What To Expect
The way Christians worship today has become a hot and passionate issue among believers. There’s no doubt that God wants us to worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). We’re instructed to worship God acceptably with reverence and awe (Hebrews 12:28-29; Psalm 29:1-2). When we gather to worship, our focus, praise and adoration is on the Lord only, not on anyone or anything else (Matthew 4:10).
What are our options?
On one extreme, some enjoy a contemporary atmosphere which may include only the latest top 10 songs played by a well rehearsed, loud, rock & roll band, with strobe lights, projected videos and fog followed by a feel good lesson all wrapped in an atmosphere charged with emotional appeals. It is highly commercialized, well-scripted and choreographed. Welcome to the Holy Hollywood entertainment show. Worship, like love, must be with action but never just an act. While our love for and adoration of God does stir our emotions (Psalm 100:1-5), there must be more than a feeling to give us wisdom, strength, courage and conviction to live for Jesus every day.
On the other extreme, some follow rigid, traditions and go through the motions (with no emotions) of ritual and lifeless orthodoxy. Many would judge this worship style as dull, boring and comatose. God wants us to be fully engaged with our heart, mind, soul and strength (Mark 12:30). Jesus said that there were some who were hypocritical in their worship because they said the right things about God but their hearts were far from Him. They were simply following the teaching and tradition of their ancestors (Matthew 15:7-8).
Royal Oak Worship
We’re trying to find the balance between the extremes. We are not claiming to have found the perfect symmetry and we know that our worship style will not appeal to everyone. However, we are trying to stay in the center of the path, without going too far to the right or the left. Our goal is that our worship will be pleasing and acceptable to God (the One we worship) and at the same time be encouraging and beneficial to the worshippers. Through our words, music and actions, we are seeking approval and applause from heaven, not the people in the pew. What is the Worship Service like at the Royal Oak Church of Christ?
With the exception of the preacher, those who lead our worship are Christian men who volunteer to serve as a song leader, wording a prayer, reading the Scriptures, etc. None of our worship leaders are polished, professional or scripted, but they are sincere and real ... just like you and me.
SONGS - We enjoy participating in singing several songs during our worship together. The words and music are projected on a screen and also found in the hymn books and we encourage everyone to participate. God doesn’t care what our voices sound like, because He is listening to our heart. We sing a variety of songs from old favorite hymns to some of the newer praise and worship songs. We do not have a special choir or soloists. Every person in the church is the choir every time we sing; so please feel free to sing along with us.
We sing acapella, which means without an instrument. Both members and guests often comment on the quality, beauty and simplicity of the song service. We sing to praise God and encourage one another through the words and music. We follow the instruction of Paul as he wrote directives regarding singing in Ephesians 5:18-21; Colossians 3:16-17.
We have new musical tool that will help us learn and practice new songs, which includes the words, 4 part harmony and the individual parts (soprano, alto, tenor and bass). While this program uses digital music, we will continue to only sing acappella (with out the instrument) in worship. It is free and easy to use: https://dsh.org/harmony
PRAYERS - You will find that leaders usually pray several times during our worship service. We thank and praise God for all that He has done for us physically and spiritually; we ask for God’s blessing on the church and our mission; we plead for strength for those who are sick and suffering; and we seek spiritual renewal and strength. Prayer is a unique opportunity to speak to our heavenly Father. Every Christian should make prayer an integral part of their life: Philippians 4:6; 1 Timothy 2:8; James 5:13-18; Colossians 4:2.
COMMUNION - Every Christian is invited to join in the Lord’s Supper or Communion service. Each week we celebrate and reflect on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus by eating a piece of unleavened bread and drinking the fruit of the vine (grape juice). Read Mark 14:22-25; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 for more details.
FINANCIAL GIFTS - Church members are given an opportunity to give to help with the financial commitments of the church. We do not make any high pressure talks or manipulative pleas. We encourage members to follow the examples in 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 8:1-9; 2 Corinthians 8:1-9; Matthew 6:1-4. Money collected is used to maintain the physical campus, purchase education and evangelistic material, upkeep general supplies, pay staff salaries, support mission works around the world, supply resources for our ministries, plant new churches and help our community with benevolent needs.
BIBLE READING - Paul urged a young evangelist named Timothy to continue reading the Scriptures publicly (1 Timothy 4:15). It was common in the Jewish Synagogue to read from the Old Testament, just a Jesus did in Nazareth (Luke 4:16-21). Reading from God’s Word is essential to spiritual understanding and strength (Romans 10:17). If you do not have a Bible, there are Bibles available for use in the seats. If you would like a Bible of your own to read and study at home, just ask and we will give a copy to you.
LESSON - A message of edification and encouragement is given which is centered on a Biblical theme or verse. This is a time when we are reminded of God’s love and grace. As God speaks to us through the written Word, we are transformed into the image of Christ. We are also challenged to grow in our faith and allow God to work in our lives each day. Everyone is given an opportunity to become a Christian, ask for prayer or seek spiritual counsel following the lesson.
CHURCH EVENTS - In order to keep our family informed, a few brief announcements are made regarding upcoming events, special programs and the critical physical needs of our members. A church bulletin is printed each week with a list of events, announcements, schedules and news updates.
YOUTH WORSHIP - Jesus said “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)
In the basement of our building we have an area dedicated to children and young families. Children 4 to 10 years old may participate in youth worship. Youth worship is led by men of the church in a way that honors God using age appropriate songs, puppets, and readings from the Bible translated for a child’s understanding. Youth worship is held each Sunday morning at 11:00 am with the exception of the first Sunday of each month when everyone meets together in the auditorium for worship. Parents and families of the children are always welcome in youth worship.
MALE SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP - Another obvious characteristic in our worship service is that we are led by spiritual men. Throughout the Old Testament God appointed men to take the spiritual leadership, consistent from the beginning (Adam) through the end (the prophets). There were a few occasions where women were national or political leaders, but never serving in the temple or tabernacle as priests. Male spiritual leadership is also consistent throughout the New Testament as Jesus appointed men as apostles (Mark 3:16-19), the church selected men to serve (Acts 6:1-7), to serve as deacons (1 Timothy 3:8-13), and lead the church as elders (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). In addition, men were also to lead in the corporate worship (1 Corinthians 11:3-16; 1 Corinthians 14:33-35; 1 Timothy 2:8-15).
SIGNING - The adult worship and one of our adult Bible classes are signed for the hearing impaired.
NURSERY - An attended nursery is available for children infants through two years old. The nursery is located at the rear of the auditorium and parents are welcome to stay.