During the CHBC evening service we seek to focus on God together, and see where that takes us. We tend to start with a passage of scripture, usually from the morning service, because this may have been brooding inside some of those present in the afternoon.
Our primary focus during the service is on what is God saying to us through what we have just heard. This may give rise to:
- thinking / praying about a related piece of scripture which we may therefore read out loud;
- thinking / praying about questions we have about what we have heard which we may share with the group (this makes it feel like a bible study discussion);
- wanting to pray for people/situations, which we may do silently or out loud - (this makes it feel like a prayer meeting);
- wanting to celebrate or affirm what we are thinking / praying about, which we may do using prayer, scripture reading or song.
We tend to have at least 3 of: a reading from a gospel, a Psalm, something else New Testament and something else Old Testament; there tends to be some intercession (lasting anywhere from 5 to 30 mins), some periods of silence (depending on how helpful those present find it) and half a dozen songs (some of which have no introduction because it is completely obvious why the person has selected the song, some of which the person chooses to introduce by way of testimony, and some of which the pastor asks the person to explain what their thinking is).
The pastor encourages us:
- to be fully focusing on what is being shared by someone else (or has just been shared), rather than working out what to contribute.
- to be prepared to follow the lead given by others, so if we start with D and move to E and move to F and move to G , then G is our new starting point (not D)
On a technical level, when a song is suggested someone ﬁnds the words in a single Word file containing all the lyrics of Songs of Fellowship volumes 1-6 which are projected on the screen, and then the keyboard player ﬁnds the music in the hard copies of Songs of Fellowship volumes 1-6 at the keyboard and then plays it, usually within half a minute of the suggestion being made. Passages of scripture that people choose are also put up on the screen - those who suggest passages tend to read them out loud.