Fears of starting a 2nd service
1 It will double the work
No true. All the message, music, folders, etc are the same. You are also already doing the set up and tear down anyway. It actually eases recruiting in the children’s ministry.
2 We won’t know everyone.
True. However, if you are above 60 people you don’t know everyone now anyway. It’s not as if you have a meaningful conversation with everyone at church each week.
Benefits of staring a 2nd service
1 It gives people options
30% of population cannot attend services on Sunday mornings.
It puts more “hooks” in the water. Rather than catching one fish at a time on one hook at a time, you put multiple hooks in the water and catch multiple fish at a time.
2 It creates new ministry teams
You will begin to create new leaders and areas of ministry. It will also help people not be as burned out, specifically in the children’s ministry.
Adding an additional service gives people an opportunity to serve one hour and worship another hour.
3 It maximizes your space.
But realize, you won’t create growth. Starting a 2nd service only manages growth, it doesn’t create it. The best time to add a service is when you are already growing and have momentum. By creating a 2nd service you create double the space for the growth you already have.
4 It gives you time to make mid-course directions.
Between services you can make mid-course corrections for the other services. Quickly debrief with your key people to make small changes to the message, music, video, announcements, transitions, etc.
5 Opening additional services allows your church to reach new people.
The moment you open seat for people to fill, you will have more people to fill them. By faith you open seats and by faith you trust God will bring people. Remember, we are talking about churches that are already moving forward, growing, and have momentum. If you aren’t moving forward, aren’t growing, and don’t have momentum, don’t try to gain them by adding a service. There are most likely other factors at play that is keeping your church from growing. Figure out what those are, address and correct them, and start growing again- then add another service.
When To Add A 2nd Service
1 Is your existing service full, or close to being full?
Consider the 70% rule. When a room is 70% at its seating capacity, that room is full. It used to be 80% but Americans are larger and more greedy regarding their personal space.
Once at 70%, we think we can grow to 80% or 90%. You might bump that every so often but you will drop back down to around 70%.
Figure what 70% of your full yet comfortable seating is and make plans that when you get to that 70% figure you will either create more space, or start an additional service. Once at 70% you won’t stop your growth all together, but you will seriously hinder it.
2 Do I need to find new space, or do I need to add another service?
Be careful about adding an additional service when you are in a room that holds 150 to 200 people. If you try to divide that group without significant numbers in both services, the small service can appear exceptionally small. If you make the decision to divide that smaller service of 150 people, secure your leaders to commit to coming to both services for, say, 6 months so that neither are less than 50% capacity.
3 Is God leading me to start this service?
Do you have a clear call from God that this is God’s agenda, or is this motivated by your ego and desire for a more “noses and nickels”.
4) Am I focused on the harvest?
Am I starting this service to reach unsaved people, and not just to grow your church. The additional service must be solely motivated by the desire to reach unsaved people.
How To Start An Additional Service?
1 Work to two Sunday morning services before an evening service.
Get two quality Sunday morning services going before trying an evening service. The majority of unchurched people are already preprogrammed for church to be on Sunday morning. One person has said that the goal of a Saturday or Sunday evening service is to get your Christian people to attend it in order to create more space of unchurched on Sunday morning.
2 When you start an additional service, change the time of the existing service.
Changing the time of the existing service will make everyone make some adjustment. It will keep the focus on the unchurched you are trying to reach by making everyone invested in the process.
If you just add an additional service some people from the existing service may attend the new service, but the majority of people’s routine will not change. The existing service will always be “their service”. You will gain a greater balance in the two services. A change of 30 minutes start time will be a huge adjustment to most people. Play with the start times in 30 minute increments till you find the perfect time balance.
3 Once you begin one Saturday night service, begin a 2nd Saturday night service as quickly as possible.
Someone said the only reason to begin your first Saturday night service is to begin a second Saturday night service. If you ask people to work Saturday night and then worship Sunday morning (or vise versa) you are taking up their entire weekend.
How To Start An Additional Service
1 Position that adding a service is a big win for your church
Educate your people that this is a God opportunity to continue to reach unchurched people. Cast the vision and the purpose for the additional service. This can be a big win for your children’s ministry department as ministry teams are easier to create because now they can both work in ministry and attend the worship service. Craft language that your people will latch on to; educate your church to the need; ask your church for their commitment to the vision and process. Use the “rule of 65” by reminding your people that they will only really know about 65 people at the church anyway, so adding a service won’t break their fellowship.
2 Begin your additional service in the proper time frame.
The younger the church is, the faster the growth, the greater the momentum the church has, and if the Lead Pastor is the founding pastor, the new service can be started with little notice. A general rule of timeframe to being a service is within two months. Give yourself two months to educate and motivate your church before the service begins. Don’t wait too long to pull the trigger or you will loose momentum.
3 Begin your additional service at the right time of year
Use the natural “big” seasons of the calendar. Easter, back to school in the fall, etc. Don’t try to begin the additional service at the low times of the year. Begin promoting the new service within two months before these natural big seasons.
4 Secure a commitment from some of your people to switch services.
You will know which most will gravitate to. Ask them to commit to attending one service or the other and see where they choose. Collect their commitments and see what the split actually is. If one is over weighted, ask however many you think you need at the other service to commit to switching to the other service and commit to it for a 6 month period.
5 Use the service as a launch point to invite their friends to come to church.
Now you have available seats for people to fill. People like to be a part of something that is new.
6 Kick off the additional service with a special new series.
Challenge those who come to stay with you for the next 4-5 weeks of the new series. Create a buzz with the open seats, the new service, and the new series for new growth.
7 Equip your people with tools to invite people to the new service.
Give to your people invite cards, e-invites, and personal invites to invite their family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to the new service and series.
What Happens If It Doesn’t Work?
Sometimes you start a service and it goes for a few months and it is evident is just isn’t working. What do you do?
1 Give it enough time to work.
If you were convinced that the new service was God’s plan, don’t quit too soon. Either you were right and need to persevere, or you misread God’s plan. Before you shut it down make sure you aren’t closing it just because you are tired.
2 When it is time to shut it down… shut it down!
Once you are certain you need to shut it down, don’t wait. Your people know it needs to end and they are watching you to see if you are going to lead. Lead! Announce the service will run 2 more weeks and then you will shut it down and reevaluate and make new plans. Celebrate the step of faith you took in beginning and celebrate God’s goodness at the end. It might be painful up front but everyone will get through it. As someone has said, “when the horse is dead, dismount
By Karl Roth
Flipside Christian Church