Many folks hesitate to visit a church unless they know what it will be like when they go. We hope that the following information will help you know what to expect when you visit.
We Are Not a Denomination It is our sincere desire to be nondenominational, to wear no other name than Christ's, and to be known simply as Christians, members of the body of Christ (Acts 11:26; Ephesians 1:22-23). Collectively we refer to ourselves as the church of Christ, the Lord's church, or some other scriptural description to identify ourselves as the saved belonging to Christ (Ephesians 5:23).
We Strive to be the Same Church Described in the New Testament It is our purpose to be identified with the Christians of the first century, guided by the plain teachings of God's word. When Jesus declared such to be "the seed of the kingdom" (Luke 8:11), He was emphasizing a known fact of nature that specific kinds of seed, when planted, will always produce after their kind. For example, wheat will produce wheat. In like manner the word of God, when planted in the hearts of honest people, and obeyed, will produce Christians just like it did in the first century - nothing more and nothing less.
Christ is Our Head There is no man, or group of men, who legislate for the church. We have no one to answer to except Christ our Lord. He is the head of the church (Colossians 1:18). As true in the first century, there is no intercongregational organization. Congregations in different locations, with Christ as Lord, function independently of each other. According to the authority of Christ, when a church matures to the point where two or more men meet the qualifications, overseers (called bishops, elders and pastors) are appointed to look after the affairs of the local church. Such men are appointed when they meet all the qualifications listed in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. They then have the responsibility to "feed the flock" with spiritual food found in the scriptures, and to be examples to others (1 Peter 5:1-3). In the churches of Christ, preachers are not "pastors" (unless they meet the qualifications cited above), but are simply teachers of the gospel.
The Bible is Our Only Guide Therefore, we have no man-made creeds to follow. We are governed in faith and conduct by the Bible alone. While recognizing the guiding principles of the Old Testament (Hebrews 1:1-2; 1 Peter 4:11), we accept the Bible as being verbally inspired and infallible in content (2 Peter 1:20-21; 1 Corinthians 2:11-13). Consequently when the Bible speaks upon any given subject, its pronouncement is accepted as final. By its own testimony, no one may alter a single word with impunity (Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:6; Revelation 22:18-19).
Our Plea for Unity We plead for unity among all who obediently respond to the doctrine and commandments given in the New Testament. Such is in harmony with the prayer of Jesus, and the pleading of the apostles (John 17:29-31; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Ephesians 4:1-6). We consider such unity to be possible, or Jesus would not have prayed for it. Since division has always been the result of departure from God's pattern, we believe division can be healed by a return to the revealed truth of God's word. For this unity we plead.