Have you ever heard someone in church ministry say, “It’s all about the weekend”? This statement often conveys the idea that the weekend worship service is the “end all” of what a church does. At the very least, it means that the weekend is where everything else begins within the ministry of a church.
In a disciple making church, the weekend is not the centerpiece, it is “a” piece. It is one of several pieces. It is certainly an important piece, but it is not the only piece. The weekend is a strategic part of a disciple making church that plays a critical part of helping untrained seekers become fully trained disciples. With that perspective, let’s take a look at how we need to think about the weekend experience.
First, the weekend is a key step in helping the culture move to community. With Jesus as our model, we help seekers become fully trained disciples by inviting seekers in our culture to “come and see” (John 1:39) what Christ has to offer in our weekend crowd. The weekend service can be a critical part of the process in which a person comes to know Christ and finds his or her way into the life of the church.
Second, the weekend must be a positive experience for both seekers and believers. If the weekend is a first encounter for a seeker, then it must be designed where they leave the service wanting to return. That means the weekend experience must be designed with the seeker in mind. That is not the same thing as a “seeker service.” A seeker service often priorities the needs of a seeker above the needs of a believer.
The weekend service also serves as the place where a believer encounters God’s presence on a regular basis. Therefore the weekend experience needs to be designed with a Christ-follower in mind. The teaching of God’s Word and meaningful worship must be major parts of the worship environment.
When the weekend experience is relevant, done with excellence, and is a warm, friendly environment both seekers and believers want to come back. A genuine welcome, a clean facility, and a clear follow up step are all great ways to make the weekend an effective experience for everyone.
Finally, the weekend simply put, needs to be biblical. Scripture tells us Jesus made going to the synagogue a regular custom in his life. Acts tells us in the Jerusalem Church believers and seekers met in the temple courts. Hebrews encourages us to not neglect meeting together. Over and over again, the New Testament and the Old Testament reinforce the need for gathering together to worship God.
It’s not “all about the weekend.” It is “all about making disciples”, and making disciples happens when we help the culture step into a Christ-crowd and then step into Christ-centered community. It is time to rethink the weekend and to leverage that service to be a vital part of the disciple making process.
Impact Discipleship Ministries exists to inspire people and churches to be and build disciples of Jesus Christ. Contact us at impactdisciples.com to find resources, training, and coaching that can help you make disciples.