Okay – here goes. . .
Why not? It’s Thursday. . .
Earlier this week, I was asked (in the comment section on last Thursday’s blog), “What happened to Sunday Night?”
I talked about it some during my recent “State of the Church” message. To answer the question, let me give a history of “Sunday Nights” during my brief – almost 2 years now – time here at FBC El Dorado. . .
- Sunday Night church ceased to be a part of FBC El Dorado‘s schedule a couple of years prior to my coming on as Pastor (translation: people were out of the habit of coming).
- The Pastor Search Team (PST) requested that I bring it back if/when I became Pastor.
- I told the PST I would give it a try.
- I gave it a try in the Fall of 2012.
- The first time we did “Sunday Night Church” – called “Sunday Night Live” (SNL) – we did it over in the “2Fifty2” building and saw around 280 people attend.
- Over time, that number dwindled SUPER fast.
- By Winter of 2013 – the number was down to around 150 average.
- So, we tried moving it over to the sanctuary and did it every other week.
- Last count – Fall of 2013 – the number was down to around 85 in attendance.
- In all honesty, to many of us (myself included), it felt like a cheapened and “warmed over” version of Sunday morning.
- To make matters a bit more frustrating (or “telling” – depending on how you view it) – the last time we had a Sunday Night service – in the “2Fifty2” building – on March 16th, 2014 – we had less that 130 people attend . . . and THIS was the night I talked about the “State of the Church“!!!
What to do???
Should we cancel Sunday Night church simply due to numbers? No. That’s not a very good reason.
But should we have it simply because we used to have it? Nope. That’s not a good one either.
In large part – did those who did attend SNL faithfully do so because they were part of the “good old days” of Sunday Night church of the past? Yep. I think so. Is that wrong? No. Not at all. I too used to LOVE Sunday Night church.
Do I/we have a plan? Yes.
The plan is to be INTENTIONAL.
I spent the first quarter of 2014 unpacking what I believe to be a God-given vision for FBC El Dorado:
FBC exists to nobly dare, in the Spirit’s power, to make known Jesus’ commanding claims here and everywhere.
To further push ourselves to this end, we are also asking questions such as:
- “If FBC was just starting out as a church – with no programs or ministries in place – how would we ‘do church’ so that its members would grow to nobly dare to make Jesus’ commanding claims known?”
- “How does THAT answer (see question above) fit into what FBC is currently doing?”
- “How does doing ministry/making disciples look in El Dorado in 2014?” (Not, “How have we always done it?” because we don’t live in the 1960’s anymore; but “How does it look – HERE & NOW?”)
- “What does the book of Acts tell us about ‘doing church’?”
And a few other, “light and easy” questions such as these.
Will we have Sunday Night church again?
I honestly – at this point – do not know.
But I can guarantee you this: Whatever – if anything – we do plan on Sunday Nights in the future, it will have a specific reason and purpose that fits into our vision. It WILL NOT be because the numbers are good/bad & it WILL NOT be because we used to do it here.
Let me “Throw This Out There” –
I truly believe the God of FBC El Dorado wants its members to nobly dare, in the Spirit’s power, to make known Jesus’ commanding claims here and everywhere. He does so because knowing or not knowing these claims affects one’s joy and life – now and forever. Therefore, everything we do must move us to that end.
Will Sunday Night church help us do that? We’ll see.
Until then – nobly dare to make Him known.