Why do we have "Extra" Services?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Dr. Bob, Dec 31, 2003.

  1. Dr. Bob

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    From a recent poll, almost ALL our baptist churches have</font>
    • Sunday Sschool</font>
    • Morning Worship</font>
    • Evening Service</font>
    • Midweek Prayer Meeting</font>
    The early church met regularly. They were admonisted to lay aside their giving on the first day of the week. They fellowshiped and worshiped God. So "morning service" would fit in nicely.

    Sunday School started circa 1780 by Robert Raikes.

    Evening Services started circa 1875 and result of the revivalism of that era

    Prayer Meeting (cottage meetings in homes around the city) were popularized in Europe in that same era.

    So for 2000 years we have had "church" on Sunday. Only in the last 200 or so years have we added REQUIRED services (chide: You're not a good christian if you don't come every time the doors are open) early Sunday morning, late Sunday night and Wednesday or Thursday midweek.

    Why? If I were to say "our church will not have evening service", 95% of the baptists I know would immediately think "neo".

    What's your thinking?
     
  2. dianetavegia

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    We also have visitation on most Tuesday nights and I never miss! We have some odd Saturday visitation times for AWANA outreach. I teach AWANA on Wednesday night. I generally do NOT attend on Sunday night. We have a very large membership of those under 35 and many of them are college aged and teens. The services on Sunday nights are geared for the much younger crowd and doesn't appeal to me at all. However, I will attend the Discipleship classes that start either at 4:30 or 5:00 on Sunday afternoon if one is 'running' that is one I have decided to 'take or teach'. I taught Mission Friends for the little ones for several years in a row on Sunday afternoons.

    I do NOT feel guilty about not attending those services geared toward youth. That is the only service I don't attend. In fact, I've missed ONE Sunday School class in 19 months and that was when I was VERY ill.

    Diane
     
  3. gb93433

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    If they don't feed the soul why have them. In the Bible study I lead the average person spends no less than two hours in preparation, memorizes two verses each week and then comes prepared to pray and discuss the Bible study for two hours. Then they attend the church service which is 75 minutes. That is a total of times of four hours and fifteen minutes each week. A few years ago I led a study with the leaders of the church I was pastoring. They were ambitious and spent an average of about six hours per week in preparation. We met for two hours each week to discuss the lesson. They attended a one hour church service. All of them led another study that lasted for about 1-1/2 hours plus the preparation time needed. That is a total of at least 10.5 hours per week in God's word and with His people. Those same people I trained to do evangelism. So each of them went with me to learn how to go door to door. Eventually once a month the church went door to door. Each of the leaders were responsible for an area. Show me any amount of church activity that will cause anyone to spend that much time in taking a look at the scriptures and leading others.
     
  4. Ephesus23

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    Whatever the reason is that we have 'extra' services, I'm sure glad we do have them, because there's no place I'd rather be at any given time than at church or doing some church-related activity. [​IMG] I especially enjoy revival weeks, because then church is every single night, Monday through Friday. [​IMG]
     
  5. gb93433

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    John said in 3 Jn 4, "I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth."
     
  6. Taufgesinnter

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    I'm thinking what has The Matrix got to do with it? :D [​IMG]
     
  7. Carolyn Dee

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    Well, whatever, I like three services. They gas me up and help keep me straight.

    I remember when I first became a Baptist, the preacher told me that there were three services. I remember stuttering "T-th-three services!? Uh, is attendance mandatory???" He kindly responded that no one was forced to come but that the frequency would be very beneficial. And he was right.
     
  8. All about Grace

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    We have traditional SS on Sunday mornings at 9 to help keep content those who are accostomed to it ... Sunday morning worship for about an hour and 15 minutes ... Sunday evening (and other evenings throughout the week) small groups in homes (which is much closer to the biblical paradigm than Sunday evening services) ... and outreach for youth and children on Wednesday nights (supported by a prayer team who prays during this time for overall church needs, sick, ministry needs, and individuals from the outreach programs by name).

    We also have occasional church-wide fellowships and/or family nights at home (with your family and one or two other families). We will also include periodic discipleship classes at different times of the week and year. Most of our discipleship occurs in the small group format.

    This format has been very effective for us. Then again we are far from your traditional Baptist church.
     
