Worship in churches of Christ centers around five items, the same as in the first century church. We believe the pattern is important. Jesus said, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). From this statement we learn three things:
1) Our worship must be directed to the right object…God;
2) It must be prompted by the right spirit;
3) It must be according to truth.
To worship God according to truth is to worship him according to his Word, because his Word is truth (John 17:17). Therefore, we must not exclude any item found in his Word, and we must not include any item not found in his Word.
In matters of religion we are to walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7). Since faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17), anything not authorized by the Bible cannot be done by faith…and whatever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23).
The five items of worship observed by the first-century church were singing, praying, preaching, giving, and eating the Lord’s Supper.
If you are acquainted with churches of Christ you are probably aware that in two of these items our practice is different from that of most religious groups. So permit me to focus on these two, and state our reasons for what we do.