What to Expect

People

The family of believers at the church of Christ at Elkins is comprised of men, women, and children of varying ages, backgrounds, and culture from all around our community.  Some of our members have been here for many years, while others may have only been here just a short period of time.   What you will find when you visit with us is that we are a loving family that continually seeks to please God in all things.

Members

When you visit the church of Christ at Elkins, you may be greeted by several of our "members." In the Bible, Paul describes the "body" as being of many different "members."  When an individual decides that the church of Christ at Elkins will be their "home" congregation, through Biblical example, they have placed themselves as members of our body.  Individuals and families that become members of our body are expected to become faithful members that will respect the autonomous role of the church and its elders.  Members are expected to serve God in any capacity that they can within the church, as well as be disciples that will spread the Gospel to every creature, representing the church as a loving family, as well as the church that Christ built and purchased with His blood.

Christians

Not every person that attends the church has become a Christian.  We do feel that in order to serve in the worship services of the Lord, teaching, and serving others, that one must be obedient to the gospel plan of salvation.  Each individual that attends with us is also expected to edify one another, encourage each other, and especially strengthen one another, including those that have not become a Christian, in order that they may see from those good works and happy lives that they too would benefit from obedience to the Gospel.

Visitors

We are often blessed with visitors from time to time, and from many different areas.  Whatever has brought our visitors to meet with us, we count as a blessing.  We will often ask that each of our members greets visitors, and we ask that if you visit with us, that you will allow us a few minutes of time to introduce ourselves and get to know one another briefly.  A visitor usually does not know who other visitors are, and without some basic introductions, some visitors may feel unwelcome.  We want to welcome all and encourage each person to spend a few minutes getting to know one another.


Assemblies

Worship assemblies

In the book of Acts, as well as in the Epistles, we can read of examples of Christians coming together to worship God together on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7, 1 Cor 16:2).  This day is commonly known as "the Lord's Day" based on Rev 1:10.  We know this day as the first day of the week, being the day after the Sabbath given in the harmony of the Gospels when there were those that went to the tomb. (Matt 28:1; Mark 16:2,9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1,19)

We assemble as is given in the apostolic example on the first day of the week to worship our God together and to participate in services designed to exhort, edify, encourage, and strengthen one another in a Biblical manner.  

"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you seethe Day drawing near." Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV

When you visit with us, we seek to be like our brothers and sisters in the early church.  Our surroundings are comfortable and modest.  You will find those that will be dressed in various apparel, however, we believe that modesty is one of the most important aspects of dressing for worship. 

Our worship assembly is focused on praise and worship to God, not toward man.  When you visit, you will find the following attributes as is described in example:

  • Singing

"Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;" Ephesians 5:19

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." Colossians 3:16

"What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also" 1 Corinthians 14:15

While there are many that will discuss mechanical instruments in worship to God, these verses show us that singing is certainly required in praise and honor to Him.  We worship God in songs of praise unto His name without the addition of mechanical instruments based on the examples as given in the Holy Bible.  We also do not encourage or condone any other form of instrumentation such as hand-clapping, or making vocal noises alone without the concept of "teaching" or "speaking" in song as is also seen in scripture.

We believe that God gives us the example of how He wants to be worshiped, and also understand that while our elders have authority regarding our traditions in worship assemblies, that unless scriptural doctrine is promptly proven regarding any type of mechanical instruments in worship assemblies, that this type of worship goes beyond what is authorized.

With our a cappella singing, just like the New Testament church is shown many times, we seek to always be edifying to one another, learning with each other with an uplifting feeling coming from the joyous songs that we praise Him with.  There are many types of songs, with many different authors in the selection of song books that are placed in our pews.  We do hope that you will enjoy each and every attribute of the meaning of the song in word, in harmony of song, in spirit, and in love.

  • Prayer

Prayer is a very special privilege and opportunity that we have to thank God, ask for our needs to be met, and to pray for those that may be sick physically, or spiritually.  Jesus Christ taught us the model prayer through His teaching his disciples to pray:

  • Communion

In Matthew 26:26-30, Jesus institutes what we have come to know as the "Lord's Supper."  Read what Jesus has to say:

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” (Matthew 26:26–30, NKJV)  

We also read of a consistency in practice in the seventh verse of Acts chapter 20:

   “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.” (Acts 20:7, NKJV)  

This is not a "tradition" of men as some might suggest.  This is a direct command of our Lord in some of His last words in the body before His death.  We feel that it is extremely important to remember this sacrifice with the very practice that has been described.

