THE LORD'S CHURCH IN RAMSTEIN
In the late 1970's, a group of brethren started meeting together as a church in Sembach, (then) West Germany. Other brethren from the nearby Ramstein military community soon started meeting with this church. With the passage of time, the original members of the Sembach church were transferred out of Germany leaving only the brethren who had been making the drive from Ramstein. These brethren then found a meeting place closer to home in Ramstein village. In 1983, Steve Wallace was asked to come and work with the church as their evangelist. Over the years the numbers increased and, starting about 1985, there were usually over 30 people in attendance; this number rising into the fifties in 1989, just before the drawdown of forces started. From 1983 to the present, over two hundred brethren have been a part of the Ramstein Church of Christ, many with family who regularly attended.
The church originally met in an insurance office on Kindsbacher Strasse in Ramstein village, later moving to its present location, 22 Landstuhler Strasse, in the Paqué Druck und Verlag building. This meeting place provides adequate room for the assemblies of the church and for its Bible classes, as well as an adjoining area with sufficient parking. Services are at10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Sunday; Bible classes for all ages at 11:15 a.m. Sunday and 7 p.m.Wednesday.
The principle upon which the church at Ramstein was founded and has continued to operate is that the New Testament contains a pattern for the work, worship, and organization of the church, and for the life Christians are to lead (Rom. 6:17-18; 2 Tim. 1:13; cp. 1 Cor. 4:17; 7:17; 14:33-34; 16:1-2). Hence, the classes, sermons, Gospel meetings, bulletins, etc., of the church have been constant in emphasizing the need to follow the Bible and in calling on those who have departed from the old paths to return to them (Jer. 6:16). An example of this emphasis can be seen in the use of the church's collected funds: In everything from supporting a preacher to purchasing communion cups for the Lord's supper, brethren have sought a "thus saith the Lord" for the use of said funds (1 Cor. 9:14; Matt. 26:26-29; Acts 20:7).
The church has been active in the spreading of the Gospel. Gospel meetings, dates for sermons on specific topics, and Bible correspondence courses are some tools it has used to reach the lost in the areas round about it. Mailing and handing out bulletins and Gospel Meeting invitations, advertisements in the Kaiserslautern American, Findit Guide, and other publications, and now, a church web site, have all been means the church has used to reach out to those outside its membership. Also, a bulletin called The Ramstein Reminder, was mailed out from 1987 to 1994 to encourage brethren to study matters over which churches of Christ have divided. One debate was held at our building in an effort to further study these issues. More recently, The Ramstein Reminder has been resurrected as the weekly bulletin for the members of the church here.
As those familiar with churches made up of U.S. government employees in Europeknow, the continual loss of personnel through transfers is a fact of life in such congregations. Like all similar groups, the church here has lost many good members over the years via transfers. However, it has been continually fortunate to have brethren transferred into its vicinity to carry on the Lord's work. With the recent arrival of more brethren, and a new full-time preacher, Jesse LaRue, the future of the church here looks bright and the hope for its further influence for furtherance of the Truth continues (cp. 1 Thes. 1:8).
The church at Ramstein was founded on the belief that the way to please God is to follow the ancient paths, encourage others in such a quest, and to reprove departures from His ways (Acts 2:42; 1 Thes. 1:8; Rev. 2:2). With this noble belief it encourages all people to visit its services or contact it to the end that we might all have that fellowship which comes from a common following of God's Truth (1 John 1:3).
THE LORD'S SUPPER
"Local Church Membership"
These are questions regarding attending the meetings arranged by a local church for the benefit of the members, especially the Bible classes, Sunday evening assembly, and mid-week meeting. The focus here is not on people who miss for obviously legitimate reasons such as sickness, but on those who really could come but deliberately and repeatedly miss because they do not think it is necessary to come or they simply choose not to. (To really benefit from the questions, you need to read the passages listed.)
1 Should a Christian try to do as much as he can to please God or try to seek minimal service and avoid opportunities to do God’s will (1 Cor 15:58; Titus 2:14; Gal 6:10; Matt 22:36-38; John 14:15; 2 Cor 8:5; Rev 3:15-16)?
