A member of the mainstream press has written to his peers about how to regain credibility with mainstream America. The author of the article offered this advise: “Spend some time thinking about people you might not normally rub elbows with — people who go to church on Wednesday nights, people who drive pickups, and people who shop at Walmart...if you want to remain relevant and credible to them, you can’t ignore them.” He is taking about common people (“Walmart”), working people (“pickups”), and religious people (“Wednesday nights.”) I found it interesting that he chose to typify religious people as “people who go to church on Wednesday nights.” These are usually people who take Christianity seriously. They do not just attend church; they live as part of the church.
When you ask about the attendance at a church, you usually get the number that attends Sunday morning worship. There are not as many in Sunday morning Bible study, fewer on Sunday Evenings, and fewest on Wednesday nights. The numbers who attend on Wednesday nights may be half of the numbers who attend Sunday Mornings, maybe less. Some churches do not have mid-week service anymore.
I remember when Wednesday night was called “church night.” Someone in the community would suggest an activity on a Wednesday night and someone else would say, “...but that is church night!” It was almost certain that a community activity would have poor attendance on "church night," because people would be going to church. Even ball teams would be missing some of their key players on “church night.” My parents taught me by example that “church night” was a priority, and I wanted my children to learn the same from me. I was once supposed to be recognized at an awards banquet for my work, but I respectfully told my supervisor I would not be able to attend because I would be teaching a Wednesday Night Bible class at church. Now my children take my grandchildren to Bible class on “church night.”
My grandparents called the mid-week service “prayer meeting.” When I attended with them, we would go to Bible classes, but there was a part of that time when we would gather in the auditorium. We would sing together, someone would make announcements, there would be prayer requests, and we would all pray together. Prayer was a big part of “church night.”
We are mighty blessed in Warren County (Tennessee). Every year there are numerous Gospel Meetings and Vacation Bible Schools. There are several annual “singings” in our area where those who love to sing gather together for congregational singing of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Several of the churches have a Ladies Bible Class, and some have classes for men and women during the day on various days of the week. There are two or three "Schools of Biblical Studies” in the area where people regularly spend two to three hours in an evening on a given weeknight receiving Bible instruction. In addition, there are youth meetings, youth retreats, Bible camps, and two organized Bible bowls for our young people. The churches are good at supporting each other in these activities. Those who do enjoy the fellowship of their brethren, but they are also aware that their involvement honor's God.
This is what brings people together on Wednesday Evenings. At Rockliff, we have been using Wednesday evenings to help our young people prepare for the monthly Bible Bowl as we read and review the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes. My father, James Boyd, led us through a study of the spiritual heroes of ancient Israel during the times of the judges (this included Gideon, Deborah, Samson, Ruth, and Samuel.) If you wish you knew more about the Bible, or seek a “closer walk” with God, and desire personal spiritual growth, and value the time you spend with godly Christian friends, and if you want to be more fully integrated into your church family, and want to be of strength and encouragement to your brethren, and if you want your lifestyle to glorify God, then make “church night” a priority. The people who go to church on Wednesday night are some of the finest people in the world. These are the few that make a big difference; they are the salt of the earth. Some in the mainstream media are starting to think about them. Perhaps as others begin to realize the vanity of things “under the sun,” they will begin thinking about them, too.
When they think about "people who go to church on Wednesday nights," will they be thinking about you?
“Old Blue” is what I call my little Ranger pickup. The paint on “Old Blue” is chipping and fading and there are some rust spots, but all in all, he is doing pretty well. I drove it recently while I was having some work done on my car. I noticed that the engine was running hotter than normal.
Now I am not much of a mechanic, but I found myself wondering if there was a problem with the thermostat. Then I thought, “I wonder if maybe it is low in radiator fluid?” I hadn’t checked that in a while so I decided I should start there. Sure enough, it was low. I added some fluid and so far, so good.
The fluid in our radiators and the oil in our engines help our vehicles deal with the heat and friction created by the moving parts in a motor. If these fluids are absent or low, they can destroy an engine. A person’s life can run low as well. The heat and friction of daily living can break us down. The person best able to deal with life and “cool down” when things are tough is the person who is filled with Christ. Have we become too busy to check on our spiritual fluid levels? It is not wise to fail to check the fluids in a car. It can be deadly not to periodically reflect on the level of a person’s relationship with Christ. To begin with, a person must be in Christ for Christ to be in him or her. This happens when we express our faith in repentance, confession, and baptism. We then need to work on growing in Christ. Sin, and the guilt that goes with it, can drain our relationship with Jesus. Is there something we need to seek His forgiveness for? Some things we can do to help ourselves to stay full-of-Christ are the following:
1. Meet regularly with God’s people for worship.
2. Read regularly from God’s word.
3. Pray regularly for God’s strength.
4. Worship regularly in God’s presence.
5. Serve regularly in God’s name and for God’s glory.
These things can help us to feel God’s presence in our lives. When we regularly leave these things out it can leave us feeling empty. An empty spiritual tank is never a good thing.
I was preaching in a gospel meeting at a rural church in southern Oklahoma, and staying in the nice farm house of an elder of that church, and his good wife. One morning while I was awaiting the arrival of the local preacher so we could make some visits in the community, I was enjoying a cup of coffee with my hostess. I asked her if she had been reared in the Lord’s church and she said she had not. Then she volunteered the story of her conversion.
When she was a little girl, probably five or so, a neighbor lady asked her mother if she might take her to Bible school with her. Her mother didn’t mind her going to church but she did not want to be inconvenienced by it. So, this good neighbor would keep her Saturday night, bathe and dress her, take her to church Sunday morning, and feed her lunch before returning her to her home that afternoon. This continued until one or the other moved away after several months, or maybe years.
After this she said she joined her family in a religion-less life, and later married a man who was also disinterested in spiritual things. But when their first child was born, her husband decided he did not want to rear their child a heathen, and he suggested they start going to church somewhere. He had no preference and asked her if she did. She told him about the good Christian neighbor who was so kind to her, and had taken her to the church of Christ in their little community. He was impressed by her story and they decided to visit the local church of the Lord. They found a group of good, friendly people who took an interest in them. They studied the Bible and were eventually baptized into Christ. Now her husband was an elder, and they were the backbone of that church at which I was holding the meeting. They had several sons who were deacons in churches elsewhere, and daughters whose families were faithful workers for the Lord.
All this was the result of a good Christian woman showing love and concern for the soul of a little neighbor girl. And the woman never knew her efforts had turned out. This story convinced me that I should never underestimate the value of doing little things for the Lord, and then leaving it up to the Lord to make them big. “I have planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:6).