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Friday, July 6, 2007

Can Sunday Night Service be Saved?

Here in the Caribbean, we tend to throw guilt trips on the brethren for not supporting Sunday evening and Wednesday evening services.  In my own opinion the age we live in calls for a new and different approach to engaging the church and the world in worship and evangelism.  I believe we should move to cell group and community fellowships during the week and wait until weekend for the entire church body to gather for the celebration of the Sabbath.  

Anything else appears to be a losing battle.

These things are important and in this order:

  1. Personal worship/evangelism
  2. Family worship/evangelism
  3. Small group worship/evangelism 
  4. Local church worship/evangelism
  5. Conference/district worship/evangelism

We have failed to train and motivate our people to recognise this order of importance so we have the incessant and hence meaningless appeals for #4 when we should begin at number 1 and work down the list.  

Okay now that I have got your attention with my own convictions about the need for community based small group ministry, I now also believe that with proper planning the  Sunday evening evangelistic meetings can become the centre of a massive local church campaign.

Recently, a friend was willing to share a revolutionary approach to improving, nay, reinventing midweek meetings.

"I said to the elders, give me every Sunday night for the quarter and I will fill the church!"

Now, I've heard many well meaning Christians bemoan the good old days when the churches had great attendance for mid-week services.  And I've heard people blaming everone but themselves for the lack of interest
in mid-week church progammes.  So I was prepared to give him the time of day and move on to 
the next topic of interest.  

What he went on to tell me caught my attention, sparked my imagination, and motivated my commitment to 
get involved if the idea ever got off the ground.  

He would promote the meetings, hype the location, create a media blitz, book the best preachers in the country, the best choirs, and a working transportation strategy to get members and visitors to attend.  Best of all he was so enthusiastic I knew in my heart he was capable of getting it done.  And he was willing to part finance the budget.

In fact, his suggestions can be integrated with small group efforts in such a way that 
the Sunday evenings would become moments of decision for Christ.