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What to expect when you visit us

We'd like to give you an idea of what takes place here at worship and Bible study sessions because the format of our services may be unfamiliar to you and we want you to be comfortable about what is going on

You are our honored guest

First of all, feel free to take a seat anywhere in the auditorium – there are no individually reserved seats though we have set aside those on the south of the room at the rear for mothers with infants or small children who may need ready access to our nurseries, which have attendants on Sunday mornings. Everyone is greeted with equal courtesy, warmth, and kindness (Acts 10:34-35; Galatians 3:28).

Our worship

We gather at Bell Shoals Church of Christ services to worship, not to be entertained, so there'll be no organ, and no bands, just the united voices of the congregation "speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with (y)our heart to the Lord" (Ephesians 5:19). We believe that this praise must be unaccompanied by any instrument because we read that it is to come from the heart (Colossians 3:16), and that the words should be clear and easy to understand (1 Corinthians 14:15).

The order of worship is simple, with men taking the lead in turn to guide our minds in prayer (1 Timothy 2:1-5), the reading of Scripture, and the preaching the word. The Lord's Supper (or Communion) is observed every Sunday (Acts 20:7), when each baptized believer takes bread and fruit of the vine in memory of the death of Christ (Matthew 26:26-29).

This congregation is supported only by means of the contributions of its members—there are no bake sales, bingo games, or anything of that sort. We collect the contributions every first day of the week, sometimes drawing attention to special needs over and above the normal ministry and mission requirements. We have also provided, elsewhere on our website, a means for members to give electronically. We do not expect, or ask, non-members to shoulder any of our financial responsibilities.

We do not embarrass the audience by asking for any testimony or demonstration of faith, but do call for any who wish to be baptized or seek the prayers of the church to come forward during the closing portion of the service. Our overall desire is that "all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner" (1 Corinthians 14:40).

We're a Bible believing church

This congregation believes its only guide in spiritual matters is the Bible, which it holds to be the Word of God. It is quoted repeatedly in sermons and is, of course, the focus of Bible studies which are conducted weekly on Sundays and Wednesdays. The same holds true for our seasonal Ladies' Bible Class and our frequent Youth meetings.

We focus particularly on the New Testament which gives directions for Christians and the Church of which they are members (Romans 1:16; 2 Timothy 3:16:17).

We do not expect anyone to follow the preacher blindly, but want everyone to be like those in the first century who "received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so" (Acts 17:11).

Salvation is in Christ

We believe and teach that salvation is in Christ and that one is required to: hear the gospel (Romans 1:16; 10:17), believe in God (Hebrews 11:6); repent (Luke 13:3); confess faith in Christ (Romans 10:9-10); and be baptized for remission of sins (Acts 2:38).

You may see an audience member respond to the appeal to be baptized in which case they will be immersed in a pool of water, in simple likeness to the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord. They will rise from their immersion in water to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:3-4).

You're welcome!

We would love to have you visit all our services, and we'll go out of our way to make sure you are warmly welcomed. Please come and bring your Bible so that you can "search the Scriptures" with us. There are also pew Bibles ready for you to use. We look forward to having you with us today!