Greetings! Thanks for visiting the NOCC website and we hope to see you in person real soon. When we do, we will want you to feel comfortable, so let us tell you what you can expect when you honor us with a visit.
We are a part of "The Restoration Movement". Our goal is to "restore" the New Testament church in our time. We have been called "purist," for we attempt to determine from the Bible what the church was like in the beginning, and to be like that original church as much as possible. We believe this is a worthy goal.
We strive to be an independent, Bible-centered church. We know our conclusions aren't flawless, and that our practices are sometimes colored by habit, preference, tradition or convenience. Even so, we hold the Bible as our only guide in religious matters.
Now, let us walk you through a typical worship service.
If you visited another Independent Christian Church, you may notice some variations from this description, because every Independent Christian Christian Church is autonomous (self-ruled, independent). We are not associated with any denomination or organized religious group.
The Setting You will enter what we refer to as the "auditorium", where you will find rows of pews for the worshipers. There are no special reserved seats, so please feel free to sit anywhere you choose.
In our worship services we offer a blended worship style, using both traditional hymns and new choruses projected on a screen at the front of the auditorium. A worship team leads us in our worship each service.
Spoken prayers are a significant part of our gatherings. We believe in the power of prayer. We often pray for specific needs and requests.
Who preaches is not as important as what is preached. Our preacher doesn't have a title. He won't be referred to as Reverend and he won't be wearing any ecclesiastical vestments which set him apart. The reason for this is our belief that all are equal (1) in the priesthood of believers.
The sermon will likely last approximately 35 minutes. We hope you find it refreshingly relevant and Bible-centered.
Inviting worshipers to make a commitment for Jesus will be a part of the service. The preacher will "extend an invitation." He will encourage those who wish to "respond" to come to the front of the auditorium while the congregation sings.
Don't feel ill-at-ease during this invitation. You will not be singled out or pressured in any way.
There may be several who respond. Or none. Some may respond for baptism. Some to confess sins. Some to ask for prayer for a specific need. Some to "identify" or "place membership" with this church.
If anyone responds for baptism, you will witness the baptism during the service. The baptism will be by immersion (2) for the forgiveness of sins. (3)
The Lord's Supper
The Lord's Supper will be included in the worship proceedings - because we observe this memorial every Sunday. Again, the reason for this is our desire to follow New Testament teaching. The first century church celebrated this observance on the first day of the week. (4)
We assume from this that they did it the first day of every week. And we know from respected historians that in early centuries, the Lord's Supper was an every-Sunday commemoration. (5)
During this memorial, plates containing pieces of unleavened bread and cups containing the "fruit of the vine," usually grape juice, will be passed throughout the congregation. The bread symbolizes the body of Jesus and the "fruit of the vine" symbolizes the blood of Jesus. Each baptized believer who wishes to participate will pick up a piece of the bread and a cup and hold it. The leader will then lead the participants as we all partake together. (6)
If you choose not to participate, don't be embarrassed. Feel free to just pass the plate to the person next to you. This Supper is the original way of remembering the sacrifices Jesus has made on our behalf.
We believe giving is an act of worshiping God. (7) Because we trust God will provide our needs, in faith we cheerfully (8) give a portion of our financial resources back to God (9) for his Kingdom work.
As our guest, please understand that we do not expect you to give. We encourage you to make your decision based on your discussion with God.
What Will Be Expected of You
Usually, nothing at all! You are welcome to participate. But don't feel obligated to. Just observe if that is your choice.
We encourage you to provide feedback of your experience visiting with us. Good or bad, it helps us ensure all people feel welcome and enjoy worshiping with us. If we need to consider ways of glorifying God better, we want to hear about it.
You may be asked to fill out a Visitor's Card when you arrive. We encourage you to do so. This simply provides information so that we can write or call to thank you for your visit. Supply the information if you are comfortable doing so.
So, what kind of people can you expect to find? Pretty much the entire spectrum, as in any group. We are diverse, coming from varied backgrounds, and at different stages of knowledge and spiritual growth.
We don't know everything, but we are learning. We don't do everything right, but we are improving. We don't always treat each other as we should. We haven't arrived, we're on the journey.
But, you see, we were not brought together by an illusion of our perfection or personal righteousness. We were brought together by our recognition that we are sinners in need of the cleansing blood of Jesus. (10)
We were brought together by a common goal. We want to be God's people, organized and worshiping according to God's plan. We want to be Christ's church.
That's the reason we can worship together, stick together, and with God's help, accomplish some things that make a difference.
You won't have to look very deep to find our failures. But, bottom line, you will find people who love Jesus and love the Bible. We would love for you to join us in our pursuit of Him and His Word this Sunday morning. We plan to meet and worship together at 10:30 a.m.. Would you please join us?
1. Matthew 23:8-12; Galatians 3:26-28; 1 Peter 2:5,9
2. Acts 8:35-39; Romans 6:3,4; Colossians 2:11-12
3. Acts 2:38
4. Acts 20:7
5. Neander, Eusebius
6. 1 Corinthians 11:23-29
7. Philippians 4:18
8. 2 Corinthians 9:7
9. Mark 12:41-44
10. Mark 2:17; Romans 5:6-9; Ephesians 1:7; 1 John 1:7