What to Expect when you Visit
Your visit to Southern Hills is of special importance to all of us. If you have been a part of a Church of Christ, most of what you see will be familiar and comfortable for you. If your visit will be the first time you have visited a Church of Christ, we are especially happy to welcome you and we thank you for your presence and your desire to worship God today. In return, we want you to be comfortable about what you will experience as you worship with us. As you observe our worship expressions, you may have some questions. We assemble to worship in our auditorium. There are no special sections or reserved seating. The use of the auditorium is a convenience but the actual act of worship evolves from our hearts as we come before our Father in Heaven to praise, worship, and honor Him for saving us from our sins.
Our worship includes the following:
• Communion or Lord's Supper
• Offering or Contribution
“Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord your God.”
Praying is a natural expression of personal and collective heart-talks with God.
Those selected to lead the public wording of prayers are people like you. There will be several prayers during a worship service. Men of the congregation will usually pray from their heart. While a prayer is spoken before the congregation, we might stand or sit quietly with heads bowed. You may hear members of the congregation agree to the thoughts in prayers by voicing "Amen". Also, at the close of the prayer we often in unison agree to the prayer by saying "Amen".
One of the unique practices at Southern Hills is that we follow the tradition of singing a capella, that is, without instruments. This is based on the practice of the early church, which, as we understand, sang without instrumental accompaniment.
The universal musical term a capella actually means, "as sung in the church". We also believe this is consistent with the teaching of the Bible that we are to "speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs." So, we try to uplift each other in song and praise God with our hearts. It is what comes from our hearts and what we say to God and one another that matters. We believe that you will find our singing to be inspirational and spiritually uplifting.
Communion or Lord's Supper
Each Sunday, we participate in communion of the Lord's Supper. If you are a Christian, you are invited to join us in this act of the Christian faith. During this time there will be a prayer for the bread and a plate of unleavened bread (that is, bread baked with no yeast) will be passed among the congregation. Each participant breaks off a small piece of bread, reminding us of the body of Christ, and passes the plate on.
Immediately following this there will be a prayer for the cup, reminding us of the blood of Christ. Trays of individual small cups filled with grape juice are passed among the congregation. Each participant takes a cup, drinks from it and returns it to the tray to be passed on to the next person.
During this time the bread and cup are distributed , the congregation sits quietly and meditatively. We reflect upon the great love of God to send His son to die on the cross and we remember this great act of salvation. In addition, we celebrate, not only did Jesus die, he was resurrected from the dead and we celebrate His victory over death. Sometimes we will sing an appropriate song while the trays are passed or read a scripture.
Offering or Contribution
Believers have been saved by the giving of Christ on the cross. Although we may give our offerings in a variety of ways, this is the time for members of the Southern Hills congregation to contribute to support the work of the church. If you are visiting with us, please feel comfortable just passing the collection plate to the next person without making a gift. Of course, you are welcome to contribute if you desire.
Each worship period will be devoted to preaching from the Bible. At Southern Hills we strive to make these sermons interesting and relevant to the lives of those who attend the service. However, we expect to hear a Word from
God that may encourage or challenge us. At the end of the sermon, the preacher will offer a time for people to come forward to the front of the auditorium to express any need they have for the special attention of the church.
There may be no response, or some may ask for prayers for special circumstances in their lives. Often this is a time when people let it be known that they wish to be identified as members of this congregation, and a time when people may confess their sins and their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and be baptized into Christ to become a part of his body... to become a Christian.
You are our Welcome Guest
As a visitor, you will be our guest. We hope you will meet some of the people and we thank you for helping us direct our focus from our busy lives to the worship of our Father in Heaven. You may be asked to fill out one of our attendance cards. If you are comfortable doing this, we will use the information to respond appropriately to your visit.
Questions or Comments
Do you have any questions or comments? Ask any of the members of the congregation and they will help you or introduce you to someone who can. One of elders is available to speak with you or our minister will be happy to talk with you at your convenience. You can call us at 512-312-5900. We hope to see you soon!