So why worship at 5:00pm?
Great question. 5:00pm is admittedly a bit out of the “norm” for our particular cultural context. Here are a couple of simple reasons why we have chosen 5:00pm on Sundays as our time to worship together.
- First, that is when space in our neighborhood is available. Bluff Park isn’t a large city with multiple vacant auditoriums for rent on Sunday mornings. Schools are a possibility (and we looked at a couple) but come with their own issues such as complete set up and tear down each week and limited nursery space. Meeting at 5:00pm allows us to rent space from an existing congregation within our targeted community at a time when their facility is not being used. Nursery space, classrooms, worship space, kitchen, all there and set up for exactly what we need. Beauty.
- Another reason is that, we desire to be a church that reaches non-Christians in our neighborhood. These individuals and families, whom God dearly loves, currently have many options to worship at a more “traditional” time, yet they do not. The timing of a worship service is certainly not the only answer, but it may be part of the answer.
Actually, if we allow ourselves to step outside of our traditional, Southern evangelical circles for a moment, we will notice that a Sunday morning worship time is not the only time people will show up for worship. (Just drive past some of our Catholic neighbors during a Saturday evening Mass and observe!)
We would like to encourage you to enjoy Sunday morning and rest on that day. If we allow, coming together on Sunday evenings can open up a day of actual unhurried Sabbath rest before we gather for worship. Yes, it can potentially require some adjustment for our younger kids, but so can Sunday mornings. (Our kids were always fussy at 10:30am too!)
It also might be a good time to invite someone who would never dream of getting up to go to church on Sunday morning. We want to be a church where people who don’t normally go to church might consider coming. 5:00pm on Sundays helps us achieve that goal (and right now gets us into a great space for an affordable cost).
Will we meet at 5:00pm forever? We do not have the answer to that question. It may be that if God blesses and we grow to a point where we are able to purchase our own space, then perhaps we can then consider a Sunday morning time. Or maybe we could simply keep our 5:00 pm worship time and add a second worship service on Sunday mornings. These are issues that we can address when that time comes.
For now and the forseeable near future, 5:00pm is our time to gather. We would love to have you come and visit. Actually we would like to invite you to consider committing to visit on a regular basis for 6 – 8 weeks. Worship with us. Meet our pastor for coffee. Get to know a few people. Chances are at Bluff Park Community, you live around the corner from a few of them. You truly can get a much better idea of what a church is about over a period of time as opposed to a one-time drop in.
And as always, feel free to contact us with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org