“It’s worship, on Fridays,” says the poster for Covenant Christian Reformed Church’s casual worship night. That pretty much sums up the occasional Friday evenings when commissioned pastor Elly Boersma and a team of seven to nine musicians lead worship songs, Scripture, and prayer in a homey coffee shop atmosphere.
“[Friday Night Worship] can be a time to worship with people from other churches and to fellowship with each other around music,” Boersma said. “It's also an outlet for the team to push the envelope a little more than we would on a Sunday morning with how we play the different songs.”
Until recently, the services were held at Lockside Cove, a ministry of Covenant CRC, drawing 25 to 30 people each time. This month the service was moved to a local Christian bookstore and drew about 40.
The worship team is made up of mostly musicians in their 20s, and they minister to a multigenerational crowd. “The original intent was to reach the youth and young adults and have them engage in a worship experience outside of church. It hasn’t really shaped into that,” Boersma said. “It’s more of the broader church getting together, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.”
When Boersma joined the church in September 2013, the possibility of ministry opportunities at the Cove was one of the things that attracted her. Friday Night Worship was already a part of that scene after the church had an opportunity to lead worship for a youth event.
“It was such a good, powerful experience,” said team member and youth elder Pete Raakman. “We said, ‘Why not have this all the time?’”