I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. (Psalms 122:1 KJV)
Just as David was, I am glad to hear the invitation to go to God’s house. You can see pictures of the one I go to each week at our church website. There is no mortgage on the buildings, nor do they belong to a larger organization. Everything on the property was paid for by members of this small country church. There are no associations, conventions, diocese or other hierarchies that fund the church and its activities. There are no councils that select preachers to be sent here.
Just as the original New Testament churches, decisions are made by the congregation, lead by a preacher and men who serve the Lord. The only two church positions mentioned in the epistles.
And how shall they preach, except they be sent? (Romans 10:15 KJV)
We believe they are called to preach, as Paul was called to apostleship.
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Romans 1:1 KJV)
Just as Paul, our preachers are separated to spread the gospel. Our preacher’s salary is paid by the congregation, not by any other organization. The vans we use to bring children in for youth activities are purchased by the congregation. The cost of programs the church provides, the cost of utilities, pamphlets, lessons, all are paid for by the congregation.
In addition to tithes, we also bring offerings. Above and beyond the tithe, offerings are given in addition to our obligation, freely and lovingly to support ongoing activities. There are offerings to help fund youth camp fees for children whose families are unable to provide the extras. There are offerings for special missionary programs – this year our Junior High Girls are giving especially to provide Bibles for new Christians in a foreign country. Earlier they sent money to a missionary in Haiti.
One quarter of our tithes goes to missions. It doesn’t go to a central organization. No portion goes for overhead. Funds are mailed directly to the missionaries. No, they do not receive all of their support from us – other churches they have visited for support join in, too. They have come to each of us, explained their calling and their work. Our congregation votes as to whether or not our support is warranted. We are involved, and we know them as we pray for them.
We gather each Sunday in remembrance of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, son of the living God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David and a host of generations in between. We believe Him when He said:
Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:3 KJV)
We believe He inspired our assembling together.
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25 KJV)
Through my attendance at this house dedicated to the Lord I can truly pray:
Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good. (Psalms 122:9 KJV)