Mid-week Meetings – 2

Last week we looked at the format of our mid-week meetings.   This week, we’ll look at who these meetings are for.   There’s a perception that mid-week meetings are in some way closed, or private meetings just for members.   Very often, men are particularly put-off coming, out of a fear that they will be pressured to lead in prayer.   It’s worth remembering what happens at our mid-week meetings – teaching and prayer:

Teaching

Firstly, they are for people who are serious about growing in their faith and knowledge of the Lord.   In Romans Paul wrote, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”   One service on a Sunday – about 30 minutes teaching a week – is barely enough to build a serious Christian worldview.   Taped sermons or the internet can be a good supplement to this, but faith is really built up through teaching closely linked to your own life.   So if you are interested in getting deeper into God’s word, to strengthen your faith, mid-week meetings are for you.

Prayer

Secondly, they are for anyone who cares about the work and witness of our Church.   The Church isn’t like other organisations, growing solely through the efforts of its people.   The Church depends on God to work.   Despite every event we organise, we cannot change a single heart; transform a single life; or comfort a single grieving person, without the Spirit of God working in and through us.   Our corporate congregational prayer meeting – the first Wednesday each month – is vital to the health and wellbeing of our Church.   You might not verbally say much, or anything, while you are there, but you are still part of the fellowship of people praying for God’s blessing in our community.

Of course, for many legitimate reasons (e.g. work, family, distance), people who want a deepening faith and knowledge, or who care deeply about our work and witness, aren’t always able to come.   But the real issue is ensuring that nobody feels they need to have special status or experience before they are willing to come.

Advertisements

Mid-week Meetings – 1

Over the next few weeks I’ll be spending some time with my congregation looking at how we use our mid-week meetings.   There are probably some misunderstandings about what mid-week meetings are for, and who can, or should, attend.     This week, we’ll look at the format of our Wednesday night meetings.

Most weeks the meeting is a bible study.   The aim of these studies is to increase people’s working understanding of what the Bible teaches.   At the moment we’re working through a study on the person and work of Jesus.   Other times we will work through a particular book of the Bible, or focus on practical themes, e.g. prayer.   It is helpful if people have read the study notes before coming along, as the discussion closely follows the material we are studying, and the main purpose of this type of meeting is in-depth bible teaching.   These weeks, an elder will pray at the beginning of the meeting.

It’s helpful to think of prayer as the “engine room” of the church, so once a month (the first Wednesday) we devote the whole meeting to pray for the work and witness of our congregation.   A full set of prayer-notes are provided, ideally the Sunday before.   We read through these first and clarify points, if anyone has questions about them.   We then break into small groups and spend time in open prayer going through the items listed, and anything else people feel led to pray for.   If you can commit to only one Wednesday a month, this meeting would be the one I’d urge you to make time for.

Next time, we’ll think about who should be attending these meetings.