  9. Pastor Larry

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    I think this is the key. When you read the book of Acts, they met daily. We, having only four services a week (3 on teh same day) are considerably behind what the NT pattern sets forth as "normal" for the church.

    I think the question is not why do we have four. The question is Why aren't we doing more? I think the model of corporate meetings such as Sunday AM and PM, along with various midweek groups for Bible study, fellowship, and spiritual caring, combined with zealous outreach is the necessary for us to be a NT church. To argue that people should only be expected to attend one service a week can in no way be reconciled with the NT pattern.

    My thinking is that churches are way too tied to traditions. We need to get away from that and back to meaningful NT church life. There is no way that we can argue that the NT pattern was to meet for one or two hours on Sunday morning. The reality is that they were involved in ministry every single day of the week. We have a very slack commitment compared to them.

    The purpose of meeting must be to fulfill our purposes. If a meeting doesn't do that, then I agree we should cancel it, or at least make it of lower visibility. But when the word of God is being taught, we need to strongly encourage everyone to be there, even if it conflicts with their other activities. After all, what is really important in the long run?? What has eternal value??
     
  10. gb93433

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    I think this is the key. When you read the book of Acts, they met daily. We, having only four services a week (3 on teh same day) are considerably behind what the NT pattern sets forth as "normal" for the church.

    I think the question is not why do we have four. The question is Why aren't we doing more? I think the model of corporate meetings such as Sunday AM and PM, along with various midweek groups for Bible study, fellowship, and spiritual caring, combined with zealous outreach is the necessary for us to be a NT church. To argue that people should only be expected to attend one service a week can in no way be reconciled with the NT pattern.

    My thinking is that churches are way too tied to traditions. We need to get away from that and back to meaningful NT church life. There is no way that we can argue that the NT pattern was to meet for one or two hours on Sunday morning. The reality is that they were involved in ministry every single day of the week. We have a very slack commitment compared to them.

    The purpose of meeting must be to fulfill our purposes. If a meeting doesn't do that, then I agree we should cancel it, or at least make it of lower visibility. But when the word of God is being taught, we need to strongly encourage everyone to be there, even if it conflicts with their other activities. After all, what is really important in the long run?? What has eternal value??
    </font>[/QUOTE]The early church had only one to two percent who were literate. Also they were under persecution. Ever see any theology books written in countries where the Christians are persecuted? But the church is unified and stuck together like glue. They are in two battles. They are in physical and spiritual battle. Often their property is taken from them. They are without work. Their families are under scrutiny and often harrassed. They are threatened by informers.
     
  11. gb93433

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    I think this is the key. When you read the book of Acts, they met daily. We, having only four services a week (3 on teh same day) are considerably behind what the NT pattern sets forth as "normal" for the church.

    I think the question is not why do we have four. The question is Why aren't we doing more? I think the model of corporate meetings such as Sunday AM and PM, along with various midweek groups for Bible study, fellowship, and spiritual caring, combined with zealous outreach is the necessary for us to be a NT church. To argue that people should only be expected to attend one service a week can in no way be reconciled with the NT pattern.

    My thinking is that churches are way too tied to traditions. We need to get away from that and back to meaningful NT church life. There is no way that we can argue that the NT pattern was to meet for one or two hours on Sunday morning. The reality is that they were involved in ministry every single day of the week. We have a very slack commitment compared to them.

    The purpose of meeting must be to fulfill our purposes. If a meeting doesn't do that, then I agree we should cancel it, or at least make it of lower visibility. But when the word of God is being taught, we need to strongly encourage everyone to be there, even if it conflicts with their other activities. After all, what is really important in the long run?? What has eternal value??
    </font>[/QUOTE]If more services makes increased spirituality then missionaries in countries where there is not a church are bankrupt.

    It's not about church. It's about knowing God. Actually I am repuled by most of what I see in a number of churches. I don't think there is a pastor alive whoi hasn't seen the qualkity of the church. So many pastors who want to live for Jesus and do God's work are run off by those who want a social club.

    I am not for more services but for more accountability and training people to do the work of service. I have never found more preaching to make more spirituality. I have found more obedience to be more spiritual. More listening to God maes one more spirtiual. If one were to look at the church today and compare it with those of 100 years ago would you fnd the people to be more or less spiritual? Would you find more or less number of services?

