Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Obstacles to Adding an Additional Service

Sunday we announced here at Gaylord E-Free that beginning September 9 we will be adding a second Contemporary service to our current Classic and Contemporary services that already take place.  In my blog posting yesterday I gave you three reasons why we are making this decision.  But obviously, every decision and direction has some downsides to it as well.  So what are the obstacles we face in adding this addition worship service?

We Won’t Know Everybody

As the church grows and as additional services are added, people may fear that this will spoil the close-knit feeling they have been used to in the past.  Often people will resist additional services because they believe it will prevent them from getting to know everybody.  The truth is that even now, with just one Contemporary Service, it is impossible to truly get to know everybody.  Church growth experts will tell you that you can really only get to know 70-90 people at a time.  Adding an additional service will not help nor hinder that.  

On the positive side, having additional services will bring in additional people providing a greater pool of resources, both human and financial. New people bring more energy, creativity, and excitement.  The nature of the community may change with its size, but the sense of community can still remain.

It Will Take More Effort and Involvement

There is no question that adding an additional service means more effort being extended by many people.  The pastor who is preaching will have to preach twice.  The Worship Team and Performing Arts Team will sing, play and perform twice.  There will be a need for sound, video and lighting technicians for two services rather than one service.  It will take more ushers and more greeters each Sunday.  There will also be a need for more help in every aspect of our Children’s Ministry.  

But while this is true, it is also worth it.  In the parable of the lost coin that Jesus told in Luke 15, the woman who lost the coin was willing to spare no effort to find it.  She lit her lamp and swept her house.  The shepherd who lost one of his sheep was willing to go back out after dark into a dangerous wilderness to find the lost sheep.  Jesus Himself was willing to endure the inconvenience of leaving heaven, being born in a manger, and dying on a cross in order to seek and to save lost people.  Yes, adding a second service will take more effort and more involvement, but all the extra energy we expend and any inconvenience we endure will be worth it.  Why?  Because lost people are valuable to God!

On the other side of the coin, it should become much easier to get new volunteers for these areas, especially in our children’s ministry.  Here’s why.  Currently, if you work in the nursery or help with our kids during the worship service, you do not get to participate in the worship service.  With two services this will no longer be the case.  If you serve in our children’s ministry during one service you can still attend the other worship service.  People will no longer have to miss the worship service in order to serve in our children’s ministry.

We Will Lose Energy In Our Service

This is a “catch 22” that we have considered.  On one hand, though our Gospel Center is not completely full at this time, if we do not add an additional worship service in the near future we will soon begin to plateau and ultimately decline in attendance due to overcrowding in our parking lot and ultimately in the Gospel Center itself.  However, by splitting into two services we will begin with just half as many people in the Gospel Service for worship.  In an auditorium our size this will be a noticeable difference.  But because multiple services leads to new growth and to more consistent attendance we believe that we will, in short order, grow into our auditorium at both services.   

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