The Heart of Who We Are

Hartley Bridge Road church of Christ in Macon, GeorgiaMany in America are searching for a church. The confusion and division in the religious world is tragic, and has resulted in many names and creeds. The Hartley Bridge Road church of Christ meets with a great desire to adhere to the simplicity of the truth of God’s word. Outwardly, we preach the good news of the cross to the lost and minister its grace to those who are hurting. Inwardly, we seek to encourage one another to live the crucified life of holiness in the power His word, the Bible. Upwardly, we worship and glorify God for who He is and all He has done for us, and in us, through the cross. We are simply Christians who have committed ourselves to kneel at the cross of Christ and who have met Jesus there through baptism.

We have no creed but Christ, accept no book but the Bible, and wear no name but Christian. We believe that when we follow the Bible only, we will be Christians only.

The goal of our congregation may be simply stated: to lead the lost to Jesus, the Christ, in obedience to His gospel. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Romans 1:16; Mark 16:15).

Things We Do When We Assemble
Our assembly is intended to lift up and admonish one another in the true spirit of God’s redeemed people. We seek to worship God "in spirit and in truth" (John 4:23-24). Please, come and assemble with us in our worship of and toward God. After our worship time together, remain for a few minutes so the brethren can introduce themselves to you and thank you for being with us. It is important to us that you have chosen to be present in our worship of God; we are honored by your presence.

Seating: There are no "reserved seats." Feel free to sit anywhere you wish.

Scripture Reading: Just as we take the time for speaking to God through the avenue of prayer, we believe that it is equally important to read from the Bible in the assembly. The Bible teaches that God’s word saves (James 1:21); therefore, we need to be reminded of the messages that He has left for us in His word.

Singing: Singing is a very important part of our collective worship, and we strive to do just as we are told in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 when the apostle Paul said, "Speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord." In the assembly we sing a cappella (without instrumental accompaniment) and congregational (we don't have a choir to sing to us nor for us). We hope that you will join with us in our song service and enjoy the singing of these praises from the heart.

Lord’s Supper: Each first day of the week we gather together to remember the death by crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 26-27). The communion service is participated in by all baptized believers as a memorial of the gift of God’s Son and the willingness of Jesus to die for sinful man. The Lord's Supper is observed now as it was on the night that our Savior was betrayed. The bread is representative of the body of Christ and the fruit of the vine is representative of His blood that was sacrificed to cleanse us of our sins (Matthew 26:26-28; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29).

Contribution or Collection: Each first day of the week we are privileged to return (in a monetary way) to the Lord a portion of the bountiful blessings He has bestowed upon us (1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 8, 9). We give of our means to demonstrate and prove the sincerity of our love to the Lord. Paul wrote:"I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love" (2 Corinthians 8:8). Such contribution is to be given as we purpose in our hearts. It is to be given with cheerfulness, sacrificially, not grudgingly, nor of necessity, but bountifully (2 Corinthians 9:7). Such funds are used to proclaim the message of the gospel of Christ locally and abroad, to care for the needy, and develop (or edify) the local congregation.

Sermon: The preaching and teaching from God’s word is designed to strengthen one in a knowledge of God's word and encourage the hearer in the ways of righteousness. It is designed to inform and motivate the hearer to greater Christian service and obedience to the will of Jesus. Preaching God's word involves rebuking, reproving, and exhorting the hearers (2 Timothy 4:2-4). All of our teaching is centered around the text of the Bible and is for communicating the reality of God’s good news (Romans 1:16-17). One only develops and strengthens his own faith toward God in relation to his reading, study, meditation upon, and acceptance of God's word (Romans 10:17).

Invitation: At the conclusion of each sermon message an invitation is given. Those desiring to become Christians are invited to come forward and let their desires be known. One who (from the heart) believes in Christ (Hebrews 11:6; John 8:24), repents of his sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30), confesses Christ (Romans 10:10; Acts 8:37) and is baptized (immersed) in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21; 1 Corinthians 12:13), is therefore, saved, or forgiven of his sins (Romans 6:3-6). Then, according to scripture, the Lord at this point, adds the baptized person to His church (Acts 2:47). However, this action is voluntary on the part of the one desiring to become a Christian. You will never be singled out for public attention or embarrassment. The invitation period is only one of many opportunities to obey the gospel. One can become a Christian any time of the day or night by being immersed in the name of Jesus Christ in order to receive remission of sins.

How We Function
As a church we are autonomous (independent, self-ruled). No congregation has authority over any other congregation or groups of congregations. We do not have a national board, synod, council, or convention, but proclaim Jesus Christ as our head. There are no church manuals, books of disciplines, creed books, articles of faith, or rules of church order. There is no man-made hierarchy.

The local church is overseen by an eldership (First Timothy 3:1-7; First Peter 5:1-5; Acts 20:28). The elders oversee the church and feed God’s sheep (members), protect them, and guide them in the way of righteousness. They do not legislate doctrine as the doctrine of Christ is the all-sufficient New Testament (Second Timothy 3:16-17). They do lead the church and serve to make decisions in matters of judgment. They serve to assist the members in teaching God’s word, in prayer, in guidance, in encouragement, and in discipline. They also delegate areas of service within the congregation.

The preacher’s primary responsibility is the continued in-depth study and teaching of God’s word. You will notice that the emphasis placed on the study of the Bible is of great interest to leadership at this congregation (2 Timothy 4:2).

The congregation has various areas of service that are directed by appointed deacons. The basis for this is found in First Timothy 3:8-13. The focus of our areas of service is two-fold: First, our effort is to look outwardly to the opportunities around us to assist and lead people to the saving gospel. Second, our areas of service look inwardly at our own church family and the unique needs of our brethren. We seek to find ways to involve each member in God’s work so as to create hope, love, and zeal that causes each Christian to stand fast in the faith until the coming of our Lord.

Programs of Interest
We are strong believers in the continued spiritual teaching and education of the young people in our congregation and of the community. For this reason, we at the Hartley Bridge Road church of Christ put a special emphasis on our youth Bible education program (Sunday School and Wednesday Bible Study). We believe that the family unit is important. We believe that the family that worships together consistently, according to God’s word, will be happier and healthier spiritually.

The entire Bible school curriculum for our children’s and youth classes is designed to fit the needs of our own congregation and community. We always seek to make improvements where they are needed and as we have the ability. We believe that our Bible school classes provide a comprehensive and chronological study of the Bible. We always strive to build up our Bible school program by encouraging people of all ages to come and participate in Bible classes where God’s word is studied.

A wide range of areas of service provides opportunities to lift up the name of Jesus Christ in Macon. Evangelism, benevolence, mission efforts, encouraging the local community, and an interest in youth, are some areas of involvement.

You and Your Family Are Important To Us
Hopefully, you can see by this brief introduction that your entire family is important to us. You will find a genuine concern for all people. Of course, we are not aware of the specific spiritual needs in your life. It is our desire to encourage everyone we can to develop a devoted, faithful relationship with God. Our purpose as God’s church is not shallow worldly entertainment, but according to our ability, to meet all the spiritual needs of all that come our way so that all people will be brought closer to Christ and become His disciples. If you have any questions or concerns about our fellowship, please feel at ease in speaking with any Christian at the Hartley Bridge Road church of Christ.

For parents with young children, we want to encourage a positive, Christian environment. Our congregation is a mixture of young and old...we are a church family.

In The Words of Our Lord Jesus Christ…
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” -- John 3:16-17.