EXPERIENCING GOD AS ONE BIG FAMILY
"The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. . . . Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed."
ON THIS PAGE:
WHAT TO EXPECT
On first and third Sunday nights, all the house churches in our network come together for a big meeting with two goals in mind: (1) for us to encounter God together, and (2) for God to encounter us together. During this time, we purposefully seek Him, offering our whole hearts to Him in worship, pouring out our prayers with passion, and listening intently to what the Holy Spirit is speaking to us.
Our Encounter Nights are the closest thing we do to a "typical" church service, with worship in a large group, children's ministry, a message, and prayer ministry.
That said, these meetings are different from typical church services in that we don't consider this the "front door" of our church. We haven't put a lot of work into "first impressions." We have no ushers or bulletins. This is a meeting for those who simply want to encounter God together. We enter directly into worship without pretense, trusting that everyone who comes is ready to dive in immediately. Messages are generally not evangelistic but are geared toward strengthening believers. And we tend to spend extended times praying for and ministering to each other.
We start a half-hour early with prayer together (5:30pm). All are welcome during this time--in fact, we encourage it! Typically the time is spent praying either individually or as a group, interspersed with prophetic words and spontaneous worship. As the time for the main meeting draws near, we often gather together at the front of the room to pray for the meeting.
If you come into the room during the prayer meeting, don't feel weird. Join in! Feel free to find your seat and pray there, move around the room, or join any group that may have formed.
At 6:00pm, we will transition into a time of musical worship together. There is freedom to worship Jesus with exuberance or not--just be yourself as you offer your heart to God.
Some people dance, shout, raise their hands, close their eyes, kneel, lay on the floor, pace around the room, etc. All we ask is that your heartfelt worship of Jesus is sensitive to others in the room, not distracting people from the Lord but joining with everyone in unity and love.
After worship, we'll have a time of testimonies. While we're happy about all the good things God is doing in people's lives, this isn't a time to talk about new jobs, financial provision, relationship improvement, and so on. This time is specifically for people to share stories about how we partnered with God during the last couple weeks to share Jesus with someone in evangelism.
We generally spend about 15-20 minutes letting people share their stories and together celebrating how God is saving and healing people through His church. We like for our kids to hear these stories, showing them that this sort of lifestyle is "normal" Christianity; so we wait until this time is finished to dismiss the children to their respective classrooms (nursery and ages 4-11).
After testimonies, we may have a few announcements, and then we'll go directly into a time of preaching or teaching.
Since our culture is to value God's gifts in everyone and not just one main preacher, we have a variety of speakers who regularly share, plus occasional guest speakers. These are generally people who lead house churches and missionaries who have a word on their heart that we feel will benefit the entire network.
These messages typically end with some sort of prayer time, sometimes inviting people to have a personal time with the Lord, sometimes offering a way for people to seek prayer for specific things, and sometimes encouraging everyone present to gather in small groups and pray for each other.
We know we cannot manufacture a move of God's Spirit, but we also know that we can purposefully avoid quenching Him and what He wants to do among us. All our planning is done prayerfully and with a desire to see Him act among us, and that's typically what we see happen. Once in a while, the Lord surprises us with something we weren't expecting, and we welcome those times of holy spontaneity. So while the above description is most common for us, please understand that there is room to deviate from the plan if God seems to be moving in a new direction.
We would love to have you join us at our next Encounter Night!
LOCATION & DETAILS
We meet together on 1st and 3rd Sunday nights each month. On rare occasions, we need to change venues or times, so we recommend filling out the form below to confirm that we'll be there before you come.
Join us at
Canton Calvary Assembly of God
7933 Sheldon Rd.
Canton, MI 48187
5:30p - 6:00p - Prayer meeting (all are welcome!)
6:00p - 8:00p - Encounter Night
Children's ministry (ages 4-11) and nursery (birth-4) will be available after worship and testimonies.
PLAN TO JOIN US
On rare occasions, we need to cancel or reschedule an Encounter Night, so to be sure you don't show up to an empty building, please let us know when you plan to attend. We'll use your contact information to let you know if there are any changes in our schedule.