Westside is: Life. Love. Jesus.
And First Wednesdays are a time for the church family to gather and experience that life and love together as we draw near to Jesus.
First Wednesdays are what we affectionately call our services held the first Wednesday evening of every month. More than just a Sunday service, First Wednesday challenges our faith community to go deeper. You could liken it to going from your dining room to your living room. At the dining room table things are just a tad formal … you’re watching your posture and tending to your guests with utmost TLC. In your living room, your guard comes down. You sink into the couch and open yourself to a deeper level of connection, both with the people around you and with our God who delights in being present “wherever two or more are gathered.”
First Wednesdays are a place where hearts are filled with joy as the peace of the Lord surrounds and fills us.
A few key things you can look forward to experiencing in a First Wednesday service: the presence of the Holy Spirit, worship, a message or teaching, communion, and prayer.
The Holy Spirit
With hearts and souls wide open, the presence of the Holy Spirit is sweetly welcomed. He is quick to respond and eager to fill our space with His grace, love, and glory. Acts 13:52 says, “the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” This is commonplace at First Wednesday services. His presence is tangible, and those leading the service leave room for the gifts of the Spirit to encourage, challenge, and unify our community of faith.
Worship—so much more than a song or two, but rather a posture of awe before the Lord—is embraced throughout the service. The songs simply set the atmosphere, allowing our hearts to engage deeper in the presence of the Lord.
An anointed message is given by a pastor or an invited guest speaker. Messages are brief and designed to breathe new life through words of wisdom, a challenge, encouragement, or a vision specifically for our family of faith.
It’s one thing to experience the Lord, worship Him, and learn about Him, but it’s essential that we also communicate with Him. In addition to corporate prayer, prayer teams at designated stations in the room are available so that individuals can engage in whatever God is speaking to them.
Of communion, when Jesus served His disciples at the Last Supper, He said to “do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). Communion stations are always a part of First Wednesday services. We recognize that all are welcome, gathering around tables in community to reflect on Christ’s sacrifice, humble ourselves, and receive the sacraments.
Lydia Price, who has been attending Westside since 2011, faithfully attends First Wednesday services and says, “I grew up Catholic so I am really happy about receiving communion. It is very special.”
Once or twice a year, the First Wednesday service is centered around baptisms, where followers of Christ publicly declare their faith in Him and are water baptized before everyone in attendance.
Lydia says one of her most memorable First Wednesday services was a baptism service. “I usually sit in the same area, behind the guys who attend from Teen Challenge. I see how they have struggled, as I myself have been sober for 13 years, and I will often pick one out who really looks lost and broken. I’ll just ask God to draw him closer. The last time they offered baptism he stepped forward, and I was so happy to welcome him into the everlasting love and joy of God’s family.”
You Are Invited
First Wednesdays are a special time for our Westside family to gather in God’s presence and be encouraged. To be challenged. And to draw near to Jesus. You are invited; there is always room in God’s presence and in our community for you.
First Wednesday of every month
Written by: Jodi Carlson || Photos by: Bubba Sellars & Erica Stubblefield