The Demise of the Sunday Night Service

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Traditions come and go. One such tradition in American churches is the Sunday evening service. It’s unclear when the tradition started, but records would indicate that churches have been holding evening services for well over 100 years. In recent history, there has been a sharp decline in those who attend Sunday evening services. Even in strong and thriving churches and to the dismay of church leaders, Sunday night attendance numbers continue to be dismal. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, some congregations have discontinued the evening service completely. As a result, church members no longer have to feel guilty about “forsaking the assembly” on Sunday evening and can now enjoy pastimes and pleasures without remorse. Some preachers are relieved, no longer having to prepare an additional Sunday sermon since services have now been cut by a third. Folks who may miss the morning worship for various reasons will not have the opportunity to worship the Lord on the “first day of the week.” I would predict that the Sunday evening service will soon be a thing of the past, gone with other “old time” traditions such as the two-week gospel meeting.

So what guidance can God’s word give us concerning the demise of the Sunday evening service? Only one passage comes to mind. “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). Now, we must ask ourselves, “Is meeting together with other Christians for singing, praying, giving, sharing God’s word, and partaking of the Lord’s Supper on Sunday evening a good thing?” If we are honest with ourselves, I think we all know deep down what the answer is and should be.

Jay Launius
Maud church of Christ
Maud, TX

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1 thought on “The Demise of the Sunday Night Service”

  1. My friend, Sunday evening services are just a tradition and not a command. For centuries, Christians met once on Sunday. I have worshipped with two congregations that have only one service. They are small churches. When the first started to grow, someone suggested we add a second service. I said, “I would be glad to preach for an evening service. However, I must ask, “why do you want a second service?” Then I added, “… and because others have a second service is not the correct answer.” My suggestion was, let’s try to do something that helps us fulfill the goals the Lord has set before us. So … instead of a second service, we held an afternoon specialty class. It was earlier than the other church’s second service, so we had a lot of folks come for the class. We had a beginning date and an ending date. It began in Sept. and ended in mid-November. We held the class in a neutral location. In fact, we had to move to a different location because we outgrew the first site. The class was on “evidences” and was very popular and resulted in new members. We held another class in the Spring (Mid-January – April). With much of the same results. My point is … some traditions are good but sometimes they wear out their usefulness. Perhaps, we need to look at newer traditions that help us fulfill the great commission.

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