For years I have tried to prayerfully consider the Biblical reasons behind every thing we do as a church. Why do we use a certain Bible? Why do we sing a certain type of song? Why do we have Scripture readings? While I do not say this as a boast I think I have questioned just about every aspect of what we do as a church.
I believe some things we do because of fundamental Bible doctrine. In those areas there is no room for compromise or leniency. In many other areas there is room for debate and a variety of applications may flow from a single truth. (For instance, the method of taking up tithes and offerings, should it be by plate, bag or a box at the door?)
Most recently I have been thinking about our services. Why a 10am, 11am and 6pm all in one day? I have many good reasons which I will share at a later date. However, it was very interesting to read an article by Kevin DeYoung this morning titled “Don’t Give Up On the Evening Service.”
I think you will find the whole article of interest but I want to share 6 reasons he gives for attending the evening service.
- 1. Starting and ending the Lord’s Day with corporate worship fits the pattern of morning and evening sacrifices. I don’t think this is a slam dunk argument for evening worship, but it corresponds to a good pattern that the day would beging and end with worship.
- 2. If the sermon and the sacraments are truly means of grace, let’s give people the opportunity to experience this grace and take advantage of the opportunities when they are there.
- 3. Having an evening service keeps the Lord’s Day the Lord’s Day. Without the evening service I find it too easy to treat Sunday worship like an hour to get done at the beginning of the day. The temptation to squeeze worship into the margins of life is even more pronounced when we finish our worship “requirement” by 8pm on Saturday evening.
- 4. Martyn Lloyd-Jones supported the practice of evening worship because he believed there should be a hunger for the preaching of the word–a hunger that desires a second time to feast on the Bible.
- 5. The evening service is a lot of work, but it is good work. It can allow more teaching opportunities for others in the church. It should force the pastor to spend more time in the word, which is a good thing too.
- 6. Our evening service is a great time for extra fellowship and extra prayer. We can do somethings with meals, small group prayer, and lingering conversations that are more difficult on a cramped Sunday morning.
There are valid reasons why a person may not attend the evening service, but overall I believe it is best practice to meet together as a congregation whenever the opportunity arises.