Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Wednesday Nights

What's cool about this blog group is that I can say the most insane thing and it be considered as something intellectual.

Let's talk about Wednesday nights, shall we?

Firstly, let's eleminate all talk of any Wednesday night class from college level on down. I look at college, youth, and child class on Wednesday nights as fine, and worthy.

Adult classes, at least in my opinion at my church, are lacking.

The more I think about the choices I have (A class about Old Testament stories, a ladies class which I dont qualify for, but I hear it is really dull, and ussually an auditorium class that is as exciting as my business calculus class in colelge) the more I am happy I teach 2 and 3 year olds on most Wednesday nights. I am sorry, but talking about Hebrews in a lecture-style way, or David and Goliath does not make me want to go out and start knocking on doors for Jesus.

I thought Wednesday night services were to lift us up, recharge our batteries, get us back on fire for Christ. Instead, we are lead to the auditorium after dull classes like cattle, sing a song WAY flat and slow so we sound like we are SAD, even when singing a happy song, and hear a lesson that sounds like the past 232 Wednesday night devos, always ending with "if you need anything, please come as we stand and sing."

This is out "battery charger" after working 8 to 9 hours in this evil and tempting world.

Here is my idea;
Instead of starting at 7pm (an hour before many children's bedtime) have it at 6pm.
Have your classes for 30 minutes. All ages in their own classrooms. The last 30 minutes of church is int he fellowship hall, or what-have-you, eating a pretty cheap meal, easy to make for large groups (spagettii, some rice dish, etc...). Before eating there is a gathering for QUICK announcements, a thankful prayer, go get your food, and someone speaks for MAYBE 10 minutes tops as we eat. "The Invitation" (which we find no wher ein teh Bible, yet would split churches if we didnt have it) can be optional.

Heck, make classes optional. Make it one big fat happy family meal!

Fellowship. That is the ONLY part of Wednesday night service that recharges my batteries. We are not commanded to worship God in any specific way or time on Wednesdays. So in a way, it IS a selfish day to have any sort of church related event on. WE NEED IT! If fellowshiping with fellow brothers and sisters who need fellowship too is how we can recharge better, so be it.

32 comments:

lilsip said...

The church I went to during college (UGA) had suppers before Wed night service like once a month and it was a great way to reach out. Imagine how many visitors would come if we offered food every Wednesday night! Of course, that would necessitate a more meaningful class or we'd be spreading boredom instead of love and passion for Christ.

By the way I haven't been to Wed. night class in weeks because someone in the family has been sick for like 2 months. It's been frustrating and very tiring. But alas, I have not minded missing class. It's been more of a duty than anything. Sorry if that offends anyone; I know how hard it is to teach a class.

midnitcafe said...

See, our Wednesday night classes aren't too bad, but Sunday morning class is snoresville. We're doing the OT one book at a time. An elder reads about half a chapter, asks for questions, rarely gets one then read the rest of the chapter.

Reading the Bible is always good, but the verse that talks about STUDYING always enters my mind. We don't study, we read.

The church my parents attend usually does a Wednesday night dinner before services. Seems to be a good time.

bigsip said...

I find Wed nights to be tiring, boring, and a chore most of the time. But, I do look forward to seeing other christians...That sort of makes up for the sucky parts.

Jamison said...

Like I said, I think they are useful and perhaps uplifting to high school and college kids. To the younger kids, it creates good habits and they have a good time and do learn alot since they are like sponges.

If somehow adult classes were geared like a college class... APPLICABLE to our LIVES... it may be better.

But I mean who can we blame? me putting this on a blog does nothing.

Rachel, you offend me but not because you dont miss class. Mainly because you stir sweet tea with your left hand clockwise... I hate that. FYI, Luke knows the P.O.S. quite well and while we were teaching class, he was saying it to himself over and over.

midnitcafe said...

A lot of the problems I see with adult classes is that the teachers aren't very well prepared, and have no idea how to teach.

Like I said here, Sunday morning it is just read, read, read. I read ahead and then get droopy head.

I've been to so many classes like that where, the teachers just don't have a clue.

Some of that is understanding as usually the teachers have full time jobs and family and don't have much time to study for class. Plus at pretty much every church it is tough to find anyone to teach at all.

Those who teach, should really heed the call, for it is a might deed. Much study and preparation is needed.

mullinz8 said...

Most of the folks who will read this will know my first statement, “we’ve not made it to Wednesday night class is some time”.

