to these works. When the collection plate is passed to you, just pass it on to the next person.

To leave a record of your visit, please fill out the visitor’s card in the rack on the back of the seat in front of you and place it into the collection plate at the appropriate time.

Today and every Sunday you visit, you will hear a lesson based on the Bible. Michael Tanksley, who is our full-time minister, will speak to the congregation for about 30 minutes. At the end of his lesson, he will ask anyone who wants the prayers of the church or wishes to be baptized to come to the front. Sometimes people refer to this as “the invitation,” but God’s invitation to obey him is always open.

To become a Christian a person must believe the good news they have heard about Jesus. They need to repent of their sins, which simply means to turn away from sinning. They need to confess their belief in Jesus and be baptized to have their sins washed away.

After the Worship Service
You are invited to stay for Bible class immediately following worship. There are classes for all ages.

If you have questions about anything that we say or do during our services, please ask one our members about it before you leave or call the church office. If reading this page has already generated some questions, please send us your questions via e-mail.

Some Related Scriptures You May Want To Read

WorshipJohn 4:24
Elders and special titlesI Timothy 3:1-7, Matthew 23:8-12
SingingI Corinthians 14:15, Ephesians 5:18-19, Colossians 3:16
PrayingPhilippians 4:6
CommunionMatthew 26:26-29, Acts 20:7
OfferingI Corinthians 16:1-2
PreachingMatthew 28:18-20
How to become a ChristianRomans 10:17, Acts 16:31, Matthew 10:32, Acts 2:38