Mon. Mar 8th, 2021

When Should a Church Begin to Think About a Second Service
Charles Arn

First, decide whether your new service should be identical to or different from your present one.

Add an identical service if your present one is consistently at or above 85 percent of room capacity. (Pews should be figured at 30 to 36 inches per person, as opposed to 18 to 24 inches, the standard used 25 years ago. People want more space today than in the past.) Adding another identical service can be done in only a few months since the issues are mostly logistical.

Add a new style service if you want to reach a new people group in your community who are not attending (and probably won’t attend) your present service. A new service is needed to reach a different generation, a different cultural group, or a different level of spiritual seeker. Adding a new style service will require six to eight months of planning, preparation, and promotion to be successful.

Here are some guidelines when starting a new style service:

1. Get leadership support, then congregational support, before beginning. With such support, adding a new service can be a positive, faith-building adventure. Without support, it may split the church!

2. Clearly define your target audience. Remember, this service is for people not presently attending your church. Don’t fall into old habits of traditional worship service design.

3. Music is the most important ingredient. Match the music preferences of your target audience and make it first-class!

4. Have at least 50 people in the service for the first six weeks. “Plant” some of your own regular attenders if necessary. A critical mass is needed to weather the decline that will happen in the first several months.

If you’re thinking about starting a new style service, I strongly recommend the book How to Start a New Service (Grand Rapids: Baker Books). It will greatly increase your likelihood of success.

From: www.buildingchurchleaders.com web site. October 2014.

The above article, “When Should a Church Begin to Think About a Second Service?” was written by Charles Arn. The article was excerpted from www.todayschristainwoman.com.

The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.

This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”

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