What to Expect
We hope you'll be our guest at the Lebanon Valley
Church of Christ! We want you to feel comfortable, so let us tell you what you
can expect when you honor us with a visit.
Our background may help you understand us. Our goal is to restore the New
Testament church in our time. We attempt to determine what the church was like
in the beginning, and to be like that church as much as possible.
We work to be a non-denominational, Bible-centered church. We know our
conclusions aren't flawless and our practices are sometimes colored by habit,
preference, tradition or convenience. Even so, we hold the Bible as our only
guide in religious matters.
Now, let us walk you through a typical worship service...
If you have visited another Church of Christ, you may have noticed some
variations from this description, because every Church of Christ is autonomous
(independent). We are not associated with any denomination or organized
Doors are open early at 25 North 4th Street. You will enter what we refer
to as the "auditorium", where you will find rows of pews for the worshippers.
There are no reserved seats, so feel free to sit anywhere you choose.
In the bookrack in front of you, there will be a songbook for your use.
When the song number is displayed on the big screen, you can turn to that number
in the songbook to find words and music.
One of the unique things about most Churches of Christ is that the music is acapella.
That is, we sing without the accompaniment of musical instruments.
Spoken prayers are a large part of our gatherings. We believe in the power of
prayer, and we often pray for specific needs and requests.
The Lord's Supper
The Lord's Supper will be included in the worship service - because we observe
this memorial every Sunday. Again, the reason for this is our desire to follow
New Testament teaching. This Supper is the original way of remembering the
sacrifice Jesus has made on our behalf.
The first century church celebrated this observance on the first day of the
week. And we know from respected historians that in early centuries, the Lord's
Supper was an every-Sunday commemoration.
During this memorial, plates containing pieces of unleavened bread will be
passed throughout the congregation. The bread symbolizes the body of Jesus. Each
participant will break off a piece of the bread and eat it.
Next, trays filled with small cups will be distributed. The cups will contain
grape juice, symbolizing the blood of Jesus. Each participant will drink the
contents of one cup.
If you choose not to participate, don't be embarrassed. Feel free to just pass
the plate or tray to the person next to you.
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
He won't be wearing 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
The lesson will likely be from 20-25 minutes. We hope you find it refreshingly
Inviting worshippers to make a commitment for Jesus will be a part of the
sermon. At the close of the lesson, the speaker will "extend an invitation". He
will encourage those who wish to "respond" to come to the front of the
auditorium while the congregation sings.
Don't feel ill-at-ease during this invitation. You will not be singled out in
There may be several who respond, or none. Some may respond for baptism. Some to
confess sins. Some to ask for prayer for a specific need. Some to "identify"
with this church.
If anyone responds for baptism, you will witness baptism during the service. The
baptism will be by immersion for the forgiveness of sins.
How many times will you be asked for money? None. However, containers will be
passed to collect the weekly financial offering. As our guest, you are welcome
to make a donation if you'd like, but feel perfectly comfortable in just passing
the collection plate on down the row if you prefer.
What Will Be Expected of You?
Usually, nothing at all! You are welcome to participate. But do not feel
obligated to. Just observe if that is your choice.
We would like all of our guests to stop by to get a "visitor packet" in our lobby. There are forms there you can fill out to request information about
our many programs and classes for adults and children.
So, what kind of people can you expect to find? Pretty much the entire spectrum.
Like many groups, we are diverse, coming from varied backgrounds and different
stages of knowledge and spiritual growth. We don't know everything, but we are
learning. We don't do everything right, but we are improving. We don't always
treat each other as we should. We haven't arrived - we're on the journey.
But you see, 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.
We were brought together by a common goal. We want to be God's people and bring
others to the tender healing mercy of our Father in Heaven.