What to Expect
We want to let you know if you're visiting with us, you are a welcome and respected guest. We believe that friendliness is natural attitude among people who truly love God. As our visitor, you will receive a warm welcome and it is our hope you will be benefited by our worship service. That being said, we understand it can be intimidating to visit a church for the first time. So, we've outlined the basic structure of our worship services from week to week so you're not caught off guard. Here's what you can expect when visiting the Gardendale Church of Christ...
Our singing is completely congregational, simple, and devout. Typically, we sing about six songs in our Sunday Morning Service and it is led by one of the men in the congregation. One of the features of our singing which many find unique is that it is sung without the accompaniment of instrument. This is not simply our preference but our conviction before God, as we believe He desires us to offer praises to Him from the "fruit of our lips." (cf. Heb. 13:15; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16) As a visitor, we would hope you would join us in praise to our Father, but you won't be "called out" if you don't feel comfortable doing so.
Several prayers are said in our worship service. The prayer is offered without display. It is a simple, from the heart prayer audibly spoken by one man as the congregation ponders it in their hearts and offer their special prayers silently unto God.
The Lord's Supper/Communion
Every Sunday, we partake of the Lord's Supper as we believe the early church did (cf. Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 11:18; Acts 20:7). It consists of two parts: the breaking of bread and fruit of the vine, representing the body and blood which Jesus Christ freely sacrificed on humanity's behalf (cf. Matt. 26:26-28). We do this, primarily, to remember Jesus Christ's sacrifice. We say a prayer of thanksgiving to God before each element is served to the congregation in keeping with Jesus' practice from the New Testament. The communion is open to all who wish to partake.
Every Sunday, a few lessons are offered. Bible Class begins at 9:30 AM every Sunday. Classes for every age group are offered. In our class environment, it is an additional opportunity to become more saturated in God's Word. During the worship service, a sermon is offered by the preacher. Most of the time, the lessons are between 20-25 minutes and are as Biblically based as possible. Our motto is that we attempt to speak where the Bible speaks, and be silent where the Bible is silent. We want only what the Lord wants; nothing more or less. We have no formal creed; our only creed is the Bible. It is our endeavor to restore New Testament Christianity and our lessons attempt to reflect that conviction. At the end of most of our lessons, we offer an invitation for anybody to come forward requesting prayer or to become a Christian in baptism. This is solely at the discretion of the person desiring to come forward.
We take up a contribution every week, as well. This is another practice of the early church we like to mirror (cf. 1 Cor. 16:1-2). Just like the communion, a plate is passed around to each pew in the church. Contributions are not taxed and, as our visitor, you will not be "poked and prodded" to give. However, if you decide to do so, your contribution will be graciously accepted.