We hope you will be our guest at the Blue Ash Church of Christ! We want you to feel comfortable when you visit us, so let us walk you through a typical worship service. If you have visited another Church of Christ, you may notice some variations from this description. That is because every Church of Christ is autonomous (independent). We are not associated with any earthly ecclesiastical body or headquarters.
The doors are open early at 4667 Cooper Rd. When you walk into our auditorium, you will find rows of pews for the worshippers. There are no reserved seats, so feel free to sit anywhere you choose. You can expect to be given a warm welcome and greeting as you enter the building and at the end of the service.
In our services, you will observe five items of worship on Sunday, and three at any other service. These items of worship include: singing, prayer, teaching/preaching, the Lord's Supper, and the offering.
In the bookrack in front of you, there will be a songbook for your use. When the song number is announced, you can turn to that number in the songbook to find the words and music. The entire assembly joins in singing gospel songs. There is no choir or special group, but simple congregational singing. We find no evidence in the New Testament that the early church used mechanical instruments to accompany their singing. Therefore we do not use them in our worship (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16).
Spoken prayers are an important part of our gatherings. We believe in the power of prayer, and we often pray for specific needs and requests.
3. Preaching. Who preaches is not as important as what is preached. Our preacher does not have a special title. He is not referred to as Pastor or Reverend. He won't be wearing any special clothing that sets him apart. He is one of us. We are all equal as priests of God. The lesson will normally last about 25-30 minutes. We hope you find it refreshingly Bible-centered.
At the end of the sermon, worshippers will be invited to make a commitment for Jesus. The preacher will encourage those who wish to "respond" to come to the front of the auditorium while the congregation sings. Do not feel ill-at-ease during this invitation. You will not be singled out in any way.
There may be several who respond, or none. Some may respond for baptism. Some may confess sins or ask for prayer for a specific need. Some may desire to "identify" with this church. If anyone responds for baptism, you will witness baptism during the service. The baptism will be by immersion for the forgiveness of sins.
4. The Lord's Supper.
The Lord's Supper will be included in the worship service every Sunday. The Lord’s Supper is the original way of remembering the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf when He died on the cross for our sins. We observe this memorial every Sunday because of our desire to follow New Testament teaching. The first century church celebrated this observance on the first day of the week, and we know from respected historians that in early centuries, the Lord's Supper was an every-Sunday commemoration.
During the Lord’s Supper, plates containing unleavened bread will be passed throughout the congregation. The bread symbolizes the body of Jesus. Each participant will break off a piece of the bread and eat it. Next, trays filled with small cups will be distributed. The cups will contain grape juice (the fruit of the vine), symbolizing the blood of Jesus. Each participant will drink the contents of one cup. If you choose not to participate, don't be embarrassed. Feel free to just pass the plate or tray to the person next to you.
5. The Offering
How many times will you be asked for money? None. However, containers will be passed to collect the weekly financial offering. As our guest, you are welcome to make a donation if you'd like, but feel perfectly comfortable in just passing the collection plate on down the row if you prefer.
What Will Be Expected of You?
Nothing at all! You are welcome to participate if you wish to do so, but do not feel obligated to. Participate if you wish, or just observe if you so desire.
So, what kind of people can you expect to find? Pretty much the entire spectrum. Like many groups, we are diverse, coming from varied backgrounds and being at different stages of knowledge and spiritual growth. We do not know everything, but we are learning. We do not always do everything right, but we are improving. We have not yet arrived at perfection, but we are on the journey.
We were not brought together by any illusion of our perfection or personal righteousness. We were brought together by our recognition that we are sinners in need of the cleansing blood of Jesus. We were brought together by a common goal. We want to be God's people and bring others to the tender healing mercy of our Father in Heaven. We want to please God and go to heaven in the end.
We hope you will come in and worship with us soon.