Our meeting place and our worship are quite simple. You will see no statues, no pianos, no organs, no bands. We are all here to strengthen our relationship with God, hear his words and connect to him with our prayers. We focus our efforts on worshiping God, understanding the Bible and doing right by our fellow human beings. There is no focus on entertainment. We sing, we pray, we observe what we call “The Lord’s Supper” or the “communion” (where we remember Jesus’ sacrifice), we give of our means and we listen to an exhortation from the word of God. All of this helps to develop our relationship with God and give us strength for our daily lives.
We believe that Jesus wanted his followers to live good lives and put God first and their fellow man a close second:
“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39).
We believe the Church is God’s loving family. Upon your arrival, you will meet some of our members, who will greet you with a bright smile. They will direct you to our service and answer your questions.
When you enter the auditorium for worship or Bible class you, will see rows of pews and chairs for the worshipers. There are no reserved seats (except for the handicapped seats in the back), so please feel free to sit anywhere you choose. If you arrive at or near the starting time of our service, you may be greeted by one of our ushers, who will offer to assist you in finding a place to sit.
The services generally begin with singing. You will discover that our worship music is without any instrumental accompaniment. This type of singing is called a cappella (“in the manner of the chapel”). You may find this to be unusual, but we think you will also find it enjoyable. We sing together, from the heart. As it is our desire to pattern our worship service after the first century Christians who, under the instruction of Jesus’ apostles, chose not to use mechanical instruments of music for their worship, we have also made this choice. Further, because we seek to worship God according to the New Testament pattern found in Colossians 3:16 and Ephesians 5:19-20, which only authorize singing, that is what we choose to do. For these two reasons, our a cappella singing choice reflects not simply a human preference or tradition, but a divine preference to which it is important to submit.
The songs are projected on a screen at the podium so you can easily follow along. If you prefer, you can look up the number of the song in a hymnbook on the back of the pew directly in front of you. (Some newer songs may not be in the hymnbook.)
Each Sunday morning, we take up an offering from the members of the congregation. As a matter of convenience, this will normally be done at the conclusion of the communion service. The responsibility of giving rests solely upon the members of the Linder Road congregation. As a visitor, you are not expected to participate in this offering, unless you choose to do so; you may simply pass the tray on to the person next to you.
Toward the beginning of the service, one of our shepherds, also referred to as a bishop, a pastor, or an elder, will remind the congregation of persons who have asked for prayers to be offered on their behalf. These may be members of the congregation as well as friends and relatives of members. A prayer will then be offered on behalf of these persons. Additional prayers will be offered throughout the rest of the worship service.
The Communion (“The Lord’s Supper”)
The communion service, first established by Jesus as he met with his apostles on the night before his crucifixion, is a memorial of his death. “Do this,” he said, “in remembrance of me.” He told his apostles that the unleavened bread represents his body and the fruit of the vine represents his blood, given for our sins. He also told them that the eating of the bread and the drinking of the cup announce his death, until he comes again (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). There is, therefore, an element of anticipation as those who commune not only remember a crucified Savoir, but also anxiously await the coming of a glorified Lord. As we have previously mentioned, it is our desire for our worship services to be patterned after that of the Church of the first century. We therefore observe this sacred ritual every Sunday (Acts 20:7).
Our minister (or evangelist) wears no official title. We do not call him “Pastor” or “Reverend,” etc., because such titles are not found in the New Testament in relation to his role in the Church. He does not wear an ecclesiastical robe or any special garb that would set him apart from the rest of the members. His exhortation, which usually lasts about 40 minutes, is based on his own study and research, and not on any prescribed liturgy. References to the Bible are abundant; we encourage you to open your Bible and follow along. At the end of the sermon, the minister will offer the opportunity for anyone to respond to the invitation of the Lord (Matthew 11:28). A song of encouragement will then be sung. Anyone who wishes to become a Christian or anyone needing prayers for any reason can then walk to the front of the auditorium, where he or she will be met by one of our shepherds, as well as the minister, and the expressed needs will be met.