We welcome you to the Simi Church of Christ and want you to feel comfortable because we know an unfamiliar place can be awkward. This page is designed to acquaint you with our services when you honor us with a visit.
A brief description of our background may help you understand us. We are part of the Restoration Movement. Our desire is to restore the New Testament church in our day. We have studied very hard to find out what the church was like when the churches first began and to pattern ourselves after that. We believe this is the worthiest of goals. We want very much to be a Christ-centered church, obedient to His Word. To us, the Bible is the sole authority in religious matters. Our conclusions are not flawless and that is why we say, ”In essentials, unity. In opinions, liberty. In all things, love.”
Now let’s walk through a Sunday morning worship service.
As you enter the foyer you will be greeted by the “guest ministry” team and given a “Bulletin” with the “Order of Worship” so you can follow along with the worship service. If this is a first time visit, we would really appreciate it if you would fill out our “guest card” and hand it to one of the greeters or put it in the collection basket when they are passed later in the service. We will never embarrass you in any way.
After passing through the foyer you will enter the auditorium. There will be rows of comfortable chairs for those worshiping. Please feel free to sit anywhere you like. The worship service will be approximately and hour and a half. It will include singing, an invitation to worship greeting and a scripture reading, followed by a prayer and more songs. After this, the Lord’s Supper or communion will take place. Then an offering from the members, followed by an offering and songs from the children. Then the preacher will deliver the message followed by an invitation song and closing prayer.
Underneath the chair in front of you, you will find a songbook. When the song leader announces the number, you can turn to that number to find the words to the music or you can view the songs projected on the screen behind the song leader. Speaking about music, one of the unique things about the Church of Christ is that the music is a cappella. That is, we sing with our voices without the accompaniment of musical instruments. This is a conviction and a preference with us. As stated previously, we seek to worship according to the New Testament pattern, and since it excludes instrumental music we feel it is best to exclude it, too. If you have never heard a cappella singing, we think you will learn to really enjoy it. Everyone is encouraged to participate.
There will be several prayers during the service. These prayers will be lead by various brothers in the church and sometimes include petitions for special needs or requests.
The Churches of Christ observe this memorial every Sunday. Again, the reason is our desire to follow the New Testament teaching. The first century church celebrated this observance on the first day of the week. Respected historians state that in the early centuries the communion was an every-Sunday commemoration. During this part of the service plates containing pieces of unleavened bread will be passed throughout the congregation. The bread symbolizes the body of Jesus. Those partaking will break off a piece and eat it.
Next trays filled with small cups will be distributed. The cups contain fruit of the vine, which is grape juice, symbolizing the blood of Christ. Each participant will drink the contents of one of the cups.
The Lord’s Supper is for Christians only. If you do not participate, simply pass the tray to the person next to you.
Following the Lords’ Supper, baskets are passed around to collect the weekly offerings. As our guest, you are not expected to make a donation. If a greeter hasn’t done so, we would like to encourage you to fill out a guest card, which you will find inside the song book front cover, and place it in the collection plate when it comes by.
Children’s Offering and Songs
After the collection, the children go up front and put their contributions in a jug and then sing some songs that they have prepared. After this they are dismissed to “Children’s Church” which is for Kindergarten through 5th grade.
You will notice that the preacher does not have a special title. We won’t refer to him as Pastor or Reverend. We will probably refer to him as brother or the minister.
He won’t be wearing any ecclesiastical vestments which set him apart. The reason for this is our belief in the priesthood of all believers. That all are equal.
The sermon will be refreshingly Bible-centered, relevant, practical, and approximately thirty minutes in length.
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 or request prayer support. He will encourage those who wish to respond to come to the front of the auditorium while the congregation sings a hymn.
Don’t feel uncomfortable during this invitation. You will not be singled out in any way. There may be several who respond, or none. Some may request baptism. Some to confess sins. Some to place membership with this congregation.
If anyone responds for baptism, you will witness it during the service. The baptism will be for the remission of sins.
What kind of people can you expect to find? Pretty much the entire spectrum, as in any group. You will find traditionalists and those eager to try anything new. You will find conservatives and liberals and a lot of people between.
You will find people who are happy and some who might be cranky, friendly and unfriendly, loving and disagreeable. People who are learning and those who have been in the church for years. People who are holy and those you might be surprised to see in church! We welcome all!
You get the picture. We are a diverse group, coming from different backgrounds and cultures, and at different stages of spiritual growth. We don’t know everything nor do we do everything perfectly. However, we are not brought together by any illusion of our perfection or righteousness. We are brought together by our recognition that we are sinners in need of the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
That is the reason we can stick together. We are bonded by a desire to worship and praise God, according to His Word and with the help of His Spirit, accomplish some things that make a difference.
You won’t have to look very far for our flaws. But bottom line, you will find people who love Jesus, love the Bible and love you.