Monday, September 24, 2012

I Love the “Night Life!”

Why do people regularly come back Sunday evenings for worship and Wednesday evenings for mid-week Bible study? Is it because they have more time than others? Do they face fewer demands at work? Do they live or work closer to the building? Do they have fewer children, easier homework, less frequent illnesses, more energy, or lighter hassles? Do they not enjoy sports, television, the Internet, or hobbies? Is it just simpler for them?

No, people who love the church’s night life generally face the same challenges and pressures as those who do not return. There are exceptions, of course. But the "night-timers" also have company drop in. Yes, it is a school night for their children, too. Their houses and cars need repair just like their neighbors'. However, they keep coming in spite of all that. Why? What drives these folks? I decided to ask. Here are some of the responses I received.

● I love the story of the elderly lady who trudged into the church building every Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday night on crippled legs and feet. When the preacher asked how she managed to attend every service, she said, "My heart gets here first, and my legs and feet just follow". If we have a heart for worshipping God, our bodies (even if tired and old!) can’t help but follow.
● I attend the Sunday night and Wednesday night services for basically three reasons. I need to. I should. I want to. I need to because of the blessings that I received from my brothers and sisters in Christ who I know love and appreciate me. They are a source of encouragement, and we all need encouragement. I also am blessed by the classes and ideas that are expressed there. I should attend because of the need. I should always strive to do those things that strengthen me and help me as I run the Christian race. And, I want to attend. I enjoy the fellowship and classes. I view the Sunday morning service as a time when our primary purpose is praising God, acknowledging our dependence on him, and expressing our appreciation for what He has done and continues to do. It is not a time that my goal is what I derive from the time we spend. Of course, I receive benefits from the Sunday morning service and am strengthened but that should not be the measuring stick for the importance of the service. However, our Sunday evening and Wednesday evening services are a time when my thoughts become somewhat selfish as I think more of what I derive and my relationship with my brothers and sisters in Christ.
● Hebrews 10:25 – “Do not forsake.” I want to give encouragement. I need to get encouragement. How can I know a person if we don't see each other? I feel disconnected if I’m not there. I want to build relationships. Learn, learn, learn! Hosea 4:6 – “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” Teachers take their classes seriously, and they get better all the time. We can talk about struggles in answering non-Christians’ questions. The evening services provide an avenue to bring non- Christians if they don't yet want to come to our worship morning or if they are still going to another church. I need a set time for study so life doesn't continually push out God.
● Seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God … he has taken care of me for 71 years, and I owe him my full allegiance. I am where I should be, where I need to be when I am gathered together with God's family.
● I don't want to miss a service because something might be said that will help me to get to heaven.
● When you've lost your family, the church is all you have. When I look around those assemblies I see my spiritual mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. Where would I be without my church family? They accept me, encourage me, and help me reach my spiritual goals. I do my best to do the same for them.
● I'm a regular because it helps to get me through the week and just to fellowship with others of like mind. It seems to be a safe place, and most of all I love the lessons and knowing God is being glorified.
● I love Bible class because it encourages, teaches, edifies and challenges me to live closer to Christ. I want to learn more about our Savior and how he viewed people in his ministry. I want to go and teach the gospel to others so they can be in Christ.
● I attend these services because they uplift my spirit. When you love someone, you want to be with them or around them as often as possible. I love my Lord and brothers and sisters in Christ. It is an opportunity to gain more knowledge and understanding of His word. I want and need to talk with him in prayer and to sing his praises.
● Wednesday night gives me that recharge to keep my priorities straight.
● It gives my batteries a recharge. I wish we had time to meet everyday! We had a prayer breakfast early Sat morning and we prayed for almost two hours. I have been fired up since.
● I always liked the quote from the old fellow who said, “I show up to show folks which side I'm on!”
● I LOVE being a regular. If I ever get the feeling I don't want to go, then I know I NEED to go. Connecting with other believers is such a source of encouragement and strength to get through our week and start our week off right on Sundays. Also, it is important to us for our children to see it is a priority and important to us so it can stay important to them as they grow up. It's also an encouragement to us to see others, and a goal of ours to BE an encouragement to other believers.
● I always dislike getting out when time changes and it's dark, but I'm always glad I did when I get there! It recharges me at mid-week. I feel bad when I miss. Besides, I'm nosy and I'm afraid I'll miss something important - there's always something important to be learned.
● I think of the old story where the lady was asked why she attended every meeting of the church if she couldn't remember every lesson. The answer was that you can't remember every meal you have eaten all your life but it nourished you and gave you what you needed to survive. That probably sums up a lot of it. The other half of that is even if I think I don't need fellowship, we are looking out for the needs of others (Phil. 2:1-5). Hard to do that if we aren't together.
● Besides just being another chance to nurture your faith and understanding in the Word, it is a re-charge...and being with your brothers and sisters is such a good thing.
● Because it gives me one more time to study God's Word with the saints! Wednesday's mid-week service gives me a boost and encourages me! My parents always took me, and it's a habit! I love my church family and enjoy fellowship with them! Although it's not a "commandment" to attend twice on Sunday and Wednesday, the elders seem to think it's a good idea, so therefore I want to be a part of this request! I love the Lord and His people, and I want to learn as much as I can, to drink in all the knowledge of God's plan.
● Just like this iPhone I'm typing on, it doesn't work unless I take a moment each day to charge its batteries. We can't be effective Christians if we don't spend some time each day focusing on God.
● I need to be with other believers, These folks generally believe as I do and we all want a home in heaven.
● Spiritually - life is SO crazy these days, and it is nice to take time out and focus on what is important.  It also helps teach our children positive worship habits.  If they realize that mom/dad don't stress worship attendance, that will become what they think and cause them to be weak Christians. Socially - it is great to develop close Christian friends.  Of course we are going to help out anyone, but having a good friend that is also a fellow Christian ... what a blessing.
● I come to Sunday and Wednesday night worship because the church is family, and it's important that we spend time together. I need them, and they need me. It's encouraging to know that there is a core of faithful Christians that I can turn to when I need their fellowship and prayers. Perhaps someone I don't even know that well will be encouraged when they see me there. I also come because I want to saturate my heart, mind, and life with God's word and praise him for his goodness and holiness. Mostly I come simply because I'm a Christian. It's who I am. I belong to God.

What about you? Do you love the “night life?” If not, I can guarantee you this. If you give it your very best effort for the next six months, you will most likely form a habit that you will keep for life. Give it a try!

1 comment:

Henry Kong said...

Great article. My colleague posted in on our Facebook group, ppcoc and friends. It got a lot of interest. Could I have permission to use it in our weekly bulletin? Will give proper credit and point to your blog -,