For years churches have moved to multiple worship services instead of building bigger buildings, which is a wise use of the facility the Lord has provided to the church. When adding a second service, the choice is fairly simple. While the times may vary from context to context, two services “back to back” make it easier for people to attend worship one service and get plugged into a group or serve during the other.
Much more challenging than adding a second service is deciding where to place your third or even your fourth service. Do you run as many as you can in the morning? Can you go past noon? Which is better in your community, Saturday night or Sunday night? What about your staff and their families? All really important questions.
So how do you navigate the decision? Here are five steps to help your team discuss the next worship service time (here’s a PDF I have used with teams in the past):
1. Be sure the team knows you need one.
Don’t add another service just because you think it sounds cool to do so. It is an incredible amount of work, so be sure the team collectively feels your current schedule and number of worship services is hampering your ability to reach and disciple people. From experience I can say confidently that adding worship services is going to cost you emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Of course, it’s totally worth the cost when you are convinced the Lord is going to reach and mature more people.
2. Identify considerations that will help you decide.
Think about your church’s mission, the key markers of health you are currently more burdened with, and what you hope an additional service will help you accomplish. Considerations include:
- Ability to recruit volunteers to serve
- Best time to help move people into groups
- Optimal inviting time for your people to invite friends
- Staff sustainability
- Burden on speaker (personal note: preaching 3 services is 50% harder than preaching 2; preaching 4 is 100% harder than preaching 3)
- Best time for a strong launch
3. Force rank the considerations.
While all may be important, discuss which considerations weigh more than others.
4. Choose three possible new worship service times.
5. Force rank the times next to each consideration.
As a team, discuss which worship service is best for each consideration. As you do this prayerfully, a time will likely emerge as the one to explore further.