Sunday evening church services aren’t exactly en vogue. They haven’t been for a few decades (at least). They certainly aren’t recommended by the church growth experts. For many, they’re seen as redundant, inconvenient, and unnecessary. We disagree. Sunday evening service is a great opportunity for the church. Here are 7 reasons why we have a Sunday evening gathering:
1. Sunday is the Lord’s Day (not just the Lord’s Morning). Ever since Jesus’ resurrection on a Sunday morning, Christians have gathered on Sundays as a day of worship and rest. Just as the pattern in the Old Testament involved morning and evening sacrifices (Exodus 29:39; Numbers 28:1-10), and just as evening gatherings are seen in the New Testament (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor.11:20-21), we think it beneficial to book-end each Sunday with the church gathering together morning and evening . In this way, we “devote” ourselves to the ministry of the Word, the fellowship, the breaking of bread, and the prayers (Acts 2:42).
2. It expands the teaching of the Word and enhances the fellowship of the church. Not only do we get one spiritual meal in the morning, but we get to continue the feast into the evening. This helps the Word of Christ dwell in us richly and nourishes our faith (Col. 3:16; 2:19).
3. It helps us encourage one another “all the more” as we await our Lord’s return (Heb.10:25). Christ is returning. This life on earth is temporary. Sunday evenings help us not grow weary as we wait. We should encourage one another all the more, not all the less.
4. It’s one way that we can raise up future leaders and teachers in the church (2 Tim.1:6). Every Sunday evening, when we have a short devotional, we give one of the men in our church the chance to open God’s Word to us. Not all are super-gifted, but their sincerity and love bless us anyway. For those who are gifted, we have an opportunity for them to grow in their gifting and bless the church (1 Peter 4:11).
5. It gives us more time and space to know the church and her needs (not just a small group). During this time, we make space for people to share personal needs, how God is working in their lives, and also ministry concerns and opportunities we have as a church body. Through Sunday evenings, we get a fuller view of what God is doing in our church and how we can all be a part of it (Gal.6:2; Rom.12:10-11).
6. It gives us time and space to do the things God expects of us that can prove challenging in a mixed gathering like Sunday morning. We pray a lot in our morning services. We pray more on Sunday evenings. Hearing other voices pray builds our unity and helps us recognize our great need for God in our life and ministry as a church. Hearing other voices encourage and exhort the church body help us press into what God is seeking to do and rejoice in things we might not have known were already happening (1 Cor. 12:4-14). In our encouragement of one another, we help one another endure united in love for the glory of God (Rom.15:5-6).
7. It is counter-cultural. Our commitment to gathering with the church is a disruptive witness to those around us. If your neighbors think you’re crazy for giving up your Sunday morning to go to church; they will think you’re insane to give up your Sunday evening as well! That’s not a bad thing. In an increasingly secular culture that idolizes comfort and leisure, we are able to preach to ourselves and the world that true joy and rest are found in the Triune God and His kingdom. When we gather, we shine as an outpost of that kingdom. To make this your rhythm might just open a door of opportunity to give an answer for the hope that is within you (1 Peter 3:15).
Help build up our church community and find blessing yourself. Come back for our Sunday evening service! It’s a great way to start your week.