Celebrations and community projects will be part of the Saturday program.
By Janis Fontaine
March 25 marked a milestone at Lakeview Church Delray. The church held its first Saturday night service, led by Craig Ratliff, teaching pastor; Daniel Williams, worship pastor; and Scott Rowan, family pastor.
And it already has its own brand.
“The Saturday worship service at Lakeview Church, 2599 N. Swinton Ave., is branded as SaturdayNight.Church,” Ratliff said, “which also serves as the website for the service and its connected ministries as well.”
Ratliff came to Lakeview in 2015.
He’s a certified coach, speaker and trainer with the John Maxwell Team, an association of coaches, teachers, speakers and professionals who use their talents and skills to provide leadership training.
The teaching is based on the principles developed by Maxwell, the New York Times best-selling author of more than two dozen books, including The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader.
Ratliff is using those qualities to lead the church in a new direction.
“I love starting new things, but I knew we had to do something different to get people’s attention,” Ratliff said.
In a time when we don’t know our neighbors’ names, people are desperate to connect on a personal level, he said. “SaturdayNight.Church is working to fill that need for relationships.”
Besides his teaching responsibilities and leading SaturdayNight.Church, Ratliff is the lead pastor of City View Church in West Palm Beach, a new church opening in September. He answered our questions about his goals for SaturdayNight.Church.
Q: Why did you decide to add a Saturday service?
A: Very simply, it fills a need and provides a great opportunity for us to meet our community where they are in life with the message of help, hope and healing found in Jesus Christ. What we have come to realize is that so many people in our world today are turned off from God and the church. Yet, they are still looking for something. That something is often a place to belong, a place to become, and a place where they can be a part of blessing the world.
SaturdayNight.Church is for anyone who is looking to give God and church one more chance or even to explore God and the church for the first time.
Q: How will SaturdayNight.Church differ from the other services?
A: The Saturday service is a contemporary, family-friendly worship environment. In addition, because we are gathering on Saturday nights at 5:30 p.m., we can create extracurricular activities.
For example, we’ll host a Cinco De Mayo celebration as well as community service projects throughout the year where individuals and families can enjoy themselves, meet other like-minded people, build strong friendships and connect with others in serving our community in the name of Jesus.
We like to say that SaturdayNight.Church comes with a promise and our promise to you is that you will love the difference at SaturdayNight.Church. You will experience messages you can relate to, music that is uplifting and exciting, build real relationships, and it will be the best day of your child’s week too.
Q: What demographic do you want? Young people? Working people?
A: Our desire is to connect with individuals and families throughout our surrounding communities. God has created a unique and diverse cultural environment here in South Florida and I believe that a healthy church will reflect that diversity.
SaturdayNight.Church also provides a great opportunity for families to fit worship into their already busy schedules. We want to partner with parents to raise a generation that loves Jesus and is used greatly by him.
Part of the SaturdayNight.Church brand is “cityKIDS!” which provides a place where children birth through fifth grade can discover and develop a passion for God through worship, teaching and a variety of fun activities. Children are exposed to God’s word and challenged to grow in their relationship with God.
And just think of the countless individuals who are required to work Sundays. SaturdayNight.Church opens the door for them to be able to reconnect with a worship environment that they have been missing out on.
Q: You’re doing this along with Daniel Williams, worship pastor, and Scott Rowan, family pastor. What are their roles?
A: Daniel Williams is a great young pastor and family man who is responsible for leading our worship team, overseeing all of our worship service environments and all of the teams that serve within those environments. Scott Rowan is another young pastor who was born and raised in Palm Beach County and now is raising his own family here in our community. Scott is responsible for helping make sure that we are caring for and ministering to the whole family, a key area.
The “cityKIDS” environment will be his focus. Scott does an incredible job of creating a fun, engaging and safe environment for kids of all ages at SaturdayNight.Church.
Q: What can visitors expect when they come to SaturdayNight.Church?
A: Our check-in volunteers will be on site and ready to assist you. It’s not mandatory to sign in, but if you are new it will assist with introductions and staying in touch. For families, we suggest arriving 15 minutes early to ensure you and your child have enough time to complete the process so children end up in the correct age group.
If you want to preregister, you can fill out the form online and we’ll have everything ready for you when you arrive. Visit www.SaturdayNight.Church.
Janis Fontaine writes about people of faith, their congregations, causes and community events. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.