Grace Church preparing for Field by Night festival

Published 10:53 am Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Bainbridge’s Grace Church will bring their annual Field by Night event to the community on Dec. 10, welcoming everyone to celebrate the Christmas season and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The night consists of a preached message, holiday music performances and food.

Grace’s Worship Leader, Mitch Hines, explained that Grace’s goal is always to evangelize, and the holidays act as an open door for many people.

“I think at Christmas time, especially, there’s a little bit more openness to talking about the gospel and talking about Jesus,” he explained. “During the holidays we talk about love, joy, and peace. Those things come from Christ. They come from the Holy Spirit. I think there’s just a little bit more receptivity to spiritual things.”

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Grace starts the night by performing a variety of festive songs for the audience to sing along with, followed by a brief message that presents the Gospel in a direct way. Afterwards, attendees are encouraged to explore a Christmas village set up in the Grace field.

Volunteers from the church set up booths filled with classic Christmas sweets, hot soups, and authentic Mexican tamales, keeping people warm in the glacial 66 degree forecasted temperature.

“This year we’re really focusing on having conversations in the field,” Hines said. “People will be reaching out as they’re milling in the field and just say ‘What did you think about tonight?’ or ‘Do you know who Jesus is?’ or ‘Have you heard this before?’” 

Hines said the personal aspect of the event makes it a more impactful experience.

“We’ll be having those intentional conversations because face-to-face is better,” Hines said. “I think we’re getting to the day and age where everybody’s so individualistic, and this personal touch means more.”

Field by Night is no small project. The church openly encourages all members to volunteer at the event, such as singing in the choir or serving food. However, for staff members, preparations start much earlier.

“I typically try to start in June thinking through the theme,” Hines said. “From there we ask people to be in charge of the setup, giving out the candies, cookies, and soups. Then we start putting together videos and crafting the presentation to be as good as it can be.”

As the worship leader, Hines focuses on choosing songs that fit the festivity of the season and bring the truth of who Christ is to the crowd’s minds to prepare them for the sermon.

“I try to pick songs that are going to be accessible to everybody,” Hines said. “I try to choose songs that everybody knows at the beginning. And then, as we lean closer and closer to the message, I try to pick songs that bring a thought or an idea that maybe you haven’t thought of before.”

The primary focus of Felid by Night is presenting the Gospel in an accurate and deliberate way that will stick with audiences, despite the Christmas theme being a big part of it.

“The theme this year is talking about how the Christmas story is still relevant,” Hines said. “I liken it to viral videos. There’s been so many viral videos over the years and a lot of them you don’t even remember anymore. But the true story of Christmas is timeless. It will always be relevant. It will always be viral. And it will always be important for your life.”

The project has almost every member of the Church giving their time, resources, and passion for evangelism for the people of Bainbridge in the hope of expanding the Kingdom of Heaven.

“We’re trying to come together, celebrate Christmas, and then talk to people and say, ‘How are things going, how can I pray for you?’” Hines said. “We want to let people know that our relationship with Christ is always going to be constant, and that’s something that can always give us hope.”

Field by Night starts at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10.