    There is so much preaching on the radio today. But the people are sharing their faith less. Nobody holds them accountable. So much is left up to chance. Christians talk with each other but are afraid to share with the nonbelievers. IF you want to see who the leaders are in a church turn them loose and see. Leaders will begtin to lead people. But as long as we feed them the nonsense that there is so much work to be done at the church and that is spiritual then we wil keep getting slaves to the system and not Christ. We need to get the people out of the church building and into the world sharing their faith. The NT church was in the world constantly. So must we. We must isolate ourselves from being examined and questioned.
     
  12. Taufgesinnter

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    A new book suggests the coming conversion of the Chinese Empire (i.e., the PROC) as happened with the Roman Empire. While heavily persecuted, Christianity is growing at such a rate that China will soon be one of the most Christian nations on earth in terms of population.
     
  13. Taufgesinnter

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    I think this is the key. When you read the book of Acts, they met daily. We, having only four services a week (3 on teh same day) are considerably behind what the NT pattern sets forth as "normal" for the church.

    I think the question is not why do we have four. The question is Why aren't we doing more?
    </font>[/QUOTE]Well, Catholic churches have daily masses, often severeal times a day... [​IMG]
     
  14. Dr. Bob

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    Obviously the number of services a day/week is NOT tied to spirituality. Some of the most devoted folks I know go to "church" regularly but are no more born again than the man in the moon.

    Back to the question, how did the "extra" services become "normative"?
     
  15. Karen

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    Partly when more people had cars. My ancestors on the farm went to church far less than I do.
    Sometimes the circuit preacher only came through on horseback once or twice a month.
    Sometimes they had weekly meetings.
    Traveling two miles was far more problematic than
    20 is for most of us now.
    When they did meet, they tended to stay all day.

    Karen
     
  16. Pastor Larry

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    You are correct in that the countries are bankrupt. The missionaries are there to plant churches in accordance with the great commission.

    Actually, the NT teaches it is about both. It is impossible to be a good Christian without active involvement in a local NT church. The NT stresses church very highly for a reason. It is essential to biblical obedience.

    So am I, but we don't abandon the church because some people are wrong.

    This takes place in the local church.

    Obedience comes from responding to the word. IF the preaching you are listening to is not making you more obedient, then either you or your pastor is failing. Listening to your pastor preach the word accurately is listening to God. The pastor is the voice of God when he speaks accurately from God's word. Don't draw false dichotomies.

    How would you know??? There is no way to know something like this.

    I agree with much of what you say. But the NT prescribes the church as the means through which that is done. The church is to be doing those things. Don't confuse the church only with preaching services. They are certainly a part of it but they are only a part. There is much more.
     
  17. Pastor Larry

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    But Catholic churches are not churches in the NT sense of the word. Sports teams and business teams also meet several times a day but they are not churches. Let's confine our discussion to NT churches.
     
  18. Pastor Larry

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    I think the answer, as I pointed out, is "They became normative in teh book of Acts where the church met daily. I am not sure on what basis we call them "extra services." Where did that come from? The NT doesn't talk about "extra services" after prescribing that we only meet on Sunday morning. As I pointed out, the early church was doing something every day of the week. That is normative. I sooner think the "once a weekers" are the non-normative group, based on the NT.
     
  19. troutstalker

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    Hmm... or should the question be when did "services" become normative... or perhaps maybe something more like are our normative programmed meeting times like Sunday School, Worship, Discipleship Training, Wednesday Prayer Meeting, &lt;insert your own schedule in here if you wish&gt; biblical? Or have we found it easier to compartmentalize our "religion" into one hour sequential blocks?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not against being organized, but I do a lot of "wondering" about what life was like during biblical times and how it must have differed from practices we have "cannonized". I often wonder what their Sunday School, Discipleship, and Worship Services were like (just kidding [​IMG] ... absurd to stimulate thought). I wonder how a first century Christian would answer your question about "Extra" services and their being normative.
     
  20. SaggyWoman

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    I haven't even read the other posts for concern that I might get angry or irritated.

    I used to be in the great group that felt that unless you were always there at church when the doors were open, you weren't a saint.

    I have come a long way, baby. It isn't about being at the church. It is about being salt and light in the world. without Jesus.

    Let that be the door turner at your church, and it will change your attitude.
     

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