Frankly it does very little for me. We have committed to start going but the classes are not very engaging, at least they haven’t been in the past.

Starting them an hour earlier and with a meal would be awesome. Because for those of us who get home at 6pm. Gathering up the kids and shoving food down their throat and pushing them out the door and calling it a stress free, Christ focused evening is a joke. It’s too hectic for me and placing my stress to get in, get feed, get prepped, and getting out wears me out.

If I could show up, feed my family, visit and get a nice lesson with the whole thing I would be sold.

Sorry for being such a humanist, slacker, heathen.

CL said...

I want to add to this discussion, but I don't have time right now. I promise to "stir" the pot some more in a bit.

Jamison said...

stir away, it got stirred up Sunday morning a bit in my opinion but dont have the energy to put it all down.

lilsip said...

ditto

mullinz8 said...

Stir it up you weenies.

Jamison said...

I love sermons that talk about how horrible someone is for walking out of church after wednesday night class and not staying for the "worships" service (As it was refered to Sunday morning) afterwards...

Im sorry, but if "Worship" consists of countless announcements, first and last verse of songs that are sung so out of key that we may as well be singing laments, and a back-pocket devo that can be summed up as "We need to be more like Jesus" I will pass everytime.

Similarly, the sermons that hint that you are BAD if you happen to clap a hand or raise it during a prayer bores me to tears. To think that any of us can judge the heart and ind of another christian is purely wrong. To debunk spiritualism and emotion when it comes to worship makes me very emotional, the angry kind of emotion...
If you were at the church that the Sips and me attend, you'd know what I was talking about. But I feel it is wrong for me to talk about it on this blog and not talk about it to the elders... so I will refrain until I have the courage to talk to an eldership at my church. Though last time I talked to one of the elders about something that bothered me about the church, i was accused as being "politically correct" and the foolishness that I was upset about was defended to the death by this elder and I left angry, disappointed, and as if nothing got solved.

lilsip said...

I was so angry about it that it stressed me out for the rest of the day. On top of that, it was actually a repeat sermon that I hated the 1st time. I like our preacher personally and usually find his lessons to be at least Biblically sound, but this one really bothered me, twice.

I have seen this before; some churches have a definite vibe of fear- fear that we might be, gasp, progressive! I don't think this is just our minister. I believe the elders and many others in the chuch feel the same way, but then that's just a feeling and I agree with Jamison that we need to approach the elders with concerns like these.

My first instinct when I hear a sermon that condemns other Christians for practices that are not spoken against in the Bible is to find another congregation. But I know that's a wrong and cowardly way to deal with my feelings.

By the way, Josh was able to "see his point" but agreed that it was poorly put.

Jamison said...

Rachel... i was sad most of the sermon becasue i felt the same thing "hmmm, what otehr church can I go to?"

But, like you, i felt that would just be silly. I reckon ill have to speak to an elder regarding it. I mean, I am not a 'progresive' kind of guy. Honeslty, I like a "eventless" worship service. I really do. But I would never begin to judge any one else for the way they handle their worship service and I hate hering a sermon about it.

If a church says something like baptism is not essential, Jesus isn't the son of God, or somethig drastic like that, I'll be up-in-arms, but our idea of "conservative" is nothing more than regional, inherited, and pure opinionated (I think). If our preacher went to a church of Christ in France (according to Brew's account) he would have a coniption fit.

I saw his points too.. i really did, but all I kept thinking was "People not seeing his point the way he is trying to make it are either agreeing with him (which upset me) or disagreeing with him (which also upset me because they would be taking it the wrong way)

kellieja said...

where is CLock on this?

Ryan F. said...

I can't really comment on the sermon, so I will comment on the original topic here.

I don't think Wednesday nights are bad, but I can see how they can be. The original idea behind it was for the Christians to get together in the middle of the week for some fellowship and Bible study. Of course, we have Americanized it and bound our traditions to it. That's why we have to have an invitation and why we say you're wrong if you leave immediately after class.

If you are not getting anything out of it, though, the solution shouldn't be, "well, I just won't go anymore." We should do all we can to make it better. I personally think, and teach this way, that every lesson should have application to our lives in 2007. I should be able to get something out of it that I can personally apply that will make me a better Christian and more effective in the work of the Lord.

However, you are right. That is not being done in a lot of places. We get Bro. Bob to teach class because he has been a Christian for 75 years and knows a lot. Never mind he bores us all to tears, because he puts nothing in his lessons. Look at how Jesus taught. Did he simply read from the old law for 45 min? No, he related to the people of the day, as in parables.

