Why You Should Attend Sunday Evening Service (Part 2)

David Harris
In this article I continue my arguments from last week, encouraging our church family to attend service on Sunday evening. The next couple of reasons will be addressed to parents.

(5). Attend Sunday evening service because it is assumed in the New Testament that children and parents worship together.

It is quite natural for parents to pass on their loves to their kids: we by nature are advertisers for what we love. If you doubt that, look at the sports teams children cheer for, and you will typically discover what their fathers love, whether that’s the Dallas Cowboys, or the L.A. Lakers. When you see a child wear a jersey or a cap, it is evidence their fathers have included them in something they care about. Can the same be said about your child’s participation in church? In the Old Testament families worshipped together (Exodus 12:26-27, Joel 2:15-16). This did not change under the new covenant: the church gathering was never intended just for “big people,” with the young ones left out of it. And I am thoroughly convinced that two early church letters make this unarguable. Consider Colossians 3:20, and Ephesians 6:1-3. What is going on here? These letters would have been read out loud to the church gathering. Notice the children are directly addressed in the letter. Paul does not instruct the listeners, “by the way, let your kids know about these instructions.” No: it is assumed that the children are assembled with their parents. In Ephesians 6:1-3 Paul not only gives the little people an imperative but trusts them with an Old Testament quotation. If your participation in church life is truly based on the New Testament, you will make sure that you and your children worship together.  We don't have a whole-family service for marketing purposes: we have it because we follow Scripture.

(6). Attend Sunday evening service because it will give you and your children a shared liturgy.

I was with a hospice patient, whose family were all church-going Christians. They started singing Amazing Grace at the end of my visit, and many of the family members had tears streaming down their faces as they joined in this wonderful hymn. I sang along. As encouraging as this moment was (there are few songs more appropriate for a heavenly send-off) it broke my heart to watch the ten and twelve year olds in the room who were bewildered: it was obvious they had no clue how to sing this. These kids went to church, but from what i gathered, they didn’t share any worship experiences with their parents or grandparents. Do you and your children ever sing the same songs at church? If not, Sunday evening faithfulness can change that. Are there other ways to ensure you and your kids know the same liturgy? Well I suppose you could create a playlist of “must-sing” hymns of the faith on Apple Music. But the most straightforwardly biblical way to accomplish this is attending church with them, sitting with them, and singing with them.

(7). Attend Sunday evening service because it will help you keep the church covenant.

Most Baptist church covenants were written during a time when people in a church spent much more time together than one hour a week. And it shows. I am thankful our covenant carries this traditional language: “we will exercise an affectionate care and watchfulness over each other.” This is quite difficult to do with people you only see in passing. Sunday mornings are, quite honestly, not best suited for extensive fellowship. Since we end at lunch time, and most people like to eat lunch, we typically don’t see large groups of people staying after and enjoying deep conversation. We do see this on Sunday evenings, however, and we see it quite often. Of course there are other statements in the covenant that come in play here. We are to “sustain the church’s worship.” This is quite difficult if we neglect half (or more) of the times when the church actually meets to worship. We are to “work and pray for unity.” This hardly seems workable if half of the Lord’s Day is dedicated to “me time" and we avoid the congregation with which we are supposed to be unified. Note that I am not suggesting it is impossible to keep these things if you are a Sunday morning-only member: but I am making an argument that it is much, much harder to keep these things if you sit out the second half of Sunday.

(8). Attend Sunday evening service because it will help you build long-lasting friendships in church.

