I have some exciting news to share with you! Starting Wednesday, October 1st, we’ll be embarking on another NHC “experiment” by offering a once-a-month worship gathering on the First Wednesday of every month, tentatively scheduled for 6:30pm.
Our Sunday morning gatherings are organized with the unchurched people who visit us on a weekly basis in mind, which, along with our need to contain everything in a 1 hour and 15 minute window, tends to limit our expressions and depth of worship. We (NHC elders and other church leaders) have, for a while now, felt the need to offer believers an opportunity for a deeper and more intimate time of worship. We have also felt that, as a church, we should be spending more time together focusing on the vision that God has called us to.
We have also noted that, while our church partnership and attendance continues to grow, our Sunday evening Communion Gathering is not growing. We believe that this is probably mostly due to space issues, and, because we believe that our Communion Gatherings are one of the most important things we do together as a church body, we have felt a need for a change here as well.
First Wednesday gives us an incredible opportunity to engage these issues head-on in a creative way. This is something that we have spent several months discussing and praying about, and we are certain that this is the direction God is leading us in. Just like every other new change we make at NHC, we’re calling this an experiment, giving us both the expectation for great things and the opportunity to tweak and continue to change things as needed.
While many of the specifics are still being worked out, I can tell you that this means a few big changes are on their way:
> Our monthly Sunday evening communion gathering will be integrated into First Wednesday, meaning we’ll no longer meet on the first Sunday evening of each month. First Wednesday “may” also include a family oriented meal about an hour before the gathering begins to allow for some fellowship time as well as give those who may be crunched for time an opportunity to grab something to eat.
> First Wednesday will be an opportunity for our partners and regular attenders to engage in a deeper and more intimate time of corporate worship (than what we normally experience on Sunday mornings). This will probably mean more music, time spent in prayer, and more time spent focusing on how God is wanting to use us as a church family in the future to reach people to discover life in Christ.
> We will be offering child care, coffee, and other things similar to Sunday mornings, which means that there will still be plenty of opportunities to serve (again, much like Sunday mornings). We’ll plan on utilizing a full band, tech teams, worship choir, nursery and children’s ministry teams, ushers and greeters, etc. This means that, we’ll be asking for another level of commitment from those who are involved in these ministries and offering new opportunities for those who are not yet involved in serving.
I can’t tell you how excited I am for First Wednesday! I envision an incredible time of worship and prayer and hearing from God. But, in order for First Wednesday to be a success, our entire church body must be willing to go with us on this adventure, anticipating great things. Change is never easy, and we believe that, for change to truly be successful, it must start from the top and trickle down. Because of your attitude and sacrifice in serving so consistently, others in the church look to you for a positive example in times of change, and we believe that your willingness to become excited about First Wednesday and influence others holds the key for seeing God do some amazing things through this new opportunity.
We’ll be sharing more about First Wednesday with the entire church family during our worship gatherings this Sunday morning and at our Communion Gathering this Sunday night! If you have any questions about this transition, please, let me know. Thanks so much for all that you do!