Here are the what and why of some summer schedule changes. Not all of them. The children’s and youth ministries are producing separate detailed schedules for their summer events and ministries. This article only relates to Sundays and Weekday Prayer.
God does some new things in the summer. We should ask why.
1) He makes the daylight longer. Why? Some of it has to do with crops and birds and photosynthesis. But it also has to do with hanging out in the evening where you might be able to talk to people who in the winter are hidden in their homes. It is also a pointer toward heaven when “there shall no longer be any night” (Revelation 22:5). Long days show the glory of a God “who is light, and in whom there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).
2) He makes the temperature warmer. Why? Well, this too has to do with flowers and trees and crops, because he loves us. But there are other reasons. He does it so that we will spend time outside and meet people in the neighborhood and at the park that we would not meet running for warmth in the winter. He also does it so that we will go outside after dark, and look up where he has his glory on display in the stars. “The heavens are telling the glory of God…night unto night reveals knowledge” (Psalm 19:1-2).
3) In our culture God has ordained that kids don’t go to school in the summer. Why? One reason is to reduce stress on kids and families. Kids (and moms) can have “Bible time” (as we call it) without rush. Getting enough sleep is possible. Another reason is to open opportunities to travel and see God’s handiwork in another place (15 miles away or 1500 miles away). Mountains, lakes, rivers, plains, oceans and even cities reveal the works of God. Another reason is to open ministry opportunities for kids and families. There can be lots of natural get-togethers with believers and unbelievers in the less-stress schedule of summer.
Summer is for seeing and showing God. Don’t let the carnal thought take over your mind that summer is a spiritual void. That is not God’s view of things. He is displaying glories to be seen and worshiped. He is caressing the world with mercy (Matthew 5:45). His summer “kindness is meant to lead to repentance” (Romans 2:4). Let’s join God in his love for people in the summer and make it a fresh meeting with him in the light of his love.
Starting June 11 and going through Labor Day weekend, here’s the Sunday schedule:
- Sunday Mornings:
9:00 Sunday School
10:30 Morning Worship
- Sunday Evenings: Every other Sunday
7:00 Sunday Evening Family Gathering
8:15 Lingering afterwards with family and food
- Alternate Sundays
7:00 Worship, prayer and ministering toward spiritual awakening
We sense that God is passing through the land with special blessing in these days. The time seems right to seek his fullness and power in some extraordinary ways. Hence these six special summer evening times to worship and pray that “he will come to us like the spring rain watering of the earth” (Hosea 6:3).
Here are some of the plusses that persuaded staff and elders to go with Sunday School first and Worship second:
1) When you combine those who regularly go to the late service with those who regularly go to both early worship and then Sunday school, it is a large majority of our people. Thus the new summer timing will not affect most people’s schedule.
2) We believe God will move in our summer services so that lingering in prayer, ministry, and fellowship after the worship service will be natural. This will not conflict with Sunday school if the worship service is the last thing scheduled.
3) The older members and those who work with the Laotian Church will find this familiar schedule a help.
4) Our prayer is that, in a fresh atmosphere of welcoming love, those who visit the church during the worship service will be spontaneously invited to our homes after the service for lunch.
Instead of Wednesday evening prayer there will be prayer times each day during the week. Monday 7-7:30; Tuesday 6:30-7; Wednesday 12:15-1:45; Thursday 12:15-1:45; Friday 6:30-7. These will be led by pastoral staff and others. With Wednesday evenings free, we are praying that lots of natural, joyful relational evangelism will happen through the week.
Seeking the Son with you this summer,