Abductive Columns

Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Wednesday Night Service

Is it being overly optimistic to believe leaders of local churches can resurrect a Wednesday night service to the same level of the 70s, 80s, and 90s? Or was the 7 PM Wednesday night service simply something out of another era?

Here are my thoughts on that.

The biggest difference between the 70s, 80s, 90s and today is then we were able to move people (via guilt). Today we have to learn what moves people.

The first example I think of is 9/11. What a moment we missed!

9/11 moved people to return to church. They came looking for something of substance and found ‘church (ritual, tradition, etc.)’


At 7:09 PM, Blogger Dallasfan said...


I am with you on the Wednesday night thing. How about the Sunday night thing too? I think that in many churches that I have worshipped, it would have been much more appropriate for us to have a meal after the morning service and then just hang out and maybe have a devotional after everyone ate or just let spontaniety take over and see what happens. But we are so afraid to make the suggestion or to upset the "older" folks that we continue to go through the same mundane schedule and wonder why we are not seeing results.

At 7:58 PM, Blogger Fred Peatross said...

Well, many have gone to a sunday night small group format. My observation over the last 8-10 years is a misunderstanding of the potential strength of small groups. I've been a part of only one small group that functioned as a small group should function (in a nurtured environment of trust, transparency, and confessional).

All others were no more than a bible class exported into a home. I ask, does that move people today?

At 8:18 PM, Blogger Keith Brenton said...

I know this is blasphemy, but I don't care about seeing results. I'd rather see (and experience) discipleship.

I'd rather spend Sunday night serving the lost instead of hoping that they'll show up at the church door uninvited through some miracle I never thought to pray for.

We have Wednesday night LIFE (small) groups, and I am enriched by them. But every once in a while, I get a niggling in my conscience that says, "You're rich enough. Go enrich someone else."

Maybe I ain't so rich after all.

At 8:27 PM, Blogger Fred Peatross said...

I agree. We don't have to think church building or small group...we need to think missional.

At 11:56 AM, Blogger Neal W. said...

Keith, it's not blasphemy...but that kind of attitude kind of has to stay under the radar...it doesn't keep ministers like us employed. :-)

At 7:37 PM, Blogger Dallasfan said...


Why should it have to stay under the radar??? I can tell you that there are alot of people out there that feel like me and question what we are doing every week. For what purpose are we doing what we are doing? Sooner or later most of us question the "traditions" of our groups and wonder why we do what we do. The wedenesday night service is just the tip of the ice burg in asking questions concerning our traditions. I have learned and am learning that the vast majority of what I have "thoguth was gospel" is merely the "group tradition" that I have been too near sighted to see.

At 10:46 AM, Blogger Neal W. said...


Sorry...my comment was sarcastic, but the reality of the situation is not. I haven't kept my views under the radar, but that has made me border-line unemployable. Wednesday night services truly are only the tip of the iceberg, but my exploring those sort of issues is truly at odds with my leadership's expectations of me.

At 12:37 AM, Blogger Royal said...

The statistics after 9-11 showed no bump in church attendance after a couple of weeks. People panicked because they thought it was the end of the world.

Christ-followers need to live like Christ. People need to be missional. They will only become missional if they are discipled and become excited enough about God's grace that they will want others to know. Movement will come when the pre-Christian sees and experiences God's love from the Christian.

People were not scared or guilted into Wed. and Sunday nights in earlier years. They were just used to being more religious. Then other things became more important than religion.

At 10:18 AM, Blogger Neal W. said...

Did other things become more important than religion or did people decide that the religion they were being fed on Sunday and Wednesday nights weren't accomplishing much? Nothing is more important than "good" religion, but most things are more important that "bad" relgion.


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