Many people are hesitant to attend an unfamiliar church. To alleviate any apprehensions you may have, let us explain what you can expect when you visit the Toms River Church of Christ.
We are ordinary people, not an elitist society of “holier-than-thou” separatists. We have problems, struggles and hang-ups like everybody else. We have come to believe that there is a God who loves us in spite of our imperfections and who, as we submit ourselves to him, recreates us from the inside out. Jesus made it clear that his followers were not to be judgmental toward others (Matthew 7:1-5). Therefore, we welcome everyone just as they are, inviting them to join us in our quest to know God and his will more perfectly.
At the Toms River Church of Christ, you will be treated as an honored guest. You will not be singled out, put on the spot, asked for money or pressured to sign up for or join anything. You will be given the opportunity—at your own pace—to learn about God and the Bible and to participate with others in worship and fellowship activities.
Our service is simple and easy to understand. We don’t use a lot of churchy terminology, nor do we engage in confusing rituals. We offer the sincere expression of our hearts in worship without relying on special effects or “glitz”. Our music consists of “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,” offered with gratitude to God (Colossians 3:16). On Sunday, the Lord’s Day, the congregation participates in the Lord’s Supper: eating bread and drinking fruit of the vine in memory of the death of Christ (Matthew 26:26-29). Following the example of the first-century church, we do this on the first day of every week (Acts 20:7). We take up a free-will offering in our services. This provides an opportunity for those who have committed themselves to membership to support the work of this congregation. We do not ask non-members to financially support our work.
In all of our messages, you will hear us proclaim that the way to have a relationship with God is through faith in Christ, as taught in the gospel (Romans 10:17). That faith leads a person through repentance (Luke 24:47) and confession of faith in Christ (Romans 10:9-10) to baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).
We make frequent reference to the Bible in our classes and sermons. We believe that the human authors of the Bible were inspired by the Holy Spirit, resulting in an authoritative message from God to humankind. The part of the Bible known as the Old Testament records thousands of years of God’s dealings with his people, providing a necessary backdrop for understanding his final revelation to us, the New Testament (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Romans 1:16). You will never be asked to accept what any person says about the Bible; we want you to read the Bible for yourself to see “whether those things are so” (Acts 17:11).
— Written by Brother Willie Hubbard, District Heights Church of Christ, MD