Why do we shut down after Christmas?
At Encounter Baptist Church, our last service each year is Christmas Day. We don't recommence Sunday gatherings until the second half of January. Our first gathering is usually a brunch and then the following week services recommence. In addition, most other weekly activities also take a break.
The most important reason we do this is because we believe the bible teaches us to live a rhythm of rest and work, abiding and fruitfulness (John 15:1-8, Psalm 23, the example of Jesus). In fact we think these passages teach us that we should work FROM rest not the other way around. As a whole church we want to live out this rhythm of life and, at least from a church activity point of view, help individual members of our church to do the same.
The second reason we have a break in January is because we value people before programs. We have a high level of active participation in our church, and we want to honour people be providing times when they can have a rest from serving.
While we take a break from formal activities in the first part of January, it doesn't mean we take a break from our church community. Rather we encourage people to gather informally. This can mean inviting each other to join us in fun activities we are planning for ourselves - meals, picnics, movies, sporting events, free concerts, trips to the beach..... We share these via facebook, emails and texts. There isn't any obligation or pressure to participate just invitations to join in.
You can find out information about when various activities recommence by visiting our home page, the calendar page or checking the church sign.