There are countless possibilities for arranging a weekend worship schedule. Just like everything else in our culture, it’s complex and filled with options.
When pastors or other church leaders first meet together at a conference or other event, the conversation almost always comes around to their weekend worship schedule. It’s a springboard to what the church is trying to do and accomplish. It’s great for getting new ideas. It gives insight to the nature of their church.
According to Thom Rainer, the most popular times for worship services start between 9:30 and 10:30 on Sunday morning. Additionally, the number of churches with multiple services will soon be in the majority and the number of churches with concurrent worship services is also growing. [read more from his post]
So today, I thought I would share our typical Sunday morning worship schedule with you. All of our worship services are currently held on Sunday mornings. Our town is about 10,000 in population and our church is around 400-450 in average attendance, to give you an idea of where we are.
HERE’S THE BACKSTORY:
In the late 1970’s there was a spurt of growth in the church that caused the church to move to two services – 8:00 and 10:00 with Sunday School in the middle at 9:00. The two services were temporary, to make room until more space could be added.
in 1983, a new building was built, but by then, people had become accustomed to the service times and they kept moving forward with two worship options 8:00 and, now, 10:10 am, with Sunday School at 9:00.
Around 1991, to keep growing, the church added the 9:00 service, a middle service between the two existing services and concurrent with Sunday School Classes. This service grew in popularity as parents with kids loved being here for one hour for both worship (adults) and Sunday School (kids).
At some point, the 10:10 worship service time was bumped to 10:15 and eventually moved to 10:30 am, with a time of fellowship designed from 10:00 – 10:30 am.
Eventually, around 2004, the 9:00 service relocated to the Family Life Center and Sunday school times for kids were created at 10:30 am as well as 9:00 am.
Over the last two years, another service, concurrent with 10:30 has been added to the schedule and begins at 10:35 am and meets in the Family Life Center, which brings us to the current Sunday schedule as of 2015:
8:00 Worship in Sanctuary | Adult Sunday Classes also meet this hour
9:00 Worship in Family Life Center | Children and Adult Classes happen during this hour
10:30 Worship in Sanctuary | Children’s Ministry happens during this hour
10:35 Worship in Family Life Center | Children’s Ministry happens during this same hour
Additionally, we send preachers to two other churches in neighboring communities with one church service at 10:00 am and another at 11:00 am.
WHO PREACHES WHERE:
The general schedule is for the Sr. Pastor to preach at the 8:00, 9:00 and 10:30 services, as has been the custom for years. A team of staff and laity rotate preaching duties for the 10:35 service. A team of staff and laity also rotate to preach at the other two sites on Sunday mornings.
Though there is a trend for churches to offer only one service repeated throughout the weekend, our church still offers different worship styles among each of these four services on Sundays. The sanctuary services are primarily led with organ and piano, choirs and hymn books. The Family Life Center worship services have worship bands, projected lyrics, sit around tables in the back, etc. Interestingly, and in line with much of the millennials information out there, the ages don’t break down along the lines of the service styles. There are younger and older in each of the styles offered. There are families with young children who get up early and come to the 8:00 service. There are empty-nesters who attend in the Family Life Center services. You can see a breakdown in styles of worship service here.
One blessing in our church is the flexible and adaptable community of believers assembled here. We have made big changes at times, for the sake of presenting the gospel message, and people not only go with it, but support it fully.