The Worship of the Church of Christ

By Kojo Acquah-Beenyi

        Man always wants to worship or wants to be worshiped; it is an instinctive urge within man to worship as it is to sleep or eat. Our manner and object of worship, however, differ with our understanding and emotions. It is not enough for us to worship, we must worship the right object in spirit and manner. God, the Almighty, is the only true object to worship, and as He is spirit we have to worship Him in spirit and in truth. (John 4.24.) This means all worship can't be true.

        The worship of the Churches of Christ is simple because it is based entirely on the worship authorized in the New Testament. We do not try to improve on God's divine plan with pageantry or ideas of men; we strive to engage in all worship and service with decency and order. (1 Corinthians 14.40.) Each item of worship is usually announced and often briefly explained by the men who lead us in our worship. Our worship to God includes the Lord's Supper, Giving, Singing, Teaching the Word of God or Preaching, and Praying.

LORD'S SUPPER

        Jesus commanded the apostles to go and teach all nations baptizing those who obey the gospel in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and to teach them all things that He had commanded them. (Matthew 28.19-20.) And so the apostles obeying these commands said in 1 Corinthians 11.23, “For I have received of the Lord that which I also delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it and said, 'Take eat, this is my body which is broken for you, this do in remembrance of me' After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped saying, 'This cup is the new testament in my blood, this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me'” This is the only feast Christ instituted to be done in His remembrance. Acts 20.7 teaches that the breaking of bread was done on the first day of the week and no other day. This shows that the weekly observance of the Lord's Supper was a regular practice of theirs and not monthly, quarterly, at lent, or only when the “Reverend” is around. As we partake of the unleavened bread and fruit of the vine, our minds are to be centered on the events of the cross. In this act we have communion with Christ. (1 Cor. 10.16.) As the communion is passed to each individual in the assembly, we each examine ourselves that we may partake of it in a worthy manner. (1 Cor. 11.27-29.)

GIVING

        Giving (collection) for the Lord's work is another act of worship. By this means, the gospel can reach everywhere, the Church can put up a meeting place or help the poor. In this way a child of God shows his love for the Lord. God gave to show His love for us (John 3.16), and so we are expected to give to support the Lord's work. 1 Corinthians 16.2 says it should be done on the first day of the week--the only day the Bible commands. Upon the first day of the week we are to give as we have been prospered and not a certain amount. Nowhere do we find an Apostle telling them that the law of tithing was binding; many gave far more than a tenth. Each gave as he was prospered, as one purposed in his heart. (2 Corinthians 9.7.) Nowhere do we read of the early Church taxing each member so much, first Sunday of the month offering (Man $20.00, Woman $10.00). Neither do we read of the early church staging parties to raise money, harvest, payment of tickets, ”so mu bi,” Grace box, 'Kwesi ne Esi,” payment for kissing cross, community begging, nor New Year offering. None of these were engaged in during the time of the Apostles. Men in some of the churches are allowed to give but not partake of the Lord's Supper because of a particular sin (according to the Pastor it's a mistake) they are engaged in. If in the sight of these so-called Pastors you are not worthy of partaking of the Lord's Supper or to stand in the pulpit, do you think you please God with your money? No!

SINGING

        You will always find the congregation of Christ singing as the churches of the First Century did. A careful study of the New Testament will reveal that the singing of the early church was not accompanied by any mechanical instrument. Paul, teaching the Church in Ephesus, said the purpose of our songs is to praise God and to teach and admonish one another. (Ephesians 5.19, Colossians 3.16.) Men today use everything that Konadu's Band uses in their worship and will say that Psalm 150 says so. The New Testament does not authorize the use of mechanical instruments at worship. Christians are not governed by the Old Testament. (Hebrews 1.1-2.) The Churches of Christ do not have choirs to sing for us or any type of mood music to entertain us; our vocal singing combines beauty with spirituality.

TEACHING

        It is expected of Christians to study the word of God so that he can abide in the teaching of Christ (2 John 9), and also preach the gospel. (1 Timothy 4.16.) The verses below show that teaching or preaching was important and was practiced in the Church's worship: Acts 20.7, 1 Corinthians 14.23-26, Romans 1.15. The purpose of preaching is to give spiritual instruction to people in order that they might be saved. (2 Timothy 4.1-4.) This scripture shows that women are not allowed to preach or teach publicly but to learn in silence with all subjection. (1 Timothy 2.11-12.) Women can teach the children and other women (Titus 2.35,) and also men in private situations. (Acts18.26.) Surely, a child of God that needeth not to be ashamed will always rightly divide the word of truth by studying. (2 Timothy 2.15.)

PRAYING

        The only way a Christian could speak with God is through prayers. Christ has said that whatsoever we shall ask should be in His name. (John 16.23.) Also, we are commanded to pray everywhere. (1 Tim. 2.8.) The apostles prayed everywhere and in every situation. (Acts 12.5, 16.25; Romans 8.26; 1 Thessalonians 5.17.) In keeping with an orderly fashion of worship, it is usually announced that we will be led in prayer by a certain brother. Everyone does not pray his own prayer out loud. We are led in prayer by a brother who speaks his prayer publicly, and the rest of us follow him silently as we pray together. This allows us to worship reverently and orderly. It also avoids noise and confusion as there will be no shouts like: “Christ, Jesus, God, my God, heal him, praise him, my leg, come down, etc.” You can expect our public prayers to be led by men. Christ Jesus is always ready to plead on our behalf if only we go to God with our requests.

        After a sermon you can expect an invitation to become a Christian. The opportunity is yours to express your faith in Christ Jesus. (Matthew10.32, Mark 16.16, Luke 13.3, John 8.24, Acts 2.38, Galatians 3.26-27.) The appeal will be made to you to become a Christian from the pulpit. Then an invitation song will be sung for your encouragement. If you choose to obey the Lord we are always ready to assist you to become a Christian. You can obey at any hour of the day or night by simply letting your request be known. (Acts 10.30-33.)

        Yes, the Church of Christ today teaches the same things the apostles taught, it worships in the same way, has the same organization, wears the same names. We sincerely strive to be simply the Church of the New Testament and not just a denomination