2 Would Jesus attend as often as He could, or would He choose to stay home when He could go (Luke 4:16; Matt15:32; Mark 10:1)? Are we following His example if we stay home (1 Peter 2:21-22; Phil 2:3-8; 1 John 2:6)?
3 Are we studying the word and growing in knowledge as diligently as we should when we attend or when we refuse to attend (Psalm 1:1-2; Prov 2:1-12; Matt 5:6; Acts 17:11; Heb 3:12-14)?
4 Are we doing our best to edify and encourage others when we attend or when we stay home (Rom 14:19; 15:14; 1 Thes 5:11; 1 Cor 14:26; 2 Tim 2:2)?
5 Do we show a sincere devotion to giving thanks and praise to God for all His great gifts to us when we stay home or when we come (John 4:23-24; Luke 24:52-53; Acts 2:42; Heb 13:15; 1 Pet 2:5, 9-10; Psalm 95:1-3; 122:1; Rev 19:1, 4-6; Rom 1:21)?
6 When our brethren in Christ assemble with one accord to worship God, do we manifest sincere oneness of heart and soul with them when we stay home or when we attend (Acts 1:14; 4:24, 32; Phil 1:27; 2:1-4; Eph 4:2-3; Rom 15:5-6)?
7 Which member will demonstrate the greatest commitment to cooperating in the work of the church, working diligently and serving his brethren: the member who has the desire to stay home or the member who desires to attend (Acts 2:42; 9:26-29; Eph 4:16; Gal 4:13; 6:2)?
8 When God’s ordained leaders have arranged times for the members to study and be edified, is a member showing respect for these leaders when he comes or when he stays home (Acts 14:23; 1 Peter 5:1-2, 5; Heb 13:17; 1 Cor 14:34; 1 Tim 2:11-12; Eph 5:21)?
9 Do we imitate the example of faithful men of God when we attend or when we stay home (Phil 3:17; 4:9; 1 Peter 5:3; Heb 6:11-12; 13:7)?
10 Who sets the best example for the new converts, weak members, and children: the member who comes or the member who does not (Matt 18:6-7; 5:13-16; 1 Tim 4:12; 2 Tim 1:5)?
11 Who is being a diligent parent and/or head of the family, training the children in the nurture
and admonition of the Lord: the father or mother who brings their children to services, or ones who keep them home (Eph 6:4; Prov 22:6)?
12 Are we truly putting God first in life and abounding in the work when we stay home or when we come (Matt 22:36-38; John 14:15; 2 Cor 8:5; 1 Cor 15:58; Rev 3:15-16)?
13 Are we sacrificing ourselves for the cause of Christ, like He sacrificed Himself for us, when we stay home or when we come (Rom 12:1-2; Eph 5:2; Heb 12:2; Matt 16:24-25; 1 Peter 2:5; Heb 13:15; Mal 1:6-8, 13-14)?
14 Do we grow, increase, and improve in strength and service to God best when we attend or when we do not (Eph 4:11-16; 2 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 2:2; Rom 1:12; 1 Thes 4:18; 5:11; Heb 10:23-25)?
15 When a member attends fewer and fewer meetings as time goes by, is he growing in God’s service or drifting away (see Heb 2:1-3 and the verses above)?
16 Are the meetings of the church a good use of our time and an opportunity to do good or not (Gal 6:10; Eph 5:16; Titus 2:14)?
17 Do we please God best when we resist the efforts of brethren to teach and encourage us to improve our attendance or when we appreciate those efforts (Rev 3:19; Gal 6:1-2; James 5:19-20; 2 Tim 4:2-4; Matt 5:23-24; 18:15-17; Prov 15:31-32; 13:18; 18:13; 10:17; 29:1; 19:20; 1 Peter 3:15; John 3:19-21)?
18 And, who is truly a faithful, mature Christian: the man who refuses to come to all the services unless someone can show him a specific passage that says he is going to hell if he doesn’t come, or the person who understands general Bible teaching and loves God enough that he wants to come and worship Him (Heb 5:12-14)?
“I was glad when they said to me,
"Let us go into the house of the LORD.”