We remember the sacrifice of Christ in the Lord’s Supper every week.  

  • Teaching

In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus gave what is known to many as "The Great Commission."  He instructed us to "teach" all the nations, every creature, and make disciples of those that we teach in baptism for the remission of sins.

Teaching is shown all throughout the Bible, especially the New Testament.

We allow time specifically for Bible study as outlined on this page, but we also appoint a time for our preacher to share messages from God's word with the congregation.  These messages will always contain scripture, may be a combination of various forms of study, such as exegetical, expository, or sometimes narrative in nature.  Jesus gave examples of all three of these types of lessons, and we feel that it is a good balance and way to spread the Good News of the Gospel with others.

Paul instructed Timothy to "preach the Word in season, and out of season."  That is the importance of teaching and preaching in our services today.  It allows us to more deeply consider the Word of God and to continue in our learning daily.  We are told to search the scriptures like those that were considered noble in New Testament times, and we believe that this is an absolute necessity in what is considered the "acts of worship."

  • Giving

God blesses us all daily.  The Bible says that He makes the rain for the just and the unjust.  Matt 6 tells us that God knows our every need, and will supply them if we ask in Christ's name, and we seek Him first!

Giving tends to be a subject that is not discussed much in congregations today.  Giving back to God starts all the way back in Genesis though with a written record of Cain and Able.  This most likely started even earlier with Adam and Eve.

In the Old Testament times, God commanded and instructed what to give, and even sometimes "when" to give it.  There was a requirement that is sometimes referred to as tithes, which represented a tenth of your earnings or possessions; however, in a deeper study, you might find yourself seeing that the children of Israel - God's chosen generation - were required to give much more than just a "tithe."  There were several sacrifices listed that were required by God.

Today, we do not live under the Old Law, as it has been "nailed to the cross" and Jesus says that He came to "fulfill the law."  We are still expected to give back to God though.  God's blessings continue to pour out upon us daily, and this is one reason that Jesus may have instructed His disciples to "give thanks for this daily bread," instead of just saying thanks for our food.

The apostle Paul is recorded by Luke and in his own epistle to the church in Corinth with these words concerning our giving:

   “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.” (Acts 20:7, NKJV)  

   “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7, NKJV)  

It can easily be seen that through the teachings of Paul, that we must have the right attitude in our giving...and that it be done each first day of the week as well.

Our elders determine the usage of the monies that are contributed to the church.  They give an account of these spendings to the congregation on a regular basis.  Some of the money is used for our own local efforts, but it is also used to support the mission field, benevolence, and growth in the kingdom in general.

If you are visiting with us, we do not decide how much you should give, and if you have a home congregation that you feel you would rather support when you visit with us, we do also understand that desire.  You are not expected to give to our congregation at all as a visitor, but please understand the scriptures that give the command and inference that we should each give as we have been prospered.


Bible Study Classes

"Study to shew thyself approved unto God..." 2 Tim 2:15

Sunday Morning

On Sunday mornings, we assemble together at 9:15 a.m. to study the word of God together.  We begin traditionally with a song and an opening prayer, then we separate into organized classes.  

Our auditorium class consists of students of various ages that are welcomed to contribute to the study with both questions, as well as discussion. The class teacher will typically have a selection of versus (currently New Testament passages) prepared to discuss in an exegetical method, identifying key elements of discussion in the versus selected in immediate context, direct statement, and remote context.

We also strive to provide classroom settings that are partitioned away from the main auditorium for other specific age groups or particular studies.  These classes will be under the instruction of Christian men and women.

Classes usually dismiss around 9:45 to assemble for worship.

Wednesday Evening

Much like our Sunday morning Bible study assembly, we meet together at 6:00 p.m.  Our typical assembly consists of singing praises unto God, prayer, then dismissal into appropriate classes.

Again, our auditorium class is dedicated to an exegetical study (currently in Old Testament scriptures) with a various range of ages.  The class teacher will select a passage to be studied and will interact with the class as is appropriate.

We will also have several classes typically providing a class for all ages as possible.  These classes will be taught by Christian men and women and will most likely be from a curriculum based workbook.

Currently, there is also a "new converts" class being taught for any "newly" baptized Christian, or any that may need a strengthening of the basic principles of Christianity.

Our classes will dismiss at about 6:45 p.m. to assemble together for announcements, singing, and a short devotional followed by an invitation to obey the gospel to anyone that has not and understands the need, as well as for those that may request prayer in repentance or other needs.