Over a decade ago a simple idea became a reality and Late Love was born. The premise: Show God’s love on the street to the thousands of students who take to the clubs and pubs in the Queen’s university area of Belfast. Monday was party night on campus, so every Monday night Christian students would serve up tea, coffee, at times practical support, and conversation about life, and faith, and music, and sport, and studies (well, not studies…). The night would start with sung worship and prayer, before moving out to do the work.
A few years later Thursday night became party night and Late Love duly followed. It got bigger. More and more students turned up between 11pm to midnight to sing and praise. Later, some would head out onto the streets. Then two things happened. 2 years ago party night moved back to Monday. Late Love didn’t move. Second, people kept turning up to sing but less and less went on to the streets. Some, many even, only thought of Late Love as the worship hour…
Over in Honduras a bridge was built. It was obviously built to bridge a river. But then something happened. A storm struck and the very river moved. The bridge is now over dry land, not doing what it was made to do. The river had moved.
At its best Late Love brought people together for wonder, awe and worshipful praise. At its best the worship of God opens us up to the praise of the angels in heaven itself. At its best worship always points to a kingdom still to come, yet its will must be done, must be worked out, must be lived out, must be witnessed to, here on earth. At its worst, sung worship becomes about singing, vain repetition (it matters not in what era the tunes were penned). At its worst worship, either traditional or contemporary, simply becomes our ritual, satisfying our perception of what ‘real worship is’, ie worship that looks most like I want it to. At its worst it’s the worship of self. idolatrous, not at all concerned with glorifying God, and not at all empowering us to bring glory to Him in our lives here on earth.
So, the river has moved. Late love is moving too. Moving in 2 directions. We’re hitting the streets again on the nights when the students are actually out on campus. Mondays. Every Monday, from 1030pm we are gathering for prayer and praise and preparation as we then move out to show God’s love. We’re moving the bridge back to the riverbed. We’re getting back to why we were made.
We’re also recognising a movement within the people of God that in every age and generation has longed to praise His name. ‘Worship 101’ will gather every Thursday night from 1030 to 1130pm for worship, prayer, praise. Backing it all up though is our ‘Worship: Back to Basics’ nights. We’re inviting musicians, techies, artists, poets, intercessors, and all who long to burst forth in creative praise, to gather together from 8pm every two weeks, when we will consider what it means to worship the living God, biblically, spiritually, in word, in song, in silence, in God.. we want to grow a generation of worship servants who will seek to build up the people of God to praise His name. Each will serve the other. Those who gather at 8pm for teaching, fellowship, encouragement, will serve the rest of us in late evening praise.
it’s time to concentrate hearts and minds and voices and tea and coffee and conversation and rocky bars in all the right places… join us. Let the river flow…