In my previous point I alluded to the fact that church members are to be spiritual caretakers for one another, and our covenant obligations spell out what this looks like. But church is more than a place to carry others’ spiritual burdens, it is a wonderful place to make friends. I am quite aware that not everyone that is a member of FBC feels like they do have close friends in this place. They have told me as much more than once. The complaints, I promise you, are not unique to Fellowship: these are vented in lots of church. Some are “outsiders,”  others don’t have a “clique,” some "are not close to anyone," or even worse that they "feel like a stranger." Please don’t misunderstand me: I am not suggesting that once you attend an evening service you will wake up the next day and have a cadre of close church friends. But attending evening services most certainly gives you the best chance at making close friends in our church. I saw this in the congregation in which I was raised. Those who came infrequently or only attended Sunday morning had few close friendships inside the church, and those who came whenever the doors were open usually had several close friends in the church. So before you blame the church culture for your lack of friends, ask yourself if you are really doing what you can to make them. Imagine a freshman college student who complains about her classmates. She tells you “No one offers to hang out with me, no one is close to me, I feel like an outsider,” etc. Then you ask, “How often do you go to class?” To your amazement, the college student admits she only attends class 1/3 to 1/2 of the time, and misses all the other class times! The same complaints come from well-meaning Christians who treat the church the same way. To put it as kindly as possible, it is simply unreasonable to assume you can build close friends in a local church at which you neglect half or two thirds of the set gatherings.

(9). Attend Sunday evening service to be a participant, not a consumer.

Now, before you tune out, let me be perfectly clear: I am not suggesting that Sunday-morning only attenders are consumers. That would be unfair. I do want to strongly suggest however that one way to help prevent yourself from becoming a consumer is attending Sunday evening worship. If someone were a consumer, then truly the Sunday morning service would be more appealing. Participating in the whole Lord’s Day means always being there when we have communion (Sunday night) being present for financial reports (Sunday night) and joining in any special church prayer meeting (almost always, you guessed it, Sunday night). Sure, there are less people in the building, less special music, and that may make it less exciting for you. Yes, people no longer have that 10:45 energy (including me). So it truly may feel less hyped than Sunday morning, and this admission is coming from someone who wants you to be there. But the church is not a production, so enjoying a particular service less (due to reasons above) is not a legitimate factor in deciding whether or not you participate. As I have heard Greg Gilbert say, the church is nothing more and nothing less than a community of Christians who assemble to preach the gospel and make disciples. Guard against the threat of consumerism in your soul by attending Sunday evening worship.

Sunday evening is not everything: it isn't Christ, and it isn't the gospel. Your pastors cannot demand from Scripture that you must attend. But I have hoped to offer some gentle encouragements so you will consider making this a regular part of your spiritual life.


Sunday Morning Service

Sunday Evening Service

How can you best prepare your mind and heart for this Lord's day? Ready yourself through these practical tips that apply to this coming Lord's day before you pull into the parking lot.

Show some Liberal Love!

We have been actively providing opportunities to give back to our community this year. This month you have the opportunity to help the Harvesters and REAL Ladies connection group meet their goal of donating 50 gift cards to the frontline workers at Good Samaritan Rest Home. If you are able and would like to give above and beyond this month, you can do that with the link below.

Plan To Invite Someone To Church This Sunday

You can invite someone to church on any Sunday of the year. Why wait for a special Sunday? The people in your inner circle can join our family of believers any given Sunday of the year! Maybe stop by the church and grab an invite card to bridge a conversation with someone you know this week.

Read this Sunday's sermon texts.

Sunday Morning's Text: Psalm 139
Sunday Evening's Text: 2 Samuel 9:1-13

Spend Time Praising God.

Why wait for Sunday to sing or listen to worship music? Check out our setlist for this Sunday and get ready to sing and internalize the music.
Liberal Love: Good Samaritan Rest Home
Concert | Joseph Habedank | July 20
Communion | July 21
Youth Conference | July 22-26
Promotion Sunday | August 4
Prepare your mind and heart with some worship music this week. Use our church playlist
through the week and be encouraged by spiritual songs that are still being written by God's people.

Sunday Morning

God So Loved
Battle Belongs
Trust In God

Sunday Evening

Sing
Living He Loved MePsalm
84 (I'm Home)
Gratitude
All Creatures Of Our God and King
To listen to this Sunday's setlist, use one of the platform links below.