Every service at Laurel Baptist Church is important and is given the utmost attention and dedication by our staff and leadership. My philosophy is this: If a scheduled service is not worth putting our very best effort into it, then why are we even scheduling it? Christ deserves our best planning, energy, worship, and response in any service a local church has to offer, not just Sunday morning.
I recognize that not all churches still have Sunday evening services. This blog is not for the purpose of debating that, but we (LBC) have three services on Sundays (8:45am & 10:30am – same service; 5:30pm – additional service). Hebrews 10:25 doesn’t specifically say we are to gather for worship three times on Sunday and once on Wednesday, but it does say we are to be faithful to assemble with our local church (“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”). In the context of Laurel Baptist Church, that assembling takes place three times a week and we teach faithfulness to those meetings unless providentially hindered.
Sunday evening is a special time at Laurel Baptist Church for many reasons. I want to share with you what I, personally, love about our Sunday night church…
THE FAMILY ENVIRONMENT
I love the spirit of Sunday night church. We still have several guests that attend our Sunday evening services, but for the most part this crowd is the core of our church. They’re not attending out of guilt or obligation. They want to be there. They desire to worship. They long to know Christ deeper through His Word. Because of the family spirit of the service we can be more relaxed, more open, and even more direct in our “exhorting one another.” It is unique like no other service.
ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO WORSHIP & GROW
I don’t think you can worship “too much” on Sunday. Sunday night church provides us the opportunity to assemble once again for worship and growth through the teaching of God’s Word. Some of our most worshipful and meaningful services at Laurel Baptist take place at 5:30pm on Sunday night. I love returning back to God’s house after a Sunday afternoon nap for a second helping of God’s Word and a second offering of worship to Jesus.
IT CONNECTS US TO OUR ENTIRE CHURCH FAMILY
In the context of our church, our assembly is split on Sunday mornings. Because of the growth of our church and the size of our facilities we must have two morning services to accommodate the crowd. But on Sunday night we are able to merge those two assemblies into one. Only attending one morning service a week interferes with the ability to connect with the whole church body. Sunday night provides that connection for us.
IT GIVES ME A SPECIFIC TIME OF PRAYER WITH OUR PEOPLE
I’m restricted on Sunday mornings to spend time with and pray with our church family due to the schedule of our services and time spent meeting and greeting guests and new families. But several years ago I began doing something that has really been a blessing to me. Every Sunday night I make myself available at the front of the auditorium after the conclusion of the service for prayer. I have spent as little as 10 minutes and as much as 60 minutes just praying with our people and the needs of their life. It sure helped me to adequately respond to all of the Sunday requests that say…”Pastor, pray for me this week.” Instead of saying “Okay” and mistakenly neglecting it, I am able to pray with that person right there on Sunday night. This truly is one of my favorite parts of Sunday night church (Perhaps another blog post on this specifically in the future).
IT YIELDS MORE FELLOWSHIP WITH THE CHURCH FAMILY
Having a somewhat “early” Sunday evening service (some churches start as late as 7:30pm on Sundays) allows us to provide more fellowship with the church. Whether it’s a church-wide ice cream social afterwards, a growth group gathering at a restaurant, or individuals heading over to one another’s homes for encouragement and fellowship, Sunday night church provides these opportunities. We cultivate relationships in our church family by involving ourselves in these opportunities of fellowship that Sunday night church provides.
Why do you love Sunday night church? I’m interested in knowing what the Lord does in your life through this additional opportunity to assemble. Feel free to comment below.
See you Sunday morning…and Sunday night! 🙂