So what do you think about our new worship times?
When thinking about Sunday worship times, I am motivated by 3 things (in this priority order):
- I want there to be enough time between services that we don’t feel rushed. We need time to pray for people, to linger in musical worship. The musicians, servers, preacher, readers need space to close the early service and set up for the later service. More time allows folks to visit with each other. It eases the strain on parking, bathrooms, nursery drop off and pickup. 30-45 minutes between the end of one service and the beginning of the next (as opposed to 7 minutes!!) just makes some breathing room on Sunday morning.
- I want there to be an even distribution between the 2 services. We are worshiping between 275 and 295 on Sunday mornings. During the summer, the distribution of that number was fairly even, with slightly (10-15 people) more at the 10am. This even distribution is important for 2 reasons– we use every square inch of the downstairs for children’s ministry and we need to not have a concentration of kids at one service AND I’d like for there to be space at both services for new folks to come.
- We use a lot of volunteers and I want to make the worship times work for them. Starting later and ending earlier makes life a little easier for those who are serving before and after. Our service lasts about 80 minutes, give or take a minute. I have noticed that going past noon and beginning before 9 are both demotivating to attendance. But it is not possible to have both of these if my highest priority is #1.
So, last week, we had 179 adults and kids at the 9am and 110 people (89 adults, 21 kids) at the 11am. It would be helpful if we could even that out. I am open to the reality that 9 and 11 may not be the best times for our congregation. It seems that if we could start both services a little earlier and possibly reduce the time in between, we might get a more even distribution– making a better children’s ministry experience and more space for newcomers at both services. I’d like to know what you think. The survey below is anonymous and will take 30 seconds to fill out. I’d also love your comments. Tell me what you think the best times are and why. I am seeking your input. I’ll let you know what we are going to do at the parish meeting on tuesday, Oct. 5.