By Pastor Tom Gang

As the industrial revolution developed factories, mills and shipyards began operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week (often referred to as 4-turn schedules). After WWII the baby-boomers created a drastic increase in consumer goods; having a greater need for more affordable housing and automobiles, more roads and highways were also required. The workers needed to provide all these products and necessary follow-up services were laboring around the clock and on weekends to meet the demand.

Those who had to work weekends were faced with a choice. They could either call off work to attend church and lose their jobs or miss church. To avoid having to make such a decision, churches offered services on Sunday evenings. So, Sunday night services were originally started to allow those working on Sunday mornings to still attend church services on the first day of the week.

While there are still folks on our membership roles today who must work on Sunday mornings due to their occupation or trade, their overall number has been significantly reduced. If you were to take account of the people attending our previous Sunday evening services you would find the vast majority were people who already attended the Sunday morning services.

As a church we all agreed to end our Sunday evening services in opposition to our Baptist methods and heritage. We did this for purely practical reasons and not to kowtow to modernistic church-growth methodology or to pacify weak, lukewarm Christians.

Our primary reasons are as follows:

1- We ask reasonable faithfulness and service from our members, their time, talents, and treasures. We no longer wanted to burden them through peer pressure to attend a second service on Sunday evenings.

2- We preach and teach what the Bible says during our Sunday school hour and main church service on Sunday mornings and during Bible studies on Wednesday nights. Our members meet with others personally during the week for one on one discipleship and conduct home Bible studies. It is a proven fact that a believer cannot process and practice all they will receive through adding another Sunday evening message just for the sake of past Baptist tradition.

3- Family life and family fellowship time has become more and more difficult in our fast paced culture. We want folks to have Sunday night reserved for friends and family fellowship. We encourage our members to spend time with their families and friends (both lost and saved) on Sunday evenings.

4- Sunday evening services here at FBCJ created a group of “faithful” returning saints, and others who chose not to come back. In a sense, we had 2 separate and different churches. This created a certain amount of animosity toward those who chose not to return or attend Sunday evenings and developed a self-imposed division within our local church. Praise God this no longer exists.

5- Providing nursery care and children’s ministries on Sunday nights created a burden for those serving. In an ideal Christian world everyone serves and participates, but, unfortunately that is not reality. The same folks who serve with kids on Sunday mornings end up on a rotation in order to fill the need for Sunday nights. This put an unnecessary burden on our faithful servants. Some servants, burdened with the children’s needs, were rarely ever able to attend a morning service or Sunday school.

We still use Sunday nights, at times throughout the year, for meeting and hearing from new missionaries, special meetings of all kinds, special business affairs, special holiday music practices, etc.

We do not think that churches who meet on Sunday nights are wrong. We are not against Sunday evening services. We have decided to do this in our local church, at this time in our history. Things could change in the future, if so, we will resume our Sunday night services.