Hello, friends! We want to welcome you to the web page for the church of Christ meeting in Parsons, Tennessee! If you are visiting this page, then you probably want to know something about us. So, let us introduce ourselves to you. Here at the Parsons Church of Christ, we believe in one simple principle: It’s His church. In Matthew 16:18, following Peter’s proclamation that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the living God,” Jesus promises that “upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” We take these words to heart. For us, the church of Christ is more than just a name. It is a description of who we are. We are striving to be His church. We are striving to do things His way, because we recognize that His way is the only way that leads to heaven (John 14:6). Ultimately, that is where we are pointing – we are heaven-bound!
In John 1:17, John teaches us that “grace and truth” came to us through Christ. We believe that it is important that we model both of these ideals. We understand that we only have salvation from our sins by the grace of God in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:5). We firmly believe that, “In Him [Christ] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace...” (Ephesians 1:7). The ultimate act of Christ’s grace was carried out when Jesus willingly chose to suffer death upon the cross to redeem mankind from his sins. This act was all the more powerful and meaningful, because Jesus did not die for righteous men, but for sinners who were too weak to atone for their own failings (Romans 3:23-25, 5:6-10). Here at the Parsons Church of Christ, we recognize that we are sinners who are desperately in need of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we understand that we must extend that forgiving grace to others as well. We understand that you are not perfect, because we are not perfect. We have all sinned (Romans 3:23). We all need forgiveness. That is why Jesus died upon a cross – because we were sinners in need of saving grace.
Not only did Jesus bring grace, but He also brought us truth. While Jesus certainly extends us grace in our times of weakness, He also expects us to seek the truth of His word. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Paul reminds young Timothy that, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” God gave us His word for a purpose – to prepare us to live righteously before Him. While we may all find ourselves in need of His loving grace from time to time, that does not mean that there is not an expectation that Christians should live righteous, obedient lives. John taught in 1 John 3, if you want to know who is a child of God, then look at how he or she are living. Those who know God live by God’s commands. Those who continue to live in sin do not know God and will face the wrath of His judgment. John will go on to teach that a loving faith in God involves two distinct qualities:
Obedience to His commands (which, he assures us, are not a burden) (1 John 5:3-4).
A love for His children (for how can we love a God we have not seen when we cannot love His children whom we have seen?) (1 John 4:20, 5:1).
What To Expect
Are you thinking about visiting with us? Maybe you are wondering just what to expect. Every Sunday, we start our day out with a period of Bible study beginning at 9:30 AM. Generally, we will all assemble in the auditorium for a brief devotional together (usually a song and a prayer), before we dismiss to our Bible classes. We have Bible classes for all ages, but the focus is always the same – to study the Bible. At 10:30 AM, we all meet back in the auditorium for a period of congregational worship.
While the order of things may vary, you can always expect to see the same elements present:
Prayer -- There is an old saying, “The family that prays together stays together.” Here at the church of Christ, we believe in the power of prayer. James wrote that we are to “pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (James 5:16). We believe in the power of coming together to pray for one another, to pray for our congregation, to pray for our mission efforts, and to pray for our community.
Singing -- We love to sing. We sing for a variety of reasons: to praise God, to proclaim God’s word, and to encourage one another (Ephesians 5:19-20, Colossians 3:16). But, we always sing together. Everyone is welcome to sing all of our songs with us! All of our singing is done a capella (meaning, we only sing with our voices – no musical instruments), because we believe that the melody that is most pleasing to God is the one that comes from the heart (Ephesians 5:19).
Preaching -- Paul told Timothy, “Preach the word” (2 Timothy 4:2). That is what we do. During our lessons, we may tell the occasional story, we may share a laugh, or we may even cry together from time to time. But, the focus of our lessons will always be upon sharing the saving word of God. Because, His message is the only one that really matters. The goal of our sermons is simple. We want to help improve your knowledge of the will of God, and we want to show you ways to apply His will to your life.
Lord’s Supper -- It may surprise you to learn that we observe the Lord’s Supper on every Sunday. The Lord’s Supper is a time for us to reflect upon the great love that Jesus has shown for us in suffering and dying upon the cross. What better way to start each week than with that powerful reminder. So, each week we gather together to partake of the unleavened bread which represents the body of Jesus which was offered as a sacrifice for us. We then partake of the fruit of the vine (grape juice) as a reminder of the blood which was shed upon the cross to atone for our sins (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). The Lord’s Supper is a very important part of our weekly worship service, because it is during this time that we can both commune with Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16) and reflect upon our own lives in Christ (1 Corinthians 11:28).
Contribution -- Near the end of the Sunday morning worship service, we will pass around baskets to collect people’s offerings. This is done merely as a matter of convenience to give our members the opportunity to give each first day of the week according to God’s command (1 Corinthians 16:2). Let us assure you that this is done only for our members. While everyone is certainly welcome to give, we want you to know that there is no obligation for our visitors to give. We are committed to the idea that each individual is to give “as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
We also meet each Sunday night at 6:00 PM. We typically begin our evening services with our pew packers program. During this time, we invite all of our small children to come to the front for a period of singing and instruction designed just for them. Currently, we are doing Bible trivia designed to build their knowledge of Bible events. Following this, we engage in a period of worship and a sermon from God’s word. On the first Sunday night of each month, we have a special singing night where various men of our congregation lead their favorite songs. Following this service, we meet together for a potluck style meal together. We would love to invite you to come sing and eat with us one Sunday night!
In addition to our Sunday services, we also meet together at 7:00 PM each Wednesday night for a midweek Bible study. We know how hard it is to live the Christian life. Getting together in the middle of the week is one way that we can strengthen and encourage each other to help make it through the week. During a typical service, we will begin in the auditorium for a brief devotional before dismissing to our various Bible classes. Following the Bible classes, we all come back together in the auditorium for a brief devotional, an opportunity to respond to the Lord’s invitation, and to make some general announcements.
We want you to know, you are always welcome to study and worship with us at the church of Christ in Parsons, Tn!
At the Parsons Church of Christ, we recognize that the church has only one head - Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:18). As the head of the church, God has given Jesus Christ authority in all things pertaining to His kingdom (Matthew 28:18). As the body of Christ, we must submit ourselves to the authority of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:23-24).
In the early church, as congregations grew in faith and maturity, they were instructed to appoint men to serve as elders in the local congregation (Titus 1:5). Elders are charged with the task of guarding the congregation against false teachers and insuring that the congregation is truly submitting to the will of God (Acts 15:6, Acts 20:28-32). James urged those Christians who were sick to call upon the elders to pray for them (James 5:14-15). Because of the tremendous responsibility that they hold, elders must by necessity be spiritually mature men who have proven their faithfulness. Therefore, God has placed strict qualifications for who is permitted to serve in this position (1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9). These men are also referred to as bishops, shepherds, overseers, and pastors (Titus 1:5-7, 1 Peter 5:1-2, Ephesians 4:11).
The early church also had men who served as deacons in the local congregation. The name “deacon” literally means “servant.” The role of deacons is to serve the congregation in specific ways. The best example of this can be seen in the need for trusted men to oversee the distribution of bread to the needy widows in Acts 6:1-7. The Bible also sets guidelines for those who would serve as deacons (1 Timothy 3:8-13).
There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.