The purpose of the Lake Gibson congregation is to be a church just like you can read about in the New Testament. This site is designed to aid you in your study of God's word, to help you to come to a closer walk with God, to provide you with information about the Lord's church, and to acquaint you with the work that we are seeking to do for God in Lakeland.
What to Expect When You Visit
You may be hesitant to attend worship services at an unfamiliar place. To help relieve your apprehension we would like to explain what to expect when you visit us.
A Warm Welcome
We assemble on the first day of the week, as early Christians did (Acts 20:7), to worship God and study His Word, the Bible. "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:24, New KJV). Our goal is spiritual worship (i.e., from our hearts to our heavenly Father) which is consistent with His Truth (i.e., found only in the Bible). All visitors are greeted with courtesy and kindness. God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34-35), and God's people must be the same way. Please stop by for a visit. A warm welcome awaits!
Reverence in Worship
When you visit with us at the Lake Gibson congregation, you will observe the following worship activities:
(1) Bible Study: The night before His death, Jesus prayed to the Father, "Sanctify them by your truth, your word is truth" (John 17:17). God's Word, the Bible, is Truth - the only Truth - and our only spiritual guide. You will find that the Bible will be our sole textbook in our classes and sermons. You will never be asked to accept what some man says about the Bible because we want you to read the Bible for yourself to see "whether those things are so" (Acts 17:11). You can quietly observe and study what you see and hear, or you can ask questions and make comments in our Bible class discussions if you desire. But you will never be embarrassed or singled out in any way for some sort of testimony or comment.
(2) Prayer: Prayer, both private and public, has always been a regular part of the spiritual life of God's people. In our assemblies, you will observe one of the members leading the congregation reverently in prayer (I Timothy 2:1-5). The men leading the prayers are not "ordained ministers" or leaders with special training. They are simply faithful Christians, members of our congregation, who take seriously the responsibility of leading the church in prayer. Prayer is vitally important in the life of the Christian, and we see it as a special blessing to be able to approach our God's throne. Through Bible study we listen to God, and through prayer He has promised to listen to us (Philippians 4:4-7).
(3) Singing: You will observe our congregation singing praises to God without the accompaniment of instruments. We know this may be quite different than what you have experienced in the past. We realize that most groups today use a piano, organ, or other musical instruments to accompany their singing. But our music is completely vocal and congregational in nature. This practice is not just a traditional holdover from earlier times, but is a studied conviction by our congregation. Again, we seek to return to the pattern of the early church. First century Christians engaged in the singing of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (Eph. 5:19), and we do the same today.
(4) The Lord's Supper (Communion): If you visit us on a Sunday, you will observe the congregation partaking of the Lord's supper (the unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine) in memory of the death of Christ (Matt. 26:26-29). We do this every first day of every week, because that is what early Christians did under the guidance of the Apostles.
- "Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight." (Acts 20:7, NKJV)
The Lord's Supper is tremendously significant to the Christian. Jesus himself commanded, "Take eat, this is my body," and "This is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." (Matthew 26:26, 28). In the Lord's Supper, we remember on a regular basis the most significant event in the history of mankind - the sacrificial death of Jesus upon the cross.
(5) Giving: Also on the first day of the week, you will observe that we take up a collection for the financial support of the work of our local congregation. Again, we do this on the first day of the week because that is what Christians were instructed to do in the first century (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). Our work is completely supported by this free-will offering of our members. As our guest, you will not be asked to make a contribution to our congregation.
You Too Can Be Just A Christian!
As you can see from the brief explanations above, it is our desire to simply be a congregation of believers just like we can read about in the New Testament. We are an autonomous, independent, self-governing group of Christians. (Meaning we are not controlled or overseen by any larger denominational structure. All decision are made by the local members - our only head is Jesus Christ.) We like to say that we are "SIMPLY CHRISTIANS," worshipping and serving God without adding the doctrines or traditions of men. We strive to worship and to serve God in exactly the same way the early disciples did, because we believe that that is what God still demands of us today. Christ is our only head (Ephesians 1:22-23) and the Scriptures are our only guide (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Colossians 3:17). We invite you to ...
"Come now, and let us reason together"
Many centuries ago, the prophet Isaiah wrote, "Come now, and let us reason together" (Isaiah 1:8). We invite you, our friends and neighbors in the Lakeland area, to come and study God's Word with us. "Let us reason together." Let us examine the book of God. If we could not understand the Bible, God would be (1) defective in power (not being able to give us a clear revelation) and (2) lacking in goodness (not willing to give it to us). Clearly, none of us believe this about our God. Since the Bible is understandable (Eph. 3:1-5), let us study diligently to understand it better. We can be simple New Testament Christians, serving God faithfully, following His instructions, without belonging to any denomination or man-made organization. If this simplicity and freedom in spiritual matters appeals to you, please contact us -- or better still come by for a visit!!