Going to two services

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Lacy Evans, Jan 15, 2007.

  1. Lacy Evans

    Lacy Evans
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    Our church is discussing going to two services, but I think we (leadership comittee) are going into the discussion a bit blind. I am in favor of changing to two services.

    My question is, does anyone have any knowledge of some different schemes/models of a two service morning and the pros and cons of each? I want it to be an informed discussion.

    Lacy
     
    #1 Lacy Evans, Jan 15, 2007
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  2. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    Lacy,

    I personally believe that there is only one reason for going to a multi-service model. God leading his leadership to grow the human body of the church to a much larger foot-print than the physical plant can reasonably support.

    If the leadership of the church is weak - it does not make sense to me that God would have them lead more people in weekly services (weakly as well).

    If God is leading powerfully through the leaders of the church, it makes sense for me that God would lead them to lead a larger body of believers.

    ;)

    Wayne
     
  3. El_Guero

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    PS - Northwood Baptist in Keller, Texas has done the best of any multi-service/multi-site/large-scale church that I have seen.

    ;)

    Several of the churches that I have seen doing the large-scale models have done poorly. The only thing they have done is grab the 'weak-minded' believers from the weak churches around them. Those churches talk a lot about 'kingdom growth,' but the only growth they get is proselytizing . . .

    I thank God that you are not into that stuff. IF God would grow one of His leaders to grow His Kingdom, then why wouldn't that INCLUDE mostly new believers?


    PS - what is the reason for your considering multi-service?
     
    #3 El_Guero, Jan 15, 2007
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  4. Lacy Evans

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    What does it look like?


    We have outgrown our space and also need more opportunities for ministry and teaching.
     
  5. rbell

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    We went to multiple services because we were simply out of room.

    At one time we did identical Sunday AM services; we now do two totally different services on Sunday morning.

    The easiest transition for a chuch is when you "have to," because of space constraints, go to multiple services.

    Some thoughts, totally off the top of my head:
    • Are you trying to reach out to a different audience (hence possibly starting a different style of worship), or the same?
    • Do you have one Bible study hour on Sunday (Sunday School)? If so, you might be able to "bracket" your SS with identical worship services. If you have multiple SS's as well, it becomes harder to forecast who will attend when.
    • Will both services be equally "well-led?" Here's an example...a church goes to a contemporary service, as well as the traditional. One service gets much more attention, and is better planned and conducted than the other. Folks will notice that...more importantly, God deserves the best...in whatever service we're worshiping.
    • You'll have some folks that will say, "But we'll become like two separate churches!" And they're right. But as you grow, those things happen. You become like two churches, and reach twice as many people with the Good News.
    • If you have folks who serve in both services and are thus unable to involve themselves in a Bible study, make sure those folks are taken care of/accountable/discipled.
    • You will have some opposition. If God doesn't lead you to do it, then don't. But there are always those one or two folks who are going to be against everything. Love 'em, but don't be held back by the tyranny of the chronic complainers. However, if their criticisms are valid, then pay attention to them.
    There's more I'll think of, I'm sure. We've had dual services (along with a fairly cutting-edge Wed. night service) for about 2 1/2 years, and our attendance has doubled (or more) in all of them.
     
  6. Lacy Evans

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    This is our case as well. God has been leading us in this direction for some time.

    We want two identical services

    same style (Blended)

    • .
    Right now we just have one but that is what I am wondering about because I've seen it done several ways.

    Again we are considering keeping the services the same
    Yes we have heard that. "It will divide the church!"
    Do you thing that is necessarily true? I was involved in a west Texas church that had two identical services and there was a "fellowship time" in between the services. It seemed to work really well to promote unity.
    That is good counsel. There is a small praise team and sound/AV team. I think we could do something for them.
    It's mostly the older folks who are uncertain. I honor and value their opinions. That is why I am trying to resesrch different models for discussion.


    I appreciate your time with me here on this.

    Lacy
     
  7. Tom Bryant

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    The question comes as to why you want to go to 2 services?

    1. Going to 2 services because one service is too filled and people are turning away. You won't have to build a new building, but you might fragment a church into 2 groups

    2. Going to 2 services as a way of changing the format of the service to a more contemporary model. You might reach new people, but you might also give rise to dissension in the church because of the way it is used such as allowing coffee to be drunk in the service, drums, electric guitars etc into the "sanctuary"

    We went to 2 services so we could change the format and allow a more traditional service to be earlier, which is different than most churches go to 2 services.

    We have one SS in between the 2 services. But I also know of churches where each service has a SS meeting at the same time.

    The cons have to do with doubling the workers or doubling the work load on musicians, usher staff, nursery and the pastor.

    Will be prayng for you.
     
  8. Deacon

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    Two services; been there done that.

    Two services means double the work but also double the opportunity for others to serve.

    Our big problem was: What are we going to do with the kids?

    Do they stay with the parents during services or do we have a separate class for them during each service?

    If the later, then there will probably be a problem recruiting enough teachers to staff both services.. initially it may work but eventually fatigue will set in.

    I’ve seen successful Sunday schedules where the Sunday schools were between both services, but it does lengthen your day.

    To combat the fragmenting into two groups, we initiated home fellowship groups that act as another means to keep people connected.
    Sunday school classes are also a good way to keep the groups connected.

    You may also consider increasing the number of special evening fellowship times where pot-luck dinners or special speakers or other events bring both service groups together.

    Regarding any change, particularly going to two services: Be prepared for plenty of grumbling from the dragons.
    Make sure your elders and deacons are all on board and ready to support the change.

    Rob
     
  9. Citizen

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    We've had two services at my church for quite awhile now.

    Early worship at 9am, Sunday School at 10am, Late worship at 11am.

