I once read somewhere about how Sunday night church meetings began- it was all about showing off the new indoor gas lighting!
I don’t know how true this is, but it does- in its own way- demonstrate the conundrum that is often Sunday nights. At any given church usually less than half of those present on Sunday morning return for Sunday nights.
Some claim Sunday nights are simply redundant- just Sunday morning re-do except with much less attention given to preparation. I think this claim has some merits. Others point to no example in the New Testament for Sunday nights. Some folks just want to stay home and watch football! 🙂
Many churches have responded to decreased Sunday attendance by initiating small groups. Numbers usually indicate a higher percentage of participants in small groups verses Sunday-night-go-to-meeting. Small groups do have some strengths and advantages over traditional Sunday night gatherings.
We do small groups at Gateway, but not in the summer. In the summer we usually do the traditional thing- maybe with a few twists, but it is about gathering somewhere at our building.
But not this time. Not this summer.
We are experimenting if you will- with a more hands-on practical ministry-oriented summer Sunday night experience. Instead of coming and sitting, we will be going and working. Our summer Sunday nights will consist of visiting, mowing, raking, studying, calling, praying, and helping. We will have visitation nights, work nights, special project nights, VBS work nights, outreach nights on our summer Sundays. Interspersed will be a few times we gather to encourage each other through reports and praise, but mainly we are aiming to become the Sunday night hands and feet of Jesus in our community.
I am praying for our summer Sunday nights. They could be major kingdom difference makers!