Encounter Evenings QnA
#01 What is it about?
Redemption, restoration, reviving, recalibration and resurrection. All things God does. All things we look to God for this autumn. We long to be together again, in worship, in prayer, in expectation of God. We still dream and believe that God will lead us from one church to multiple churches. But before we get there, we recognise the need to encounter God. To encounter God for healing after a long season of turmoil and weariness. To encounter God for restoration of church life. To encounter God for fresh faith for new things. To encounter God for direction in mission.
A recent prophetic picture plays into this desire for encounter: “When you expect another baby, you’d think building an extension to your house would be logical, but I see a swimming pool being built instead. The children can share the room and the pool becomes a place of fun and joyful encounter. There is something in this for you as a church.”
We love everyone in Redeemer to join us on a journey of encountering God together. We expect God to heal, touch, grow, shape, and direct us. That is why, next to our Sunday morning gatherings, we will gather every week (Wednesday evening; timing and venue tbc) all together from September until December.
#02 Why do we gather all together?
Isn’t it counterintuitive to gather all together after life groups have been so elemental and helpful during the covid-season? Yes it is. But we believe that rediscovering church and restoration of community are needed after this long period without meeting. We love Sunday morning meetings. We love the joy of gathering together, of singing praises, of spiritual gifts building us up, of communion shared, of hearing God’s word preached, of witnessing Jesus to the city. And we love to see that starting in full swing again.
But we also know that Sunday mornings are usually tight for time as we seek to serve all ages and both seekers and believers. After one-and-a-half-year of life slowed down, we do not intend to fill the calendar with many programs and schedules. We would rather take time for God and for one another. That is why we choose to focus on two things only: Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. In which the latter ones, the Encounter Evenings, complement the former. There will be lots of opportunities for reconnecting with God and one another, and for prayer and ministry.
#03 What can I expect?
Each of these evenings will have the following three parts: 1) praise, 2) Word, and 3) prayer.
First, we will lift our eyes to Jesus in praise through singing and spontaneous prayers of thanksgiving. Second, we will open our hearts to God speaking to us through his Word in a short and practical way. Then we will take time to pray for one another and to bring specific situations in prayer before God.
All throughout these unhurried evenings, we expect God by his Spirit to reveal his love to us, to stir our faith, to bring refreshment to our souls, to give direction and speak through prophecy, and to build us up by his gifts. We believe that it will do you good!
#04 What about life groups?
Life groups continue to exist, but the shape of gathering changes for this particular season. We bring all life groups together, so that the ‘formal’ gathering happens on these Encounter Evenings. But please continue to gather informally, to keep looking out and praying for one another. And keep sharing meals, coffee, and life. And invite and encourage all to join us on our Encounter Evenings this autumn!
#05 Can I bring my children?
You are welcome to bring your children, however there will be no program specifically organised for them.
#06 What about safety?
We will continue to follow the government’s corona guidelines. This means that likely from 20 September the 1.5m distance rule will no longer apply. But we will keep you updated on the details.
#07 Will it be accessible via livestream?
Until all restrictions are lifted we will livestream the Sunday morning gatherings to enable all to join. However we will not livestream the Encounter Evenings as the informal character and the extended time for ministering to one another will make it difficult to participate via a screen.