    The idea isn't a bad one, but it seems like we should have just planted another church somewhere instead of trying to support two seperate churches in one building.
     
  10. Pastor Larry

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    Why not consider taking a large group and planting a new church in a different area? That would alleviate the crowding and bring the gospel to new areas at the same time.

    Overall, I think multiple services are a last resort.
     
  11. Deacon

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    The biggest portion of a church's budget is ususally building or staff.

    A new church around here would need at least 2-3 million dollars (or more) as start-up money to rehab a property for use.
    Estimates to purchase land and start from ground up go as high as 15 million IF you could even find property and get it past local zoning boards.

    One church nearby was condemned by the state for expansion of the interstate highway system. They gave them $1M dollars, leaving the church to fend for itself. To my knowledge it is languishing and may eventually dispand.

    We have a lot of churches within a half hours drive of ours but in-total we only reach a small fraction of the people in that same distance.

    At least around here in the populous northeast USA, a multi-service church is the most responsible way to use the resources the Lord has provided us with.

    Rob
     
  12. Lacy Evans

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    In our case, our numbers are not that "great". Our auditorium seats about 100 comfortably. We've hovered around that number for months. Our community has tripled in size in the last few years and we expect great growth but we're in no way ready to build right now.

    We have new families visit, baptisms, and new converts pretty regularly and more and more frequently in the past 6 months.

    What I wondered is what experience folks have had with various models.

    For example, Sunday school in between? Or perhaps a "fellowship time" in between, and Sunday school conjointly with the services?

    What about children's church, the nursery, bus kids?

    What do you do when you have baptisms or baby dedications?

    Or probably a million things we aren't even considering?

    Thanks, Lacy
     
  13. Salty

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    Just curious, how many would you say?

    IMHO, lets say you have about 350 folks attending, I would possibly suggest taking about 30 - 40 folks and start a new work. This could be done 3 - 4 times a year.
    I have often wondered why some folks will drive 50-75 miles to attend church.
    Salty

    PS, So in one year, you will have guided some 160 folks into mission churches, yet I would suggest, the attendence would stay over 300 at the mother church. MISSIONS, MISSIONS, MISSIONS
     
  14. SaggyWoman

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    Our church considered going from one packed service to two services. They decided to make the early service traditional and the later service contemporary. It was a successful move. About 100-125 attend the earlier service--mostly older participants. The second service runs 325-500. Both are radically their own.
     
  15. gb93433

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    I pastored a church that had been small for about 60 years and then went from 25 to 220 in just a few years. We went from 1 to 2 and later were looking at 3 services. Some of the leadership complained that they did not know people and that the church complained that is was changing from what it once was to a larger group and they no longer got the attention they once had from the pastor. They expected me to fix their preceived problem of a lack of sense of closeness and family. As a church gets larger the people must become less and less selfish. If you go to more services you will quickly find out who the selfish people are and do not like it that they do not get as much attention.
     
  16. TomVols

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    In my experience, two services means two churches. Typically, two different groups will homogenize. It's a natural thing. You cannot artificially connect the two, save for a small group level. I like Pastor Larry's thinking about planting another church. The best circumstances and few where I've seen this work is when the two services are different. I agree with Pastor Larry that some other alternative should be explored and two services should be a last resort.

    I take it that building a bigger facility isn't an option? I know that's the expensive way, but the overwhelming majority of church buidlings in this country are too small anyway. In these churches, if every resident member decided to show up on the same Sunday, there wouldn't be space for them in Sunday School or in worship. I think that's either a flaw in the membership process or in the facility planning on our part - or both :smilewinkgrin:

    Okay, rant is over :tongue3:
     
  17. rbell

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    Are "two churches meeting in one building" necessarily a bad thing, though?

    When we went to two services, they were originally "sandwiching" one Bible study hour. Pretty soon, we outgrew our education space as well...so we went to two worship services and two Sunday schools, running concurrently. It was at that step that we became "two churches" in a sense. There are still common meetings (Sunday nights, Wednesday nights), but sure, each "congregation" has grown a bit differently.

    The pastor that officiated my wedding serves a very large church (4,000 or so on Sunday mornings). When talking to folks about coming to his church, he would say, "Yes, we're large. And for some folks, that's just not desired. And that's OK, if you are one of those folks. But keep in mind...you'll only know about 200 people maximum, no matter what size church you're in." (He used this thought to encourage folks to become involved in a ministry and a Bible study group)

    To me, "two separate churches" could become an issue if you at some point wanted to re-unite them. Otherwise, I'm not sure it's a major problem.

    I directed a mission trip to Chicago several years ago. They had seven different congregations that met in one facility (at different times)...Hispanic, Vietnamese, English, Ethiopian, Korean, and a couple of others. Each church was vibrant and God was moving.
     
  18. gb93433

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  19. thjplgvp

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    Lacy,

    I am checking in late on this post none-the-less I will offer some advice. Our church has been in a two service mode untill just recently when we sold our propery and moved into a movie theater :eek: . Here is the gist of what we did and the results.

    8:30 Worship; choir, song leader, specials and messages were identical both worship services.
    9:45 SS
    11:00 Worship: choir, song leader, specials leave after their intitial part in worship during hand shaking. a fill in will handle the invitation.

    We grew from about 325 to arund 470 in those 3 years but we out grew our SS space and there is no real way to double services in those classes.

    We will break ground on our new facility that will seat 700 with around 20 SS class rooms in late February of this year.

    You do end up with essentially two churches, some will love the early services (and get to the eating places early). Our pastor was very wise in this regard the last Sunday, every two months he held combined services to remind the people that we needed to build and had a longer than normal hand shaking time on those days.

    thjplgvp
     
  20. El_Guero

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    Tell a third of your church you are ready for them to start a new church . . . .

    I am with you bro'! Start a new church and reach more people.

     

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