Last Sunday, we announced that beginning in June we will be changing our schedule in such a way as to be able to (1) worship together in one service and (2)to provide a Christian education and equipping hour. Below is the A to Z, stem to stern, soup to nuts about Sunday Classes.
What will the schedule change look like?
9:30am Worship Service
11:00am Sunday Classes
When does the change begin?
Sunday, June 4th at 9:30am
Why worship together?
The word for church in the New Testament is “ekklesia” and it refers to a single gathering. By definition, an ekklesia is a group of people gathering at the same place at the same time. In our opinion, multiple services do not best reflect our unity in Christ. Also the metaphors used to describe the church are corporate unities: flock, body, building, and family. Maybe a practical illustration is helpful. Does your family ever have an early shift and late shift for your Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners? Probably not. We have 52 times a year to gather together as a church family. We don’t want EBBC to become two or three different churches that meet in the same building at different times. It’s important to note, however, that this is something that we as your elders hold as a preference rather than a conviction. Worshiping together is what we believe we see practiced in the New Testament. This was true even when the congregation was 3000 are more. (Acts 2:44, 46; Acts 5:12;15:22; I Cor. 14:23)
What kind of Sunday Classes will be offered?
This summer, as we get accustomed to the format, there will be fewer choices than we are planning for the future. God-willing, beginning in the fall, we are going to offer a series of core Sunday Classes all of which we desire all our people to go through. A sample of those classes will be: Why Membership?, Next Steps, Old Testament and New Testament Survey, Marriage, Singleness, Finance, Parenting, Seniors, Doctrines, Biblical Theology, Church History, Evangelism, Worship, Apologetics, How To Study the Bible, etc.
Why are we having the worship service first?
We are hoping that a 9:30 worship service will be a balanced time between the current 9 and 10:45 worship times. Also, we are also anticipating that Sunday Classes following the worship service will allow for a larger percentage of our people participating in the Sunday Class hour. Finally, having the worship service first will hopefully provide an immediate forum in the Sunday Classes for discussion and application of the message preached in the previous hour.
What will happen to ebbcKIDS?
ebbcKIDS will be provided for our children during the Sunday Classes hour at 11am. For the 9:30am worship service, the nursery and the yellow room will both be available for our children. During the 9:30 hour, K-3rd grade will be dismissed from the worship service, just before the sermon for a Big Group time. This Big Group time will provide our children with opportunities to begin to prepare for joining their parents for the entirety of the Sunday morning worship.
How will we keep anyone from regularly missing worship services?
We will schedule enough Nursery and ebbcKIDS workers so that no volunteer or leader will need to miss more than one worship service per month.
Where will we seat everyone?
This is an issue. We are thankful that we actually have a seating issue! Grace. We have a few steps we are going to take to keep seating open for guests. Ultimately though, it will need to be handled in one of three ways. 1) We will try to use our current space better so that there is more seating. 2) We could consider expanding our current space to accommodate more seating. 3) And/or, we could plant a church.
Who are we wanting to attend the Sunday Classes?
Every member and regular attendee of EBBC is encouraged to attend Sunday Classes.
What is the “real reason” we are changing?
The real reason is that the elders’ have a collective desire for all of us to grow together in the gospel. We share the heart of the Apostle Paul: “My little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you.” (Galatians 4:19). “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” (Colossians 1:28-29)
If you have more questions, please send us an email at [email protected]
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