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One of the fond memories I have over the past decades is being part of a church community that hosted an evening service. These services were often shorter and less formal than the morning service and often included a meal or supper to conclude the service, a perfect book-end to the Lord’s day.

At my previous church, we began a monthly evening service that concluded with a meal, and for the small farming community that we lived in, it was well attended and engaged people across a variety of ages and backgrounds.

In 2023, I have proposed we trial a monthly evening service, four services over the course of four months. Let me explain some of the contextual and spiritual benefits I hope that we achieve.


From the perspective of our local context, there are a number of benefits that I hope an evening service will offer:

  • Engage with new demographics and backgrounds. Our largest demographic in the church is young families, most with children still in primary school. My hope is that an evening service will engage with a broader demographic, including high school youth and their families, and young adults. My hope is that the provision of a meal is that it might also engage with people for whom that is a pressing need.
  • Engage with shift workers. We live in a town of shift workers, I trust that the provision of an evening service may be of benefit to those who are unable to attend our morning service.
  • Allow an opportunity for people to serve in a less formal environment. Evening services are often more relaxed, shorter, and informal, providing new opportunities for those who are hesitant, to use their gifts.


I not only trust that we may have benefits for our local church, but I trust there will be spiritual benefits as well.

An opportunity to Honour the Lord’s Day

Just as I looked forward in anticipation to an evening service, so too did Christians of various stripes in previous generations. Spurgeon wrote that no village should be left without an evening service.* One motive in generations past for conducting two services was that Sunday was the “Lord’s Day” not simply the “Lord’s Morning.” We are to set apart one day a week to honour God.

The Baptist forbears penned in the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith (22, 7-8) concerning the Lord’s day, that we are to take, “up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.”

There are various positions on what should and shouldn’t be done on a Sunday, but what can be agreed upon, is that as Christians we are to honour the Lord with intentionality on this day. We can rest and enjoy friends and family, but we can also complete the day with the saints honouring God.

An opportunity for Spiritual Formation

Have you thought to yourself, “what I really need is less spiritual formation!” Probably not. Our culture is intent on propagating a culture opposed to God’s purpose and order and desires to appropriate you into this worldly culture. Is the answer to this battle less to maintain our current spiritual formation, or to have even less spiritual input?

One reason that evening services have dropped in popularity, is the desire for families to spend more time together, A good and godly goal. But is the answer to this need, to neglect the opportunity to have an evening service? Perhaps a better solution would be to investigate what other activities could be sacrificed for the sake of family time. I do not resent my parents for taking me to services multiple times a day. Will our families be stronger or weaker for having said aside time at the end of the Lord’s day to gather for another opportunity for spiritual growth?

An opportunity for Hospitality

One aspect of Jesus ministry that Vanessa and I have endeavoured to include in our ministry is hospitality. Jesus is constantly seen having a meal with people. As Christians, and especially elders, we have a Biblical requirement to be hospitable (Rom. 12:20; 1 Tim. 3:2; 1 Tit. 1:8). Nothing tears down barriers and creates friendship across generations and backgrounds like eating a meal with another person.

Our city also has people in it who lack the ability to feed themselves on a daily basis. The Catholic church for example feeds several hundred people every week. Our ability to care for people in this regard is a wonderful Christian virtue.

Some practical notes

I’m aware that our local church consists of hard-working people, many with young families, most of whom serve the church in various ways. So my intention is for this service to not be a burden. I have no desire to add further work to people who are already overworked. Meaning, if need be, we will sing a capella or to backing tracks. And if the service is not meeting the goals of engaging with new people and allowing new opportunities for people to serve, we will reassess, and place the service on hiatus.

However, If serving at this service is of interest to you then I would encourage to consider ways that you could serve:

Creative Ministries

We have several worship leaders, musicians and production crew who regularly serve us in this manner on a weekly basis, ideally I would like to give these people a rest if they so desire. I would encourage you if you have secret giftings in music or production to offer them for the benefit of the church, and consider using them as we trial our Sunday service. This includes if you are new to the church, or perhaps if you are young and feel nervous about being involved. The Sunday service presents a great opportunity to begin using your gifts.


My intention is to finish the service with a meal. I have already spoken to someone who is agreeable to lead this ministry of hospitality. Overall, this ministy may require making sure the pizzas arrive on time, shopping through the week, or preparing something that is easy to cook, setting the tables, and cleaning up afterward. But this ministry of hospitality will be invaluable to the church.


Hopefully, in God’s grace, the evening service will engage with visitors. This means that we will need people to welcome these people, perhaps collect details, and to even sit next to them during dinner. Consider your availability to be intentional about welcoming new people.


My intention is to preach on the topic of Biblical manhood and womanhood from Proverbs 31.

If the idea of evening service interests or excites you, I would invite you to come along to our planning meeting after the service on 12 February, with plans to commence the service on 26 February.

* Spurgeon, C. H. (1855). The New Park Street Pulpit Sermons (Vol. 1, p. xiii). Passmore & Alabaster.