Several years ago, I spoke at a Saturday morning World AIDS Day event in Shreveport, LA. My return flight did not leave until early the next morning. Knowing that I wouldn’t make worship on Sunday morning, I read in a local paper about the Saturday evening service at Grace UMC, a growing, exciting church plant in the Shreveport area.
When I arrived, I could tell that this worship service was different. The difference had nothing to do with the worship style or details of the service (it was an exact replica of the Sunday morning worship). No, the difference was in the spirit and atmosphere. These folks had built a community beyond the normal worship schedule. I left there wishing that every congregation could experience something like that.
Since arriving at Christ Church, I heard about Saturday Night Live (the previous Saturday worship service that was suspended nearly six years ago). The folks involved in that service talked about Saturday Night Live the way folks in Shreveport discussed their worship community.
We are blessed with great worship at Christ Church. Over the past year, through various surveys, we asked and received your feedback on a host of worship issues. Christ Church is committed to excellence in all styles of worship and wants to provide ‘multiple settings of multiple styles to reach multiple demographics’. We heard requests across the spectrum and are diligent to address each one of them. But, one of the most consistent requests from the survey was a Saturday evening service.
This Saturday (March 22), your wish comes true! Christ Church launches its new Saturday Night service beginning at 5pm. It will use the same format and focus as the Sunday morning 9:45am service in Seabrook Hall, and Bo Parker and I will be the worship leader and preacher respectively.
However, we will also use a few ‘alternative’ approaches to give the service its own unique identity.
Particularly, Saturday Night is about families and community—both the Church Family and ‘your’ families. We will offer nursery care through 24 months. However, children are welcomed and encouraged to attend the service. In the back of Seabrook Hall, we will have ‘family tables’ where parents of smaller children can ‘set up camp’ and be comfortable. You will still be able to worship and engage the service, but we will also have children’s packets to engage the little ones. All the while, parents will have space to be present but not feel ‘out of place’.
Also, we will place a high value on community on Saturday Night. The goal is to build the same ‘open door’ for the long-time churchgoer and first-time visitor alike. Come a few minutes early and have coffee—stay a bit later and get to know a new friend.
However, more than anything, come prepared to ‘walk into God’s presence’. Whether in a beautiful stained glass sanctuary or in a gym or in a more modern gathering space—God shows up! I can’t wait to see what He has in store!
Many blessings, my friends. Look forward to seeing you there!
Be Salt and Light… You Matter!
1 Cor. 15:58