James 5:16-'Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.'
Each week there is the opportunity for anyone who desires to talk with someone else and have their needs lifted up to the Lord in prayer to come forward and receive ministry from other members of the church. This gives us the possibility of fulfilling the biblical injunction to confess our sins to each other and to pray for each other, as well as affording the opportunity for many different people to be involved in the work of the ministry.
1 Timothy 2:1 - ' I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone...'
After the Scripture reading each week, a prayer is offered as we begin to come before God in worship and song. Additionally, prayers are sometimes offered by members of the church throughout the time of worship, and we will pray for one of our missionaries each week as well. This is a time for the whole church to lift prayers to God, asking Him to speak to us and to extend the Gospel into new areas of our lives and throughout the world.
1 Timothy 4:13 - 'devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture...'
Each week we begin our meeting with a reading from a section of Scripture. The portion of Scripture which is read will always lay the foundation for the particular aspect of God or His kingdom that we will be studying that day.
Psalm 95:1-2 - 'Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.'
Colossians 3:16 - 'Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.'
During this portion of our meeting we proclaim the awesome nature of our God and we express our gratitude for the salvation he has provided us in Christ. This is a joyous time of celebration and people will sing, clap (Psalm 47:1), raise their hands (Psalm 134:1-2), bow down (Psalm 95:6) and even dance before the Lord (Psalm 150:4). Each person is free to express their worship to God in any or all of the manners listed in the Scripture. The important thing is not the outward form but the inward response of the heart. This time may also include a special song performed by a member of the church. These are done to help us focus on a particular aspect of God or His work, and are not merely a showcase for the talent of the individual.
GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT
1 Corinthians 12:7-10 -'Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.'
1 Corinthians 14:26 - 'What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.'
Occasionally during our meetings someone will exercise one of the many gifts of the Spirit listed in the Scripture. These gifts are not equal to Scripture, and in fact they must be judged by the Scripture. However, exercised properly, they do serve a useful purpose in seeing the body built up and strengthened. These gifts may be expressed via a prayer, a prophetic message, a song, a word of encouragement, etc. The important thing is that they are done in accordance with the Scripture and that they are done in a spirit of love to edify the Body of Christ.
THE LORD’S SUPPER
Luke 22:19-20 - 'And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you."'
1 Corinthians 11:26 - 'For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.'
The first and third Sundays of each month, and at other times as deemed appropriate, we celebrate the Lord's Supper. We believe this is a sacrament left for the Church by Christ Himself, and that in partaking of the bread and the juice we are united with Christ and with His church. This is a joyous time of reflecting on the Lord's death in our behalf, and it is also a time for personal examination and confession of sin.
1 Corinthians 16:2 - 'On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income...'
2 Corinthians 9:7 - 'Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.'
Each week we take up an offering to support the work of the church. This is a chance for each of us to sow our resources into the kingdom of God and to support those who have been called by God to give their full time to teaching the word and shepherding the flock. This is not done out of a sense of compulsion, but in a joyous response to all that God has given us.
TEACHING OF THE SCRIPTURE
1 Timothy 4:13 - 'Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.'
1 Timothy 4:1-2 - 'In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.'
Each week we have a teaching from the Scripture. We believe this is absolutely vital to the health of the fellowship and each individual in the church. The teaching is systematic and is thoroughly biblical, focusing on the meaning of the biblical text and its application for today. Generally, the teachings will be done in a series, thus allowing ample time to adequately cover the topic or text being studied.