As an insider to church life for nearly 20 years, I have primarily served churches that had the following schedule: Sunday School, Morning Worship, Evening Worship, and Wednesday Prayer Meeting. I heard preachers for years condemn those who didn’t attend all of these. Why do pastors hold fast to the traditional schedule?
Some pastors want the preaching time. They think that everyone is as excited to hear them as they are to preach. The pastor’s salary wouldn’t be justified if he didn’t preach 3 sermons per week, right? The man’s gotta earn his keep😂. Let me assure you that he does😀.
Some are afraid they might get fired. People will die on the hill of this schedule for some strange reason. The book of Acts said they met daily from house to house. Do you know why? Because the church is the body of Christ not a meeting. We are called to meet, but Scripture does not prescribe the method to which many pastors and church members would give their lives. So why do so many people sacrifice themselves on this hill, especially when many of them don’t even attend evening services? Is it possible for a church to accomplish its biblical purpose with a different schedule? I say they can. I’ve seen it.
Many churches have cut back their schedule with pathetic results. I will agree. Lots of churches still hold this traditional schedule but accomplish nothing. Why is that? They are off focus. Their goal is not making disciples. Our church has a solid worship service on Sunday morning, connection groups through the week, and a culture that makes disciples. I’ve seen us do more with fewer meetings than most churches that think that more meetings is what we are supposed to do.
The truth is that believers are the church. Wherever believers are meeting, God’s purpose can be accomplished. I have seen it on a casual basis such as a lunch meeting. Before you go criticizing other churches for having small groups or no Sunday night service (which hasn’t always existed), look at your own church and see if you have people who are on fire for Christ who are making disciples who are making other disciples. If all you have is a bunch of faithful church attenders who look the part and know what to criticize, you may want to reconsider your strategy.