• Jill Jarrell Newsome

A Great Place To Start

When my husband, Mike, and I are going out of town for a weekend or if he is playing in the band on a Thursday night we will attend that worship service. While this service is not the size of our other three, there are “regulars” who love this service. Recently I got to know Anna, who I now call a friend. We talked about going to church on Thursday night.

Anna grew up in this church as a very active youth - after all, her mother worked there and her Dad taught Sunday school. She spent a LOT of time at church. She has fond memories of growing up in the church. But as many young people she got out of the habit. She even married a guy who went to church with her. As a married couple they did not attend church. As she explained it was not about faith or the lack of. It was about the overwhelming feeling of going into a big church. The overwhelming feeling of "starting over."

Even though Anna grew up at this church she said her friends were not there any more. And it was so much bigger than it used to be. She and her husband needed to find “their” place. With them both working full time jobs Sunday was their only day to do things together and they enjoyed going to breakfast. When they heard about a Thursday night service they were excited that they could both come straight from work in their casual work clothes. She said that is like their date night because they leave church and go to dinner and discuss the service. It is perfect with their lifestyle and “a great place to start”.

Anna said Thursday night service was like having the opportunities of a big church without it being a big church. She mentioned they do have the children’s moment and a nursery available. One of the best parts to them about the smaller service is that they have gotten to know the ministers and others better. They have also been invited to light the candles at Christmas which was special. She does not think these things would have happened so quickly in a bigger setting.

They feel like they have found “their” place and are ready to start their journey. After us chatting, off the record, I said, “I think we are going to be seeing a lot more of you.” She smiled and quickly said, "yes". I asked, "Can I quote that?” And she said "yes!"

We are all on a journey and we all start at different places - both spiritually and physically. How wonderful that we have a place of worship for those who cannot attend church on Sunday mornings. We all know someone that we could invite to church. There are many people who have to work on Sundays and this is a great opportunity for them to have their weekly worship. If they are more comfortable in a smaller setting, let them know where they can find that. And there some people who serve in church on Sunday mornings and they need a time of worship. Your church may not have a "Thursday night" service but you may have a Wednesday night, a Sunday night or a small group that you can invite someone to.

God tells us in Matthew 18: 20, "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." We do not have to call Him and let Him know if we are going. He is already there and we just have to show up. He wants to bless us and remind us of His great love for us! He wants to remind us of what Jesus did for us. Psalm 103: 10, "he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities." Shouldn't we share this with everyone?

In the closing words of the Bible, God extends His invitation to all. He says, “Come!” Revelation 22: 17, “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!” And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come, and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.” God refers to Christians as His “bride”. Who do we know that we could bring to a "Thursday night service"? Are we willing to extend that invitation and commitment?


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