The Church Of Christ
1616 "I" Street
La Porte, IN 46350
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Shout joyfully to the Lord,
all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before Him
with joyful singing.
Know that the
Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us,
and not we ourselves;
We are His people and
the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him;
bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting,
And His faithfulness
to all generations.
What You Can Expect
When You Visit The
Church of Christ in La Porte, IN
We welcome you to the Church of Christ.
It is our desire that you are comfortable with our worship and us. Even though, we know an unfamiliar place can be intimidating. So, let us tell you what you can expect when you honor us with a visit.
A brief description of our background may help you understand us. We are not a denomination. We are simply Christ church. (Matt 16:18). Our goal is to continue the New Testament Church in our time - to determine from The Bible what The Church was like in the beginning, and to be like that. We are a Bible-centered church. We strive to follow the perfect example and teachings of our Lord, Jesus Christ. However, please do not expect us to be perfect (Philip 3:12).
The Worship Service
If you have visited another Church of Christ, you may notice some differences in our worship service. Although we are ONE body (II Cor 12:12), we have varied traditions and preferences. Some variation may include time of service, order of service, type of song book, etc.
Some Churches of Christ meet in homes or rented facilities. However, most, for the sake of convenience, have a building in which the church meets.
The worship will take place in the ''auditorium.'' Please feel free to sit anywhere you chose, there are no reserved seats.
One of the unique things about Churches of Christ is that the music is 'a capella'. We sing without the accompaniment of musical instruments. This is not just a preference with us, it is a conviction. This is part of our effort to continue the practices of The Church like they were in the beginning. Since the New Testament leaves instrumental music out, we also exclude it ( Eph 5:18-19; I Cor 14:15; Col 3:16). You may consider us narrow on this point. But we believe you will respect our conviction. We hope you will find the singing to be meaningful. Please feel free to join in, as all are welcome to participate. We do not have a designated group of singers or a choir.
You will notice that the preacher does not have a title. He won't be referred to as pastor or reverend. He may be addressed as Dr., but only if he has earned that academic credential. He will be referred to as brother and/or, more than likely, he will just be called by his first name. The preacher will not be wearing any ecclesiastical vestments that set him apart. The reason for this is our belief in the priesthood of all believers (I Peter 2:9).
The sermon will likely be from 20 to 30 minutes. We anticipate you will find it to be Bible- centered.
At the close of the sermon, the preacher will ''extend an invitation.'' This is simply an expedient time to invite those who are moved to do so to make a commitment, request prayer support, request prayers for specific needs, or for baptism. The preacher will encourage those who wish to respond to come to the front of the auditorium while the congregation sings a hymn. There may be several, one or none that respond. If anyone responds for baptism, you will witness the baptism during this service. The baptism will be by immersion (Acts 8:35-39; Rom 6:3-4; Col 2:12) for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).
There will be several prayers during the service. You will notice we are specific in our requests and needs and thanksgiving (Philip 4:6).
If you visit on a Sunday morning, the Lord's Supper will be included in the worship proceedings. Churches of Christ observe this memorial every Sunday. Again, the reason for this is our desire to continue in the New Testament teaching. The first century Church celebrated this observance on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). During this memorial, done in remembrance of Jesus Christ (I Cor 11:24-26), plates containing unleavened bread will be passed throughout the congregation. The bread symbolizes the body of Jesus. Each member of the body of Christ will partake of the bread (Acts 2:41-42). Also, trays filled with small cups will be passed. The cups will contain ''fruit of the vine,'' usually grape juice, symbolizing the blood of Jesus. Again, each member of the church will drink the contents of one of the cups (Acts 2:41-42).
In addition to the Lord's Supper, if you visit on a Sunday plates will be passed to collect the weekly financial offering (I Cor 16:1-2). As our guest, you are not expected to make a donation. Please feel perfectly comfortable in just passing the collection plate.
What Will Be Expected of You
Nothing at all! You are welcome to participate. But don't feel obligated. Just observe, if that is your choice. You may be asked to fill out a Visitor's Card. This just provides information about you so the Church can write or call to personally thank you for your visit. Supply the information if you are comfortable doing so. But feel free to decline this request if you prefer.
Following the worship service we enjoy Bible classes for all ages. Classes for the children are downstairs. The material for the children is all the same. Each teacher teaches the same bible lesson. It may be necessary to simplify the lesson in order accommodate the age group. Adults, who do not teach a class, remain in the auditorium for class. This is a casual study, therefore all class members are encouraged to participate in discussion, raise questions, or make comments. You and your family are welcome to join us. Please feel free to ask questions and participate. However, if you are not comfortable in doing so, that is OK too.
What kind of people can you expect to encounter? As in any group, pretty much the entire spectrum. Traditionalists, liberals, legalists, those who are conservative, and the list goes on.
Bear in mind, too, that we as people are different in actions and attitudes. Therefore, you may encounter those who are excessively joyful and those who are more reserved, those who easily converse with new people and those who may be a bit shy. Some of us are new Christians, some of us have been Christians for a long time, and some of us have been here since birth. Hence, although we are all learning, we are at different stages of knowledge of the Word of God and spiritual growth. In a nutshell, we are a diverse group, coming from varied backgrounds. We are all on the journey. We were not brought together by any illusion of our perfection or righteousness. We were brought together by our recognition that we are sinners in need of the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, our Savior (Mark 2:17; Rom 5:6-9; Eph 1:7; I John 1:7). The bottom-line? You will find people who love Jesus and are striving to be like Him (I Cor 11:1; I Tim 1:16; I Pet 2:21).
We are ''family'' (Gal 6:10; Eph 3:14-15; Heb 2:11; I Pet 4:17). You may hear the announcement of fellowship activities that are going on. We try to spend as much time with one another as we can, just as a family would. Most of our activities are open to all. If you hear one mentioned that you are interested in, please let someone know.