Come and worship with us at the Washington Avenue Church of Christ.
We will do our best to help you to feel at ease. We, too, have experienced new places and know how uncomfortable that can be. Here is what you will find at Washington Avenue.
A Bit About The Church
The New Testament Church Was Established On The Day Of Pentecost
Knowing about our background may help you understand us better. In Acts chapter 1 and 2 we learn that the New Testament Church was established on the Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem. When reading Colossians 1:18 and Ephesians 1:22-23, one observes that Jesus Christ Himself is the head of the church. Striving to be like the New Testament Christians, we endeavor to follow their examples and the instructions found in the Bible. This is a worthy and reverent goal (Galatians 1:6-9, Revelation 22:18-19). Christians the world over make up the church, however we find them meeting in autonomous groups. Congregations are independent because there is no biblical authority for a central governing body telling a church family what to do.
This tells you a little of our backdrop. We hope you will come and visit with us. If you do, here is what you will see us doing. While these worship events vary in order from congregation to congregation (and within congregations), they will all occur in each worship service, following the examples of the New Testament church and the instructions found in God’s Word.
Christians Make Up The Church
Though Biblical instructions are not specific as to where Christians will assemble to worship God, most congregations meet in a building that they own. Some congregations meet in homes, others in rented facilities. The first century Christians frequently met in the homes of members. What is important to understand is that the church is comprised of people and is not the facility in which the worship service occurs. Simply stated, Christians make up the church.
Upon entering our facility you will find yourself in a large foyer area and will be met by friendly people. From there you can enter the auditorium where our worship services are conducted. Please feel free to sit anywhere. You will find us worshiping God every Sunday morning and evening. In addition we meet on Wednesday evening for a weekly Bible study. A careful examination of the New Testament church reveals that they met weekly on the first day in keeping with the teaching of the Scriptures.
We are deeply concerned that our members are well versed in the Scriptures and accordingly provide regular Bible classes. These classes meet on Sunday morning before worship service and on Wednesday night.
“Singing And Making Melody In Your Heart To The Lord”
One of the beautiful elements of our worship service is the “a cappella” singing. That is, we sing without the accompaniment of musical instruments.
Singing is a Biblical commandment and not simply an inclination. Keeping in mind that the New Testament established the worship procedures and methodology, we observe that though musical instruments were a part of life in the first century, they were not used in worship. Because instruments were not used by the first century Christians to worship God, we refrain from doing so today. Taking the inspired Word, as recorded in 1 Corinthians 14:15, Ephesians 5:18-19, Colossians 3:16 and Hebrews 2:12, to be the foundation for “a cappella” singing, we do not use instruments in worship.
We Pray Often
Prayer is a core element of the Christian’s life…as it was in the life of Jesus. Much is said in the Bible regarding prayer and you can find some of these instances in James 1:5-8, Acts 4:24-31, Colossians 4:12, James 5:16-17, Matthew 21:22, John 14:13, Romans 1:8, Colossians 3:17, James 1:5-8, Matthew 6, and James 5:13-16. When visiting one of our worship services you will observe that we pray often.
Teaching The Word Of God
The early Christians were encouraged to go everywhere telling about Jesus. We continue to do that today and you will find preaching to be an integral part of the worship service. At each worship assembly a sermon will be presented from God’s Word. The goals of such lessons vary. For example, sometimes they are meant to encourage, other times they are specific teaching tools. Often they help motivate us as Christians to live in service to the Master. Luke, the writer of the Book of Acts spoke to this in Acts 20:7.
There are three ministers at Washington Avenue who present sermons, along with numerous members who are qualified to teach God’s Word. In contrast to what is often seen in religious organizations, these individuals do not carry the title of Pastor or Reverend. You will observe that they are not dressed in religious clothing that would call attention to their role. We refrain from such practice because the New Testament church did not do such; they identified the person proclaiming the message as simply a minister, evangelist or servant. His goal is to preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15), preach to every nation (Matthew 28:19), preach the gospel to the lost (Acts 5:42), and he should edify and exhort the church (2 Timothy 4:2, Ephesians 4:11 & 12). Many of these responsibilities apply to all Christians.
Opportunity To Respond To The Gospel
Paramount in every worship service is the opportunity for individuals to become a Christians. With that in mind, we teach what God requires us to do to become a Christian at all assemblies. In conjunction with this teaching, we invite individuals to become Christians each time we meet for worship. Scripture teaches that to become a Christian we must hear his Word (Rom. 10:13-17), believe that Christ is our savior (Mark 16:16), repent of our sins (Acts 17:30), confess His name (Matt. 10:32-33) and be baptized (Acts 2:38).
When you visit with us you may see someone respond to this invitation. They may want to change their life by becoming a Christian. Or, the respondent may be a Christian who has not been living for the Master and wishes forgiveness from God and the supporting prayers of members. You may also see a member respond who simply wants the members to pray for him or her.
Jesus Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper prior to His arrest and eventual crucifixion. The purpose is to remember His sacrifice. It is a memorial to His death (Luke 22:19-20). Jesus Himself said, “do this in remembrance of me”.
Giving Back To God
The church meeting at Washington Avenue is engaged in many activities supporting the objectives of teaching God’s Word and meeting the needs of Christians and others in our community and the world at large. We support missionary efforts within our own country and in countries elsewhere in the world. Funding for these varied efforts comes from our members’ weekly contributions. Examples of such giving practices by the first century church is found in 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 and 2 Corinthians 9:6-9). A visitor will observe the collection of funds occurring each Sunday.
Will Something Be Expected of You?
Please Be At Ease
You will not be expected to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. As our visitor, you are welcome and encouraged to participate in our worship service, but do not feel obligated to do so. Just watch if that is your choice.
We provide a Visitor’s Card and hope that you will tell us a little about yourself. We ask for this information so that we can write to thank you for your visit. Fill out the card if you are comfortable doing so, but feel free to decline if you prefer.