Last Wednesday, I spent a good portion of the night casting our vision for 2012 as a church. We’re doing our best this year to take bold steps of faith as we position ourselves to be a part of a huge move of God in the city of Clarksville (and beyond). One thing we’re adding is an evangelism street team called Illuminate that will be heading out periodically throughout the city to share the Gospel. The big announcement of the night, however, was the beginning of a movement called The Uprising. It’s our commitment as a church to aggressively and unapologetically reach a lost generation with the hope of Jesus.
Over the last few months, as we’ve been making these changes and getting ready for this shift in our focus, we realized that in addition to adding some things, we’d need to also subtract something.
So what did we say goodbye to? Our Wednesday night services. That’s right. Wednesday, January 25, 2012 is our last Wednesday night service. From that point on, our corporate worship times will be Sundays at 9 & 11 (until the time comes to add another service, anyway).
Of all the Wednesday nights to make that announcement, last Wednesday was huge. It was the biggest Wednesday night service we’ve ever had. It was the first time that we’ve had to pull out extra chairs for Wednesday night. What an ironic night to announce that we were canceling it!
When I first moved to Clarksville, one pastor told me not to try Wednesday nights. He told me they don’t work. They obviously work. Wednesday nights have been an incredible night for our church. I’ve taught through Acts, James, our NINETY series, Jonah, portions of Psalms, and more. It’s often been a much-needed recharge in the middle of the week.
However, one things I’ve learned in ministry is that just because people are showing up doesn’t mean you need to keep doing it.
I made it clear when I announced the news on Wednesday that we were not canceling it because it didn’t work. We decided to pull the plug because our focus is shifting. When the focus shifts, some of what you’re doing also has to shift.
I have to be honest, it felt a little crazy to cancel something that was working so well. It also felt very foreign to cancel a service on a night of the week that I’ve been going to church on as long as I can remember. I grew up going to church on Wednesday nights in addition to our weekend worship services. But I never want to do something at church simply because we’ve always done it. That makes no sense.
So, to all my Awaken people, get your Wednesday night fix in while you still can. You seriously won’t want to miss the next 3 Wednesdays as we talk about who we are as a church and what our part is in reaching this city. On our last Wednesday night together (January 25), we’re blowing it out with a night of worship. You won’t want to miss it!
To anyone in ministry that’s feeling a tug from the Lord in a new direction, GO FOR IT! Don’t keep doing ministry how you’ve always done it simply because people are coming and you’ve always done it that way. Embrace the focus shift and do whatever you have to do to fully embrace the calling God has put on your heart.