I could go on for a while but I will stop right there and await further comment so as not to steer to far off topic.

lilsip said...

Here is what bothers me about the current ladies' class. It seems like every lesson points out that we are all at all times filthy disgusting horrible sinners and personally crucify the Son of God with our actions each day. Of course there is a grain of truth in this- we do all sin and Jesus did die for each of us. But there's just no room in these classes to feel good about your walk with God. That said, I have missed a lot of classes over the course of the winter due to sick self/sick kids.

Jamison said...

Well... I would like to pasify this a bit so as to not "church bash" and most certainly move away from me sounding like I am bashing a church I love and have been with for almost 10 years.

I am not one for skipping or missing. Honestly, if I miss any service for any reason other than out of town or illness, it is rare. Not because I want to be or appear to be super Christian... but because I feel bad in my heart if I miss, so therefore I dont want to miss.

Just to clarify to Fred, I would never "just not go" because I dont like the way something is going. Heck, i will put up with the dry bordum just so I can mingle with fellow christians for 10 or 15 minutes afterwards. I know the Sips feel the same particularly rachel due to her being home all day with a child.

I think I posted this just to drive discussion on something that will never change. Let's face it; I go to a c of C in Alabama. If we messed up our 40-minute-class-5 minute-announcements-10-minute-lesson routine we would have people in an uproar.

But, a small, insignificant, biblically sound change would be refeshing. FYI Ryan, a nice update on how much you like your new job would be nice and good to hear. Hope everyone is still nice and fun to be around!

Ryan F. said...

I wasn't talking about you in particular, nor as to shake my finger at you and say that you shouldn't miss. But, I think when we look at any problem in the church, we have 2 things we can do, run from it or do what we can to change it and make it better. How do we do that? Maybe suggest some class topics, or if we are capable, teach it ourselves. Be on the lookout for good books that might be used as a study guide in class.

Again, I'm not sitting in the judgement seat passing out judgement on anyone. However, if anyone came to me with this problem, this is what I would tell them to do.

BTW, my job is great and I love it. We are studying from a book on Wednesday night on encouragement. We are learning the value of encouragement and how to be more encouraging to others. I think it's a good study and necessary to get our congregation where it needs to be so that when visitors come, we welcome them and encourage them. It's also necessary to encourage each other, because we all are in a daily struggle against Satan and discouragement can be crippling.

lilsip said...

What's the name of the book? Maybe we could suggest it. BTW, Josh and I will be teaching kids this quarter so we can't complain about our classes. ;)

Ryan F. said...

The Barnabas Factor by Aubrey Johnson. I think it's printed by Gospel Advocate maybe? If you go over to Faulkner next week for the Lectures, I'm sure someone would have it.

I'm just big on application in lessons. I think that every lesson should help people in their daily lives and their struggles. I understand preaching on worship, but we spend about 2% of our time in worship at church and the other 98% out there in the world. So, we ought to hear more lessons on how to live in the world.

CL said...

Sorry guys. It's been a wild few days maybe at some point I will post about what we are up to lately....

Either way, I am not sure there is much more to say here. About Wednesday nights that is. I guess I believe two things:

1 - Ryan is right, it was originally a great idea for fellowship and study. It became a mess of "we've always done it that way...." Whatever. Maybe we should examine our get together on Weds in light of current culture. What's happening in our communities that we can be talking about how to be culture shapers to see change take place...

2 - Bouncing from point one, what if just scrapped them all together and starting finding new ways to just get out and love our neighbors and community like serving in the local food kitchen, homeless shelter, or something else...

Or could we do that, since we don't doctrinally agree (that is practice the exact same "pattern") with every organization we run in to in our communities or might have to partner with...Ugh!
Oh nevermind, why would we do this, Jesus never would have just accepted and loved people for being who they are.......I digress...

Jamison said...

Chris, what you suggest is probably what MOST people think we should do (but dont want to do it themselves) or they want to do it, but pretend they dont for fear of what everyone else will say

midnitcafe said...

We had a long debate, months back, on a Wednesday night that essentially concluded that as Christians we shouldn't participate in community work. They say that's the churches business and that by supporting some other group you might support more than you can tell.

Main point was that places like the salvation army also teach a false religion and aren't to be supported, but it stemmed basically everywhere but the church.

