What to expect
Please consider this your personal invitation to visit with us at any of our worship services at the Church of Christ on Gipps Street in Toowoomba. We would like nothing better than to have you as our guest. If you have never attended a worship service at the Church of Christ, you might be wondering what to expect. We want you to be comfortable during your
visit, so please find below brief descriptions of what you may expect when you arrive.
Though the Church is not defined by its building or physical location, we find it convenient to gather together for worship and other activities at 52 Gipps Street (next to the Drayton Bowls Club). Entry can be gained from Gipps Street or Ladner Street. Our building contains an auditorium, numerous classrooms, a library and an office.
Our bible school classes are staffed with teachers who love students of all ages, and we have classes for all. Classes occur on Sunday mornings from 9.00am to 9.45am, and on Wednesday evenings from 7.30pm to 8.30pm. Someone will always be available to help our visitors find the appropriate classroom.
Worship services occur on Sunday mornings between 10.15am and 11.30am, and again on Sunday evenings between 5pm and 7pm. We all assemble in the auditorium. There are no reserved seats, so sit anywhere you choose. There is a convenient nursery adjoining our auditorium for the needs of those who have small children or babies. On the first Sunday of each month we have a shared meal after the morning worship service. One of our greatest joys is to have visitors join us for our fellowship meals.
OUR WORSHIP SERVICES
We believe the Bible teaches that worship is a command for all Christians to observe, and we try to be as bible-centred as possible with our worship services. Our services are conducted in a quiet, worshipful atmosphere. They are designed to draw worshipers closer to God and to provide enduring spiritual strength. Our worship consists only of those elements which the New Testament reveals as having been used as worship by the Church in its earliest days. This we do because we consider our sole source of authority to be that which is found in inspired scripture, and we seek to be governed in all that we do by God’s words contained within the Bible (2 Tim 3:16, 17). In all of this we seek to maintain the attitude which Christ taught when He said: "God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship in Spirit and Truth." (John 4:24)
Every worshiper is invited to participate in our singing. In the bookcases at each entrance to the building will be a songbook for your use. It is a conviction with us that we use only vocal music in praise to God. The New Testament pattern we are seeking to follow with our worship makes no mention of instrumental worship, so we believe it should be excluded from our worship. This may seem at odds with many other groups, but we trust you will respect our conviction having learned of the reason.
We believe that prayer is a vital part of our relationship with God, and you will notice that our worship service will include several prayers led by various men.
Each of our worship services will include reading and teaching from God’s word. The preacher’s sermon is usually around 30 minutes long, and will always be Bible-centred. Bibles are provided for your convenience at the bookcases at each entrance. 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. Most Sundays Daniel Smith will preach, and he simply prefers to be called Daniel. He does not wear any special clothing that sets him apart. He is one of us. The reason for this is our belief that all are equal in the priesthood of believers.
At the end of the sermon those wishing to become Christians are invited to step to the front of the auditorium to let their wishes be known, but never is anyone singled out for public attention. People are urged from the pulpit to accept the gospel and to yield its call with deep spiritual conviction. This acceptance is facilitated through baptism, which the New Testament teaches is immersion and is for the remission of sins.
The worship service will also include the Lord’s Supper, which consists of two elements – the bread and the grape juice. The bread represents the Lord’s body and the grape juice represents His blood. This simple memorial is observed every Sunday.
Also on Sunday, a collection plate will be passed to collect the offering. We give of our means for the spreading of the Gospel, and caring for the poor. Whether or not you participate in this is entirely up to you, and as our guest we are not expecting you to “make a donation”.
After the worship service is over, we hope you will stay around long enough to allow us to meet you.
You can expect to find people at Gipps Street from a broad spectrum. Like many groups, we are diverse — coming from varied backgrounds and at different levels of understanding and different stages of spiritual growth. We do not claim to know everything, but we are learning. We do not do everything right, but we are improving. We do not always treat each other as we should. However, we hope we are all trying to imitate Jesus as much as possible, with the fullest understanding that we need to grow and strengthen our spiritual lives every day.
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 (Mark 2:17; Romans 5:6-9; Ephesians 1:7; I John 1:7). We were brought together by a common goal. We want to be God’s people, organized and worshipping according to God’s plan. We want to be Christ’s church. That is the reason we can worship together, stick together, and with God’s help, accomplish some things that make a difference for Him. If you decide to visit us, you will find people who love Jesus, love the Bible and love one another. We hope you will join us in our pursuit of Him and His Word this Sunday.
WHAT DO WE EXPECT FROM YOU?
Nothing at all! As our guest you are welcome to participate, but you may also feel free to simply observe. If you have questions about the Church, or about anything you see or hear, please feel free to ask.