Lenten Midweek - Worship and Outreach

Ready to try something different for Lenten midweek? Something other than a six week series of sermons called “___________ of the Passion”?

Consider making your midweek worship drastically different than Sunday morning. Make it much shorter. Make it more devotional in style. Can you rearrange the seating to accommodate a more intimate gathering with the smaller number of attendees? Can you rethink midweek services—not as a Hauptgottesdienst when it’s dark out—but rather as an evening devotion for the family of God?

At Faith (Sharpsburg, GA) we use the 40 days of Lent as a time for repentance and renewal of faith by focusing on the catechism. Rather than meditating on the events of Holy Week, we’re going to be spending some time with one of the chief parts and then leave Holy Week for the week before Easter. In years past, we have spent Lent meditating on Baptism, the Lord’s Prayer, Holy Communion, etc. This year, we will focus on the Creed.

Our devotional plan look like this:

  • Ash Wednesday: We have a devotion on the Gospel appointed for Ash Wednesday, with a focus on our mortality, our sin and repentance before God. We offer imposition of ashes for those who desire it.
  • Midweek #2: The First Article: We are believers
  • Midweek #3: The Second Article: We are Christians (Part 1)
  • Midweek #4: The Second Article: We are Christians (Part 2)
  • Midweek #5: The Third Article: We are Lutherans
  • Midweek #6: Congregational Canvass

Each of the midweek devotions is preceded by a simple congregational dinner at 6pm. The devotions start at 6:45pm and are brief—no more than a half hour. People can have their kids in bed by 7:30pm. This has helped families with young children attend.

In the final week of Lent, the congregation meets for a quick dinner and then we go out and invite a local neighborhood to join us for Easter services. It has become a natural way for the faith we discuss for five weeks to produce fruit. We get a great turn out for that canvass event and consequently cover lots of ground with our Easter invitations.

Worship and outreach—they are the two great reasons for which the Church exists—for the glory of God and the salvation of man.

Rev. Jonathan E. Schroeder

Jonathan Schroeder is the pastor of Faith Lutheran in Sharpsburg, GA. He serves as the Moderator of the Institute of Worship and Outreach, pastor-at-large on the Synodical Council, and is actively involved in WELS School of Outreach and WELS School of Worship.

Full biography »