Top Posts of 2014 #2: “When to Add Another Worship Service at your Church”

Most churches I’ve been around want to grow, but many are confused about when to add another worship service, how to do it, and if they should attempt the move at all. This post was the #2 post this year on Helping Churches Make Vision Real and will help you if you’re trying to figure out when you’re going to add an additional worship service at your church this year.

Many churches are stuck in attendance simply because they haven’t maximized their current facilities and campus. Thinking about adding another worship service at your church? Here are five strategic concepts to consider before you do. Not sure if multiple worship services are right for your church? Check out this blog on Overcoming the Fear of Moving to Multiple Worship Services.

1. Begin with Two Worship Services…not One

Conventional wisdom would say to begin with one public service at the optimum time. Conventional wisdom would be wrong. Two services provide customizable options, and Americans love to customize their options. Two services also provide opportunities for people to attend a service and volunteer at a service. It’s easier to build volunteer teams for two services than one.

2. Make Everyone Pick a New Service Time

When you believe you’re ready to add an additional worship service don’t just add one, make everyone pick a new service time. Simply adding on another service and asking people to make room for outsiders by moving their service time is rarely successful. You may get the faithful few but not the masses. Instead try something like this: move from having two services at 9:30am & 11:00am to three services at 9:00am, 10:30am and noon.

3. Timing is Overrated

The best time to add a new service is when you need one. People will talk about the right time, or key times of the year to add a new service but the best time to add a new service is when you need one. A new service can bring an infusion of new people (remember people love options and more options can mean more people), and new is always catalytic in building momentum.

4. Optimum Seats at Optimum Times is Real

The most popular time for worship services in the U.S. is between 10:00am & 11:00am on Sunday mornings. This is the time guests are most likely to come to your church. Few churches are having success doing services before 9:00am and the earlier the service the more likely it will be an, “older church crowd.” Try two services on Saturday evenings between 4:30-6:30pm or Sunday evenings during the same window of time.

5. The 80% Rule Still Applies

When starting new worship services it’s important to manage your expectations. If your prime-time service is at 80% capacity then each service you add off the prime-time will most likely have a diminishing return. For example, the church I serve at has five weekend services, two on Saturday and three on Sunday. The most well attended service is 10:30am, followed by 4:30pm on Saturday, noon on Sunday, 9:00am on Sunday and then 6:00pm on Saturday.

What experience have you had with multiple worship services? What would you add to the list? Add to the conversation and leave a comment!

Photo Credit: maymoron via Compfight cc

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