What To Expect.
Are you looking for a new spiritual direction in your life? Jesus Christ promised: “Ask, and it shall be given to you, Seek, and you shall find, Knock and the door shall be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7). We sincerely hope you will want to visit the Manchester Church of Christ to discover the transforming truth of Jesus Christ. He came that we might have “life more abundant”, (John 10:10).
Yet, we realized before you visit that you may wonder what to expect.
A Church of Christ.
You will notice a sign outside our building saying: “Church of Christ”. Such existed originally in apostolic times: “the churches of Christ salute you” found in the Bible in Romans 16:16. This means we are simply a local church (a group of Christians) who is “of Christ” (being owned by Him). This depicts a relationship, not a denominational title. He is our living Lord and loving Savior, who redeemed us with His cleansing blood, (Acts 20:38).
By penitent faith, we have been baptized (immersed) into Christ “for the forgiveness of sins” (Acts 2:38, 1 Peter 3:21). We found peace of mind, freedom from guilt, joy in living and hope for the future in “newness of life” (Romans 6:4). Christ can change your life for the better too!
The Word of Christ.
Jesus Christ is the “head over all things to the church”, (Ephesians 1:22). The Ruler of His undenominational Church has authoritative instructions for us to obey in the 27 books of the New Testament or “the word of Christ”, (Colossians 3:16-17), our belief and practice is supported by book, chapter and verse in the New Testament. We aim to restore the transforming teachings of Christ, as originally given to the apostles (Matthew 28:18-20). Our mission is to do the Lord’s work and will in the Lord’s way.
A Gathering of Love.
We hope you will join our quest to restore the simple purity of Christ’s original gospel. People are burned out on hypocritical religion. Yet, Jesus taught the greatest commandments are loving God wholeheartedly and loving one another as ourselves (Mark 12:28-31). Loving obedience to God’s Word makes us a fellowship of love, endeavoring to help each member to become the best Christian possible (3 John 4, Romans 15:14). Love is seeking the highest welfare of another always. We will welcome you without showing partiality. God does not play favorites, except in welcoming all those who sincerely seek Him according to His Will (Acts 10:34-35). So, do not think you are required to wear expensive, fancy clothes to attend. While not recommending indecent attire, your inner disposition of heart is more important to God (1 Samuel 16:9). We are glad you want to visit our services.
Spiritual Emphasis: Bible Study.
On Sunday morning and Wednesday evening, we have Bible classes for all ages. Children need to learn the thrilling stories of heroes of faith, as well as God’s standards of right and wrong. God’s word is truth, (John 17:17). The Lord charters His Church to be the “pillar and support of the truth”, (1 Timothy 3:15). We are not a glorified social or political club with a little religious flavor. We take the Bible seriously, since it is God’s only roadmap to eternity, (John 12:48). The opinions and traditions of men are shifting sand and cannot save, (Mark 7:6-13).
In our assemblies, we sincerely engage in the worship prescribed in the New Testament (Acts 2:42-47). A brother will humbly lead the assembly in prayer, (1 Timothy 2:1-2, 8). There is not special clergy above us through which we offer worship to God, since each Christian is a priest, (1 Peter 2:9). We are participants not sideline spectators in worshipping God.
Like the first century Christians, we enthusiastically sing the soulful music of “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” by “making melody in our hearts to the Lord”, (Ephesians 5:19). Of the “A cappella” (in the style of the church) is unaccompanied by instruments to reflect the spiritual simplicity of the early church worship, (Hebrews 13:15). History says, “All the music employed in the early services was vocal.” (Humphreys, Evolution of Church Music, page 42).
We partake of the Lord’s Supper every Sunday in memory of Christ, who died and arose again on our behalf. This weekly communion is patterned after the apostolic practice (Acts 2:42, Acts 20:7). We take a collection of the member’s freewill offering each Sunday to support the authorized work of the Church, (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). No pressure is put on visitors to give. A lesson is presented from God’s Word each service. You will not be asked to accept a man’s opinion about he Bible. Read God’s diving truth for yourself “to see whether the things were so”, (Acts 17:11). We seek to teach and practice all the Scriptures require and nothing they do not require.
Following Jesus Christ is the most important thing in our lives. We hope we can assist you in this life-changing discovery. God says: “You will seek Me and find me when you search for Me with all your heart”, (Jeremiah 29:13).