An Introduction to the Alston Road Church
The Church of Christ on Alston Road is an assembly of Christians working together in the Sugar Land area. We have accepted the call of Christ to be his disciples, and have turned from our previous lives of self-service to new lives of service to Christ our King. For each of us, this new life began when we believed in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, repented of our selfish and sinful ways, and were baptized in water for the forgiveness of our sins. As a result, we were cleansed from the guilt of our sins and we continue to be cleansed by Christ's blood as we continue to follow Him. (Thess. 2:13-15; Rom. 8:28-30; I Tim. 6:13-16; Eph 1:20-23; Acts 2:38; I John 1:6-9)
Because of our common fellowship with God and His Son, all Christians enjoy fellowship with one another. Beyond that, we in the Sugar Land area have joined ourselves together in an even closer union of collective service to God. We have agreed to share responsibilities and combine resources as an active assembly of God. (John 1:1-3; Heb. 10:23-25)
This church is not a member of any association or affiliation of churches. We are simply a working group of Christians. We do not hold to any human creeds, but appeal to the Bible as our only standard and guide for what our King desires us to do. (II Tim 3:16-17, Col 3:17)
Our fellowship in this church is not contingent upon complete agreement of the Bible's teaching, but rather on our willingness to submit to the Bible's teaching as we come to understand it. In this growth process, we recognize that human weakness and varying degrees of maturity can allow differences in interpretation and understanding to occur. However, we are committed to an ongoing effort to attain a complete unity of understanding and practice. Our Bible studies are designed to help in that effort. Therefore to respect the consciences of all, we as a group engage in activities which we can agree are consistent with the Bible's teaching. This does not limit our individual freedom to serve God in other ways, but serves as a means for the unity of this assembly. (Rom 14:1-8, 1 Cor 1:10, Eph 4: 1-16)
As a group we work under the oversight of elders: Troxel Ballou, Tim Byers, and Rick Linn. These are men whom we have come to trust and whom we believe are qualified to serve as our spiritual leaders. We look to them as our examples and expect them to look after our spiritual welfare. (1 Pet 5:1-3, Titus 1:5-9, 1 Tim 3:1-7)
In addition, we have appointed seven men as special servants or deacons: Clement Isonguyo, David Leach, Taylor Leach, Jeff Russell, and Lee Smitherman. They have been given the responsibility of coordinating different work activities and seeing that the work gets done. We are all responsible for doing the work. (Acts 6:1-6; 1 Tim. 3:8-13)
Below is a description of the areas of work in which we are engaged. At the end of each year we review our work and plan for the coming year. This is an effort that involves the entire church. Our progress is reviewed periodically at regular meetings during the year.
We meet together every Sunday for two periods of public worship, although once a month we usually meet on Sunday evening in group meetings hosted in some of our homes. Our purpose is to publicly praise God and to encourage one another toward greater works of service. Together we pray and sing to God and listen to lessons from God's holy word. We remember God's love for us and Christ's great sacrifice by taking the Lord's Supper and reflecting on its significance. On this day, we also take the opportunity for the members of our assembly to contribute financially to support the work which we have agreed to do. In addition to our usual practice of a balance of songs, prayers, and a sermon, we periodically set aside special service for greater emphasis on song worship, prayer, or a discussion of some Biblical topic. In all of these activities, visitors are welcome to join us and participate. (Heb. 10:23-25; Acts 20:7: Eph. 5:18-20; Col. 3:16; Acts 2:42; 4:24-35; 1 Cor. 16:1-2)
As a group we meet together for Bible classes twice a week: Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. Our classes are organized into both adult and age-segregated children's studies. All classes run for a duration of three months: Sep-Nov, Dec-Feb, Mar-May and Jun-Aug. The teaching duties are shared by able Bible teachers who are all members of this group. Opportunities are available for new teachers to gain experience by co-teaching with more experienced teachers. (Col. 4:16; Eph. 4:11-13; II Tim. 2:2, 14-15)
The adult studies are generally limited to no more than 15 students, and are primarily discussion format. Textual studies of both Old and New Testament books are offered as well as occasional topical studies. The children's classes cover a range of ages from newborn through high school. (II Tim. 3:16-17; Rom. 15:4)
We are committed to taking the good news about God's saving grace to the world. In addition to encouraging one another to individually proclaim Christ, together we carry on an active program of reaching out to the community. Through various means we enroll students from the community in one of many Bible Correspondence courses or in personal or group Bible studies. Effective utilization of the correspondence course program requires timely grading and turn-around of incoming courses, and active follow-up of students completing courses. (Rom. 1:16; Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 8:4)
In the fall of the year, we set aside a week for a special series of gospel sermons aimed at reaching those who are not Christians. Our purpose is to provide an opportunity for our friends and members of the community to hear the gospel. Great planning and effort goes into preparing for this week to make it successful.
In addition to these efforts, we support John Kilgore and Scott Kercheville as evangelists, allowing them to devote themselves to the teaching of the word of God in this area. Their work includes preaching sermons to the assembly, teaching Bible classes, and pursuing opportunities to teach any who show an interest in studying the Bible.
As a group we are committed to helping Christians who are in need of financial assistance. We understand that the first means of support should be through the family. However, when family members are unable or unwilling to aid we will help provide for their needs. We have not agreed to collectively assist individuals who are not Christians, but encourage individuals to respond to such requests, as they deem appropriate. (Acts 11:27-30; I Jim. 5:4.16; James 1:27; Gal 5:10)
We share a responsibility toward one another to ensure that each one continues to mature in Christ and that the church is free from strife and conflict. Most of our efforts are preventative and positive in nature. However, when one of our members sins and refuses to repent, in love we withdraw ourselves from that individual and no longer associate with him (except to admonish him as a brother) in an attempt to turn him from his error. In addition, one who causes dissension or is factious in his teaching will be marked and rejected. We are not opposed to differences in understanding. We recognize that these will inevitably exist But we cannot tolerate teaching or practice that rejects the Bible as God's standard, or an attitude which tends to divide brethren rather than encouraging them to work together to overcome differences. (Gal. 6:1-5; Matt. 18:15-17; I Cor. 5; II Thess. 3:6-15; Rom. 16:17; Titus 3: 9-11; II John 9-11)
If you are a Christian and looking for a church to work with, we invite you to join us. Please do not hesitate to contact us. Should you desire to place your membership with us, we ask that you inform one of our current members. At that time we will discuss with you in more detail the responsibilities we all share toward one another.
If you are not a Christian we would very much like to study God's plan with you as revealed in the Bible. Please contact us and arrangements will be made to find a time convenient for you. If you're unavailable to meet with, then please consider our totally free Bible Correspondence Course.