We have all our meetings (services) on Sunday morning. This enables us to have informal fellowship or Bible Institute classes on Sunday evenings. However, we try to be conscious of differences among the things we do during the Sunday morning time.
The New Testament teaches that “worship” and “teaching” are two different things. Teaching consists of gifted individuals who open up truth to other believers from Scripture. But worship is going to God with our sacrifices of praise, money and our very selves. We do not have a “worship service” in the sense that most evangelical churches do today. In actuality, such services are mostly teaching times.
We dedicate over an hour to worship and during this time we do some things that may be new to you. The New Testament tells us that the most important meeting for the local church in the first century was the Lord’s Table (Acts 20:7: “We came together for the purpose of breaking bread”; here Luke is referring to the Lord’s Table). In addition, passages such as 1 Cor. 14:26 tell us that it was regular practice in the apostolic age to have multiple participation from various people in attendance at the meetings of the local church. In the same book Paul indicates that only the males were allowed to participate orally (14:33‑35; see also 1 Tim. 2:11-12). So we provide opportunity for the men to participate verbally, opening Scripture, praying or suggesting a hymn to be sung. This limitation on male participation was something that Paul taught everywhere (1 Cor. 14:36‑38; see also 4:17). It was not limited to one culture or locale. We take these teachings and practices as applicable to Christians today, too.
So in our “open” meeting no one individual is in charge. We look to the Spirit of God to lead us to give back to God in acts of worship our praise, thanks and money (provision is made for this in a basket; we will not ask for your money). There is no preset order for the service. Singing, Scripture reading, praise, prayer, exhortation in the things of God—all of these are appropriate, if they are done decently and in order (1 Cor. 14:40) and if they fit with the celebration of communion. During this time, we are speaking and giving of ourselves to God, in contrast to teaching, which comes from God. If you are present and know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, you are invited to participate in taking the bread and cup. If you do not know Him, you are asked simply to observe the meeting. This is because the Lord’s Table is for those that know Christ. It confers no merit that might help a person get to God.
We also want to make sure that people receive sound and continuous Bible teaching. We believe in continuous, expository presentation of the Bible that challenges hearers to learn the Scriptures for themselves and to apply them to everyday life. One of the key goals of Believers’ Fellowship is to bring individuals to maturity in Christ (see Eph. 4:11-16). Consequently, we provide for a dedicated teaching time for adults, as well as Sunday school for children. This is followed by a time of corporate prayer.
We take seriously the biblical admonition to be involved in applying the Scriptures to each other’s lives (Rom. 15:14; 1 Thess. 5:14). We are involved in formal pastoral counseling, as needed, and continuous informal building up of believers through the use of biblical truth. We do not support or offer the psychology-based counseling that is actually based on secular humanism and that is so popular among evangelicals today.
We believe in the active use of spiritual gifts by all believers but we are not “charismatic” in the sense of today’s charismatic movement. The apostles taught clearly that miraculous gifts were for the foundational stage of the Church.