My problem was, and is, that my local congregation makes no effort to reach the community in anyway.

We used to do a food drive around christmas, but now that's even gone. How are we supposed to be the light of the world when we don't even light up our own block?

CL said...

I have such a hard time with this and no offense to any of my brothers and sisters here, but it's why I left the cofC. I got tired of fighting against the people who didn't wanted to see the church reclaim her rightful place of loving its community and shaping it's culture. When we do that, our churches WILL grow. I know this. The world is tired of churches who have a hide out mentality ("Hide out, no one is really receptive to the truth anymore anyway")
I'm not going to get on a full rant, but to me it's a far cry from what Jesus thought His beautiful girl might look like.

Jamison said...

Ive heard of what Brew speaks of. I say "then why pay the electric bill? I'm sure some of the money they profit from the church goes to some employees doing worldly things with their money." Or why hire a contractor to build a new addition to the church? Even if you get a contractor from the church, he likely subs out guys who are in some way immoral or may go to a church not following the word.

So when am I going to stop typing all this in a blog and actually go to an elder about it?

lilsip said...

After Jamboree.

Ryan F. said...

I understand what Chris is saying, and I won't get too much into that debate. It's probably not a secret that if we sat down we wouldn't see eye to eye on some things.

Again, I think Chris is correct. Even if we have a problem with supporting this group or that group, then why can't we open a soup kitchen ourselves, or do something like that out of our building.

At the same time, if you go back to the NT, what you see are Christians helping each other, not necessarily the people in the world. Yes, they evangelized, and tried to bring others to Christ, not through gimmics, but by simply teaching them the Word of God.

There is no substitue for the Word of God. It is what saves people. Now, that being said, people don't care how much I know, until they know how much I care. That's where the work with the community comes in. They need to know that we care.

I still think that we can do it all. We can still have our mid-week Bible study. We can still serve the community. We can even incorporate the 2. Why not do something on a Wednesday evening that brings in visitors and teaches them the Bible?

Tammy said...

I know no one will probably read this and I never write on here but I wanted to brag on my husband. He has done a wonderful job with his new position as a preacher and really makes me want to go to church. The way he applies the Word with everyday life is great and makes it very easy to listen and learn even when wrestling with an 18 month old. But my favorite class is Wednesday night because he is teaching us how to be more encouraging, etc. and that is what gets me through the week. I have heard nothing but good things from the congregation about all of his lessons and the job that he is doing and I wish you all had the opportunity to attend where are more encouraged. It really helps my outlook on life. Thanks for listening.

midnitcafe said...

Good to hear a wife proud of her husband. Good to hear a preacher doing some good.

Certainly there is the problem of a church getting too involved in "community" work and not focusing on the primary mission of saving souls.

Yet Jesus also spoke of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, taking care of the sick, and I don't think he was speaking only of the faithful followers. But maybe I'm wrong.

The real deal is showing them we care, and we're not doing that by simply having a building with a sign out front that says "welcome."

Go to a homeless man and say "Jesus Loves You" and walk away and he won't care. Give him some bread and he will, maybe.

Ryan F. said...

...and that was my point. You have to show them that you care before they will listen to what you have to say.

I have heard of congregations doing things like having a study hall one night a week for 2 or 3 hours using people from the congregation as tutors. This takes many volunteers, but brings in many kids and parents (they only do K-6). While there, they sign in (giving them a contact) and then they use the last 15 or 20 minutes to have a devotional. That's the type of thing we can do to bring people in the community to our building and begin building a relationship with them, while teaching them about the Bible.

BTW, thanks Tammy! It only cost me $10 to get her to type that on here.

Jamison said...

Tammy... always welcome here. It gets rough sometimes, so to an outsider you may sometimes think we hate each other, but most of us debated and argued like this face to face in college... all in love of course.

And I am glad to hear Ryan is doing a great job. He is too humble to say so himself. My wish is that both of you enjoy life in your new place and that you both can do a great deal more in the way of spreading the word and love of Jesus in the new place.

CL said...

Wow! Tammy what a great comment! You now I haven't spent time Ryan in a long time but he always silently impressed me with his heart and work ethic. (Sorry I never told you that til now my brotha, its just that, up until about three years ago, I thought men weren't supposed to do such things) I know you must be proud of him and I know that the Kingdom of God has been/is/and will continue to be strengthened thanks to rFrEd.

(PS Ryan - I will send you another ten bucks for you to send to my wife for the same response - ha)