Expectant Prayers ®

Jennifer Jo Weiss

Does Your Church Have Sunday Evening Services?

For most mainstream churches, the Sunday Evening service (usually a service at 6 pm or 7pm) is becoming phased out.   I was just wondering how many of you out there still have a Sunday evening service! The church I attend does, but I have to admit that there is only a core of members who come faithfully. 

I hear more and more about churches canceling their evening services or going to home groups instead of a corporate meeting.   What do YOU think about it?

How did the 2 service tradition begin (meaning a morning and evening service)?  Even though I have tried to research the beginnings, I can't find conclusive facts.  Some say that having two services was due to the increase of size.  Churches added on an evening service to accommodate the large crowds.  Some information suggests that it was to help the farmers who worked in the fields during the day.  Other sources say that the services were to offer the message in a second language.   However it began, whenever it began... the fact remains that is still IS or at least was

I know that there was a time in American history where there weren't widespread morning and evening worship services.  Many pioneer towns had circuit preachers who traveled from city to city sharing the gospel and simply couldn't keep up more than one service per stop.  

So, why are evening services being phased out?  Is this an American problem where we just have too much and don't really appreciate what we have?  Do you think they have this "problem" in other countries?   Are people simply too busy?  People seem to do all that they normally do on Sundays without any thought of the commandments:  God should be first in our life and we are to honor the Sabbath and keep it holy. 

My own family struggles with this because my husband has a job where he has to work every other Sunday.  Some people have said to him, "Well, just get a job where you don't have to work Sunday's".  That's very unlikely when you're a Police Officer and there has to be people working at the station 24/7.  Even when we were pastors, our day to work WAS Sunday! 

I know how much effort it can take to get back on a Sunday night, but is attending a second worship service important or not?    Does "not wanting to go"  say anything about our love for the Lord or lack thereof?  Then there are those who would "NEVER" miss a service for anything, religiously attending all services their church has to offer.  Does that mean that they are more "spiritual"?

I guess what's bothering me is...once something is in motion, it's hard to see it removed.  It just seems like another dismissal of God and what's important.  In the current world we live in with increasing evils, shouldn't we be in church MORE and not less?   Getting rid of the Sunday evening service just seems like people are slowly getting rid of God.

On the other hand, people do seem to be more busy and they don't get a whole lot of "rest" anymore.  Our time is overly demanded.  The Sabbath was to be for worship and for rest and I'll admit that there are times that I've stayed home from church in the evening just because I really needed the rest. 

I also understand the facts that not every congregation is thriving and that it costs money to run a second service (electric costs, etc).  Sometimes churches don't have evening services because they simply can't.

One thing I know for sure is that it's really easy to get out of the habit of going to church- regardless if it's a morning service, an evening service, or even a Wednesday night service.   The waves of life easily can overtake us like the sands of the shore.  Are we building on the sand or the rock?  I think too many are building their Christian walk on sand.    Building on sand is easy.  It's convenient.  It takes less work than forging out the rock.   It's like the hole you dig in the sand.  That hole is easily and quickly filled with more sand or even water.  You can keep diggin' but the water will still come up and fill it.   Sand is not stable and will not hold up against the storms of life.

"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock."  Matthew 7:24-25

Jesus told Peter that His church was being built upon the "solid rock".  We need to make sure that we are like the wise man who built his house upon the rock.  We need Jesus as our cornerstone!

"He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock."  Luke 6:48

We really need to stop and consider our worship habits today.  Why do we worship?  Where and how often?  Is God trying to tell us something today????

So what do you think?  Should churches have a Sunday evening service or not?

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