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When to Add Another Worship Service at Your Church

service-times

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!


Posted in Leadership

5 Responses to “When to Add Another Worship Service at Your Church”

  1. Pedro April 1, 2014 at 1:21 am #

    Could you please expand more on the last point? I loved it but would love to know more about the 80% rule.

  2. Willie Lyle April 13, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

    We had an 8:30 and 11:00 traditional service when I came to Sango in July of 2013. We had about 50 people in the 8:30 service and 65 in the 11:00 service. We renovated our Christian life center and started a 3rd service at 10:45 that is contemporary. I preach in it from 10:55 till about 11:20 then go over to the sanctuary and preach from 11:30 till 11:55. Now the 8:30 service has about 90, the 10:45 service has about 130 and the 11:00 has about 45.

  3. Tyler Johnson March 14, 2019 at 11:13 am #

    I think that adding another service so that people have options is a great idea. There’s sometimes that I can’t make it to church on a Sunday because I have to work, but I would still go if there was another service if it was in a time that fit my schedule. That’s interesting that you said that it’s also easier to build a team of volunteers for two services rather than one. I’ll have to suggest they start another service at my local church.

    • Paul Alexander March 14, 2019 at 4:40 pm #

      Thanks for the comment Tyler! The reasons it’s easier to build 2 volunteer teams instead of 1 is it provides options for people AND they don’t have to miss church to volunteer. By only providing 1 worship service you’re making people choose between going to church and volunteering…people won’t make that choice very long and they’ll end up growing weary, feeling used and burning out.

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