Why We Are Going to Three Sunday Morning Services

Article by

Founder & Teacher, desiringGod.org

God said “Right on!” last Sunday. Did you hear it?

The church had voted the preceding Thursday to go to three Sunday morning services on March 2. Then came Sunday. For the first time in five years we broke the 1,000 mark on a non-Easter Sunday. Saturday evening: 81. Then the 8:30 service: 391. Then the 11:00 service: 546. Total: 1018.

I take this to be the Lord's way of saying, “Amen!” to the Thursday night decision.

There are 896 linear feet of pews in our sanctuary. Elbow to elbow seating requires two feet per person. That means we are full at 448 people not counting the choir. Two packed services would be about 900 people. Last fall in 7 out of the 17 weekends our worship attendance was over 900. 13 out of 17 were over 800.

Last Sunday there were 100 more people in the 11:00 service than we could hold. They were in the overflow room (a difficult place to sing), seated in the back foyer, standing on the steps and in the cold hallways.

The Lord said, “Three services? Amen! And the sooner the better!”

I thought I heard him say it on Saturday but I wasn't sure. (46 people attending the 5-hour marathon ASK class at our home.) But now I feel sure.

O, that God would raise up lay leaders for the last fourteen years of this millennium at Bethlehem! What is a leader? John R. Mott gave a great definition: a person “with far-seeing views, with comprehensive plans, with power of initiative, and with victorious faith.”

O Lord, raise them up! Give them a view of the year 2000! Give them comprehensive plans! Give them powerful initiative! Cause them to follow through in faith! Lord, I need to study and preach and pray! Please, please raise up such leaders to take us to the third millennium!”

Standin' in the need of prayer,

Pastor John

P.S. The church voted to authorize Dennis Smith to negotiate for the purchase of the Litho property to the southeast.  Any eventual purchase would be contingent on church approval. Pray for a reasonable and fair purchase agreement soon.