What is it like to live in community with the members of Matthews Orthodox Presbyterian Church? Of course, you would have to try it for yourself to know for sure. But here are a few things we think you'll find if you do so.
1. We are impressed with the importance of biblical worship.
A visitor to our services might be inclined to call them "traditional" in style, but we have no desire to be traditional for its own sake. We do have a high appreciation for the liturgies of Reformed worship, believing that the wisdom of our forefathers should not be quickly discarded in the interests of contemporary taste, but we also include aspects of worship that are not traditionally Presbyterian. Above all, we are eager more and more to pattern our worship after biblical precepts and examples, to reflect both the reverence and exuberance of biblical worship, and to include in our worship as much of the Scripture itself - read, sung, prayed, and preached - as possible.
2. We are delighted by the gift of the Lord's Day.
We believe that Sunday, the day of Christ's resurrection, is the day now set apart by God as holy. His purpose in the day is for our good, not merely that of rest and relaxation, but of spiritual refreshment through fellowship with God and his people. Though we have a variety of mid-week opportunities for Bible study and fellowship, we have come to see that the single greatest opportunity for the Christian both to glorify God and to grow in grace is found in the assembling of the saints for worship on Sunday. For this reason, we appreciate the long-standing precedent in church history for holding two services of worship each Sunday, by which we frame the day and keep it holy.
3. We are dependent upon the means of grace.
Our spiritual life as Christians is entirely dependent upon the grace of God, and we are mindful that the way God imparts his grace to us by his Spirit is through his Word and sacraments. Because faithful expository preaching is of first importance in our spiritual growth, we have sought to make it the centerpiece of our ministry. And because the regular celebration of the Lord's Supper is likewise essential to our ongoing communion with Christ, we eat and drink the Supper together each Sunday evening, as the climax of our day of spiritual feasting.
4. We are earnest in the pursuit of corporate prayer.
One of the hallmarks of the early Church was their devotion to gathering for prayer (Acts 1:14; 12:5-12; 16:13), and we are eager to follow their example. In light of the Bible's emphasis upon our prayers as the means by which God works both in the Church and the world, we have devoted the hour following Sunday morning worship to a weekly prayer meeting. While the children are receiving instruction in Sunday School classes, the adults are uniting in prayer in thankfulness for the worship just past, in praise and petition in light of the needs of the congregation, and in supplication for the advancement of Christ's kingdom in the earth. The prayer meeting has become the "nerve center" of the communion of the saints at Matthews OPC.
5. We are conscious of our children's place with us in the covenant.
It is our conviction as Presbyterians that God's covenant blessings are given both to us as believers, and to our children. They become members of the church with us as infants, by their baptism. They are welcomed even as toddlers into our worship services at their parent's discretion. And they are admitted to the Lord's Table when they are able to make for themselves a profession of faith before the elders of the church. The Sunday School program is designed especially for them, to strengthen the Christian instruction of the home, and the Youth Program is intended particularly to enjoy the benefits of Christian fellowship.
6. We are thrilled to be a part of the advancing of Christ's kingdom.
We are aware that healthy church life is not an end in itself, but a means to an end. The reason God gives us the blessings of fellowship with Him and with one another is in order that we may be equipped to do all in our power to bring Christ's lordship to bear upon our city, our society, and even our world. We recognize that our worship services are not merely for our benefit, but are also God's means of convicting and converting those whom we bring with us. We recognize that our weekly labors represent the application of our skills and influences as Christians to bring about the will of God on earth as it is in heaven, in all areas of life. We recognize that our homemaking is with the goal of raising up Christian culture makers in our sons and daughters. We are grateful to be given the privilege of laboring with and for our risen King, and for his glory.