We have a pretty detailed Sunday morning schedule in our family. Here’s a bit of backstory.
Several years ago, we had Sunday School at 9:00 and worship at 10:30. Then, before it was really a thing, mainly because of space, our church started the 9:00 service, a middle service between the 8:00 and 10:30 services. To make more Sunday School space, our class switched, we began attending the 9:00 worship then we would meet at 10:30 for Sunday School. Eventually the class faded away, but we stuck with the 9:00 worship service. Since then, 9:00 worship has been relocated to another part of the church and second service has been added to that same room. Which brings us to this current Sunday morning schedule at our church:
8:00 Worship in Sanctuary
9:00 Worship in Family Life Center (Children and Adult Classes happen during this hour)
10:15 Worship in Sanctuary (Children and Adult Classes happen during this hour)
10:45 Worship in Family Life Center (Children and Adult Classes happen during this same hour)
This doesn’t count the other two services where people from our church go preach in neighboring towns on Sunday mornings with one of those services at 10:15 and another service in another church at 11:00 am.
We always take two cars to church. My wife and I have driven to church together a handful of times in our marriage, basically when worship services were combined because Christmas landed on Sunday, when we’re on vacation, or something like that. Otherwise, I usually drive myself and arrive early enough to sound check with the worship team. My family arrives in time for 9:00 worship, during which time our older child goes to her class and the younger one stays in worship with us. At 10:45, the older one either attends worship in the Family Life Center (where I am still involved in serving) or helps in ministry, and the younger one goes to class. My wife serves in nursery ministry during the second hour.
At the close of Sunday morning, we stand around and talk and depending on the day or schedule, attend a newcomer lunch and meeting, go out to have lunch with someone from the church or just head home – in two different cars.
WORSHIP AND SERVE
This sort of Sunday morning schedule may be typical for many church staff. I serve on part-time staff at the church and enjoy it. But there are countless others in our ministry who aren’t on staff and have a similar schedule to me on Sundays. They arrive early or stay late. In effect, they have at least a two-hour Sunday morning. For the worship teams in our setting, on the days they are serving, it’s a four-hour Sunday morning. We arrive at 7:45 am to set up and sound check, lead at 9:00 am, visit from 10:00 – 10:45 and lead a second service at 10:45 am, concluding the morning around 11:45. I’m grateful for all those men and women on our teams! It’s an army of people modeling faithfulness. I’m especially grateful for all the worship team members who are in worship even when they aren’t on the schedule serving in the band. It’s a part of the culture that we both worship and serve.
THE INVITATION FOR MORE
Every church I know wants more people to participate in ministry. They are trying to reach people with the message of the gospel. There are incredible opportunities for us to be in ministry to our friends, family, workplaces, and neighborhoods. But, there are also many roles within the church to help make Sunday worship happen in an attractive and engaging way.
This requires many hands – greeting people, preparing the worship space, production, planning, hospitality, food, set up, welcome, parking, teaching, leading, greeting, serving, caring.
Aside from all the roles through the week, the Sunday service or weekend services offers many opportunities for you to serve. If the church is truly going to reach people, it requires many people to help make it happen. Everyone in the church should have a role to play during Sunday worship – to both worship and serve.
KIDS IN WORSHIP
Many churches have a place for kids during worship, as a result, a child can go to Sunday School or Children’s Ministry while the parent goes to church and this can happen until the child turns 18 years old! There are students who have never experienced worship together with their families and the church.
At a certain age – which may be different for different kids – I believe it’s helpful for them to attend worship. To sing songs, listen to messages, experience worship and observe the church doing what it does. A fifth or sixth grader – maybe even younger – should be able to or learn to be able to sit through worship faithfully each week.
If your family is helping to serve in ministry, then you can do this – one hour of worship and another hour of ministry, learning, growing, teaching, leading. One important ingredient to kids staying connected to the church and to faith is to see their families attend worship and serve joyfully in the church.
BECOME A TWO HOUR PERSON / FAMILY
Maybe it’s a good time to become a two-hour Sunday morning family. There is so much joy in community that is built around serving. When you are on a team in ministry, making a visible difference in the growth of the church, you will love it, your week will be more focused, your heart will be more open. It will make a world of difference!
I visited a church once where they had polled their people… and nearly 70% of their congregation said that being a part of the growth of their church was the most significant thing they had done with their lives!
Here a partial list of how you might be able to do this:
- Worship then be a Sunday School Leader.
- Worship then serve in children’s ministry.
- Serve as a parking greeter one hour, then attend worship.
- Worship in one service, then help with tech and production for the second service.
- Be on the early morning set up team, then attend worship.
- Help with greeting and hospitality during the first hour, then attend worship.
- Attend worship and serve in another worship service.
- Begin a community group or small group for breakfast on Sundays, then attend worship together.
- Attend worship and then serve in a special ministry with students – such as a small group or interest group.
- Attend Sunday school and then worship.
- Help in more than one-weekend worship service on Sundays.
- Attend worship and have your whole family stick around to help greet for the start of the second service.
OTHER TIMES WORK TOO
I don’t want this post to sound legalistic, but to open you up to the possibility! I do believe that in order to do ministry more effectively, you must be committed to a regular corporate worship service. If you are trying to serve in the church and you are not attending worship, you won’t last long. I’ve seen it happen too many times. If I had to pick, and for some reason, you only have one hour on Sundays, I would say, be in worship and serve another time slot during the week.
The church has the largest army of volunteer leaders of any organization on the planet. Christian leaders are everywhere. There are places you can plug in to serve in kingdom ministry beyond the the local church.
But, I want you to consider an hour of worship on Sunday and an hour of ministry and growth on Sunday.
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