After much prayer and discussion, the shepherds are pleased to announce that we are shifting Monday for the Master to Sunday evenings. We began Sunday Night for the Master (SNFM) on Sept. 12, with some “flex” Sundays built into the schedule for special events and assemblies.
The purpose behind this decision is to provide increased opportunities for meaningful, discipling connections to be made within the congregation and community on Sunday evenings.
According to a pre-determined schedule, Sunday Night for the Master will begin with a simplified fellowship meal from 5:00-5:40pm, followed by a brief time of worship and Bible study in the Quad.
Afterwards, from 6:00-7:00pm, everyone will have a number of options to choose from, including but not limited to specific Shared Experience groups, inside and outside service projects, community outreach projects, a sermon discussion group, Discovery Bible Studies, mentoring, special presentations, training programs, Friendspeak, and special seminars.
Bible Hour will be provided for children from 6:00-7:00pm in the Bible Hour room along with a staffed nursery for the younger children.
On designated “Flex” Sundays, rather than a meal, devotional, and discipling activities, everyone will meet together for a specific gathering in the auditorium such as the LTC student-led service, Somos Uno, Senior Bible Presentations, Search singing recording, special singing nights, etc. or for a special community outreach project such as the Fall Festival or Thanks-for-Giving food delivery.
The shepherds encourage individuals and families to participate in as little or as much of the Sunday night activities and options as you see is best for you. Our main objective is to increase opportunities for making meaningful discipleship connections with each other. If you or your family have another way to do that (e.g., family or neighboring events, home Bible studies, Bible class events, etc.), then choose to do it.
Tentative Sunday Night for the Master Schedule:
5:00-5:40pm - Quick fellowship meal together in the Quad, Fellowship Hall, and other areas if needed. Meals will be simplified to make serving large numbers more manageable and efficient. People can arrive between 5:00-5:30 to help reduce waiting time.
5:40pm - Everyone meets in the Quad for a devotional with an emphasis on scripture as we introduce the sermon discussion resources based on the morning’s sermon.
6:00pm - Bible Hour/childcare available in Bible Hour Room & Nursery
6:00pm - Specific options available for discipling connections: Indoor and outdoor service projects, sermon discussion group, seminars, Shared Experience activities, mentoring, community outreach efforts, Discovery Bible Study, special presentations and workshops, children’s Impact worship, leadership training, evangelism training, Friendspeak, etc.
7:00pm - Conclusion
Explanation of “Flex” Sundays:
To help sustain momentum for this program, to give the cooks and volunteers an occasional break, and to accomplish other important objectives, there will also be several “Flex” Sundays built into the schedule.
On these designated “Flex” Sundays, there will not be a meal provided at the building. Instead, we will designate them for special events and encourage everyone to participate in things such as Fall Festival, congregational singing nights, Share & Prayer groups, LTC service led by students, Somos Uno (combined English/Spanish), community outreach projects, Search singing recording, and/or encourage personal/family spiritual development time, etc.
Advantages of the SNFM with “Flex” Sundays model:
1. Relational energy is replenished through interactive time with each other during a meal and in the activities to follow the meal.
2. Greater connections are made within the congregation through fellowship, service, and Bible study together, leading to more opportunities for discipleship and a stronger sense of unity and purpose.
3. Opportunity for intergenerational involvement.
4. Modular approach provides flexibility and adaptability to include many diverse ideas for interaction and involvement.
5. Non-threatening, informal environment in which to bring guests and neighbors.
6. Provides opportunities for deeper conversations as opposed to those typically provided in a congregational worship service.
7. Provides opportunities for new members to make connections and get involved immediately.
8. Involvement and discipleship through active experience, not just passively consuming more content.
9. Provides opportunities throughout the year to assemble together for special events that are such an important part of our identity and culture.