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Sunday Evening Service Update

Our January Sunday evening "pilot" services have been wonderful - one of the highlights of my week. The acoustic worship sets have been beautiful, the environment has been welcoming and peaceful, and I've had the opportunity to meet many new people. God has been at work in powerful ways, bringing light into downtown evenings that aren't always full of light. Those with Sunday morning work or travel conflicts have been able to attend, as well as people who are new to the City Church family. 

That's why this note is so difficult to write, honestly one of the more difficult notes I've written in some time. We need to pause our Sunday evening service for the time being, which was always a possibility given that we originally committed ourselves to a pilot run of four services. I've had extensive conversations with staff and volunteers, and in doing so it's become clear to me that we have more work to do to make an evening service sustainable for the long term. We as staff and volunteers need to honor our limits as embodied humans, and the Sunday evening rhythm has been pushing us a bit beyond those limits. If we're going to sing an opening hymn each Sunday called "Come Away from Rush and Hurry" - then our staff culture and church culture need to match the lyrics that we're singing. 

We are brainstorming possible ways to make that Sunday evening rhythm more sustainable in the future, but we need some time to prayerfully consider our options. For example, we would almost certainly need more volunteer availability (sometimes even to help lead certain evening services without much staff involvement), which means we need more time to build up and train those teams. The staff would potentially need to scale back on other commitments as well (to make a Sunday evening service work), but at this time we don't believe the Lord is calling us to scale back on any of those other things.

The bottom line is that the evening service has been a win and I would enjoy seeing it return. But for now we need to pause, pray, build, and brainstorm long-term solutions to make something like this more viable.

Please help me spread this word to those who have been attending Sunday evening services. I really hope all of you who have been attending at night can attend a 9am or 11am service, even if you're not able to do so every week because of work conflicts. One of you mentioned this past Sunday that you'd be "praying the service continues", and my heart is heavy for people such as you.

The good news is that God is doing amazing things at City Church and in many other faithful churches in our city, which is why we're having this conversation in the first place.

I'll conclude with a huge "thank you" to all who made the evening service possible in January. It was a joy serving with you, and I love you very much.

See you this morning at 9am and 11am - and invite your friends and neighbors!