Structure of Shippensburg church of Christ
The saints in Shippensburg worship God in order to express their love, devotion, and praise. As Christ told the Samaritan woman at the well, "true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him." John 4:23 Therefore, we seek to worship God in how he wants to be worshipped, which he communicates through his Word, and not as man may think best to worship him. To worship the creator in any way, other than what he wants, is vanity.
Our worship is comprised of the following, heartfelt acts, as directed by the Word of God.
Prayer- It is our priveledge and duty to speak to God. The early Church prayed toegether (Acts 2:42, Acts 4:24-31, Acts 12:5,12). We continue in this practice, to this day. In each assembly, there will be prayer offered, by the congregation, to God. One of the men of the congregation will, on each occassion presented for prayer, vocalize the prayer on behalf of the congregation, yet each member is to pray along in their mind and affirm, if they so agree, in their amen.
Singing Praise to God - God commands Christians to worship him in song (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). By his word, we know that the purpose God has for us, in singing, is to teach and admonish: not to entertain. It is to be from the heart with our focus on the words. The result is singing that has profound meaning with genuine emotion. You will notice that we sing accapella (no insturments). We do not use instruments, becasue the New Testament does not provide any authority for it. We cannot assume what God desires. If we act presumptuously, we will sin greatly (Psa. 19:13). Rom 10:17 says that, "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ". Therefore, since instrumental worship cannot be found in the New Testament, it cannot be done by faith.
The Lord's Supper - Each Lord's day, we partake of this memorial to remember our Savior and His sacrificial death (1 Cor 11: 23-34). In so doing, we proclaim Christ's death until He returns. This permits us, his desciples, to share together in the body and the blood of Christ and commune with Him as one body (1 Cor 10: 16-17). Acts 20:7 sets the pattern that we partake each, first day of the week: as did the congregation in Troas.
Laying By In Store - 1 Cor 16:1-2 requires that each Christian is to "lay by in store, as God hath prospered him... " As required by this scripture, we take up a collection of the saints that meet in Shippensburg every first day of the week. This commandment is only for the saints. Therefore, we do not ask, nor do we expect, that our visitors participate in this practice. If you are a saint that is travelling through, we expect that you have a commitment to your local congregation and do not expect you to contribute. When the plate is passed through your row, please just continue passing it. This would be a good time to put a completed visitor card into the plate.
Instruction in the Word of God (sermon) - "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." (Matt 5:6) The New Testament makes it clear that proclaiming the word of God was part of the worship of the first century church. The apostle Paul preached to the church in Troas: on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). Those that speak, in our assemblies, strive to only speak in accordance with the revealed will of God (1 Peter 4:11). We do not interpose our own thoughts or make public our speculations. As a listener of the word, we beg that you examine the scriptures to ensure that what you are hearing is so (Acts 17:11). Since we strive to speak where the bible speaks and be silent where the bible is silent, we believe that you will find that we proclaim the truth. If you should hear anything that does not seem to harmonize with God's word, we plead with you to bring it to the attention of one of our members. If what you heard isn't correct, we want to know so we may change and conform properly to the word.