Why Worship Nights?
Every month, our Church gathers to sing, pray, and read the Bible. We call these times Worship Nights, because we believe them to center our attention (our worship) on Christ. But recently I (Gabe) have been asking myself, what is the difference between a worship night and a Sunday morning church gathering? What, if any, is the difference between gathering on Sunday morning and gathering in someone’s house to do relatively the same thing?
To compare these two is like comparing apples and oranges. (Which, counter to popular belief, actually can be compared.) You see, just like apples and oranges, both Sunday morning and Wednesday night strive after the same thing, they exist in the same ecosystem, they are both fruit. Both spaces exist to help people worship God. But qualitatively each of these spaces “taste” different. They each have their unique way of calling us back to God. Here are a few things that you will find at a worship night that make it distinctive from our Sunday morning gatherings.
Plans are held in open hands
While it might not seem like it, our Worship Nights have a structure to them, but that structure is not our guide. Worship Nights are a place where we plan but are quick to follow what God is doing. So this might mean planning to sing one particular song, but after someone shares a story we might feel prompted to sing a different song. Or maybe in the middle of a song we sense the Holy Spirit saying to ask, “Has anyone been experiencing depression?” And then we take time to pray into that. We have the freedom to follow the flutters of God in spaces like Worship Nights.
This “taste” is contrasted by the steady stroll we receive on Sunday mornings. Both of these are ways of walking with God, but the quality of each is unique.
You might not (didactically) learn anything
In teaching, there are a few ways of learning things. And while both Sunday and Worship Nights long for us to learn Christ, they do so in different ways.
On Sundays, we gather to learn, commune, and receive. Each Sunday, we learn Christ through the exposition of his scripture, we commune with God through singing truths that have been curated to compliment the scripture and enhance the scriptural teaching, and this is all largely done with little required from our congregation. It is our service to you! (Which we are delighted to do!)
On Worship nights, our learning is more experiential in that it is what you make of it. Much like a child on a shore bank, he can learn a great deal about the body of water by just watching it. But, there is a qualitative difference between observing and participating. Worship Nights help us learn Christ by creating moments with God that we can participate in with Him.
They are collaborative
Sunday mornings, as alluded to earlier, are largely the work of a few people. Coffee servers, pastors, musicians, kids’ volunteers, and hospitality helpers. These teams are the ones who put on a Sunday Morning gathering so that people can commune with God and hear the scripture taught.
Worship Nights are a bit more collaborative. We expect people to speak up, we encourage everyone sharing from the Bible, we encourage everyone to pray for each other, we love to see people healed, and we expect God to be working in everyone in the room. And therefore, we really heavily on participation from everyone who comes. In a sense, we are creating a moment together in which we are all crying out to God so that we might learn Christ together, through the words he has given each of us.
Whether you find yourself in a Sunday morning or midweek Worship Night, our hope is that you encounter God. We long for people to know Jesus and respond to him. We believe that as we open the word in formal Sunday gatherings and as we open he word in informal worship night, God will do just that in his people.