Sunset Church of Christ
"The churches of Christ greet you" - Romans 16:16
No. Neither are we inter-denominational. It is our sincere desire to be non-denominational, to simply be known as Christians, members of the body of Christ (Acts 11:26; Ephesians 1:22-23). Collectively, we refer to ourselves as the church of Christ, the Lord’s church, or the church of God. (Romans 16:16, 1 Corinthians 1:2).
We meet for the specific purposes of worshiping God, studying His word, and encouraging one another (Acts 20:7; Hebrews 10:22-25). As individual Christians we seek each other’s association socially; however, the church is not a social club, so the Lord’s treasury is not used to promote social functions. Our aim is spiritual (1 Peter 2:1-5; Romans 12:1-2).
It is our purpose to be identified with the Christians of the first century. We believe this is possible for all who hear, believe, and are guided by the plain teaching of God’s word. In Luke 8:11, Jesus declares, “the seed is the word of God..” He was emphasizing a known fact: A seed, when planted, will always produce after its own kind. For example, a wheat seed will only produce a wheat plant. In like manner the word of God, when planted in the hearts of honest people, and obeyed, will produce Christians just as it did in the first century - nothing more or nothing less.
There is no man, or group of men, who legislate for the church. We answer only to Christ. Christ is the head of the church (Colossians 1:18). This leaves no room for human government. As was true in the first century, there is not an inter-congregational organization, but rather independent congregations in different locations, with Christ as Lord and Master. When a congregation matures, multiple elders (also called bishops, shepherds, overseers, or pastors) are appointed to look after the spiritual welfare of the congregation. Such men are appointed only when they meet all the qualifications listed in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. They have the responsibility to “feed the flock”, that is, nourish the church with spiritual food from the Bible, and lead by example (1 Peter 5:1-3). Congregations also are to have multiple deacons as qualified by the Scriptures (1 Timothy 3:8-11) who are servants of the church. Finally, an evangelist or multiple evangelists (also called preachers or ministers) who are also qualified by the Scriptures (2 Timothy 2:22-26) are charged with instructing the brethren on the Way of Christ (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
We have no additional rules to follow. The Bible alone governs us in faith and conduct. While recognizing the guiding principles of the Old Testament, we seek to conform to the rules and patterns of the New Testament (Hebrews 1:1-2; Hebrews 8:7 -13). Because of both internal and external evidence, we accept the Bible as being both verbally inspired and infallible in content (2 Timothy 3:16-17) Consequently, when the Bible speaks upon any given subject, its pronouncement is accepted as final. By its own testimony, no one may alter a single word of it (Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:6; Revelation 22:18-19).
We plead for unity among all who obediently respond to the teaching of the New Testament. Such is in harmony with the prayer of Jesus and the pleadings of the apostles (John 17:20-21; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Ephesians 4:1-6). We consider such unity to be possible, or Jesus would not have prayed for it. Since division has always been the result of departure from God’s pattern, we believe division can be healed by a return to the revealed truth of God’s word. For this unity we work and pray.
Our assembled worship procedures are simple, spiritual and orderly, key-noted by the words of Jesus, who said, “ true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24). Each element of worship finds its origin in the commands and examples of the New Testament.
The entire assembly joins in worship. There is no choir or special groups, but simple congregational singing (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16), all glory is given to God alone.
The congregation is led in prayer by one of the men in the assembly. We pray, not only to praise God, but also to express appreciation for God’s provision for our needs and the needs of others (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
The lessons and sermons are designed to teach God’s word, our light and lamp (Psalm 19:8), giving us direction and liberating us from destructive habits (John 8:32). Each lesson is therefore grounded in Scripture and relevant to the world in which we live. Our period of Bible study is designed to learn God’s wisdom rather than share or elevate mere human opinion.
Like the church in the New Testament, we partake of the Lord’s supper each first day of the week (Acts 20:7). The supper consists of the unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine, memorials of the body and the blood of Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:20-34). This supper is served at the Sunday morning and evening services.
We do not take up a collection every time we meet, but only on the first day of the week (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). Should you attend our Sunday service when the collection is taken, you are not expected or asked to donate. This is the responsibility of our members, not our guests.
When you visit you our assembly, you will be warmly welcomed. We believe this to be the natural attitude of those who truly love God and mankind. Though you may at first be among strangers, we hope that you will come to know us well and count us as your friends.