Our church launched on January 8th this year in an elementary cafeteria. We spent the previous eighteen months incubating at our sending church, meeting new people, building a core team, launching three community groups, letting our service teams practice at a sister church, and holding three preview services. This Easter we launched our second service. We have multiplied our services long before most would expect and here is why:
It helps encourage volunteer stamina.
While in one service only, many volunteers (Kid’s Team and Security, namely) can’t attend the worship service. Two services allows volunteers to both serve and worship on the same Sunday. It creates more opportunities for service across the board. More greeters, more ushers, more Scripture readers, more kids teachers and security personnel. I know of many kids volunteers who have taught a kid’s Sunday School class faithfully, missing church rarely, and do both enthusiastically. Volunteers who are fed the Word of God weekly serve longer and more often than those who do not.
Options increase participation.
First, two services obviously gives people more options to attend. Tim Keller says in Leadership and Church Size Dynamics, “when you give people more options, more people opt!” More people are opting for the new early service than we expected. From Crossfitters, to retirees, to parents of toddlers, more people are opting to attend the earlier service. We would not have reached these folks or known this data without creating this second service.
Second, two services gives people more opportunities to serve. Don’t underestimate the power of someone being able to answer the question, “What do you do at your church?” Serving gives them a purpose. Why not give them more opportunities to do so?
Practice makes better.
Two services does increase the workload of some volunteers. Now we set up at 7:00am instead of 8:00am. I preach twice and the band plays twice. But, that isn’t all bad. Instead of preaching fifty-two times a year, I am preaching 104 times a year. The same is true for the band. If we botch it in the first service, we can correct it immediately in the second.
You should get better at doing anything you do more often. I should be a better preacher because I am preaching more. The band should be better because they are playing together more. Greeters should be better because they are greeting more. Ushers should be better because they are ushering more. The more you do anything the better you should be at it.
The hardest part is already behind you.
The first service was much, much harder to get up and running. Teams had to be built from scratch. Vision had to be cast over and over again. Volunteers had to be trained. A team was pulled together out of the dirt and a church gathering was made. Not so with the second service. We already had a multiple teams. Volunteers were already trained.
Vision must still be cast, but you aren’t starting from scratch. If you already have the momentum of an exciting and growing single service, what is stopping you from launching the next?