Sunday Worship Times
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.
September 30, 2010 @ 9:56 am
Unless I am missing something (very possible), there is nowhere for 6th – 12th graders to go in the survey. I decided putting “3” (verses following the directions or putting 1 or 2) in the adult “bucket” was the best way to go. Hope I did not mess anything up.
September 30, 2010 @ 9:56 am
Is there a possibility for a Saturday evening service (i.e. 5:30pm)?
September 30, 2010 @ 11:43 am
David, thanks for continually inviting the church fam’s opinions. The communication is really empowering. It’s also encouraging to see how mindfully you weigh these decisions.
September 30, 2010 @ 11:50 am
I could certainly be mistaken, but didn’t services start out at 75 minutes? Is there a way we can get to that? That might help alleviate the problem with potential service overlap and allow us to get to an 8:45/10:30, which seem to be more comfortable with people mentally than 8:30 and 11:00 (the more sparsely attended service times) I think getting out before noon is key for people who are used to coming to the 10, which is why many have started attending the 9.
September 30, 2010 @ 12:06 pm
I love the idea of a Saturday night service, like Ryan mentioned. And it may be an easier time for some of us to volunteer. Plus, added bonus for those of us to who want to sleep in and read the WaPo on Sunday mornings – LOL. Thanks for asking for input!
September 30, 2010 @ 1:30 pm
Sorry about that Jennie, you did great. That ‘adult’ question should refer to anyone staying in the sanctuary– 6th grade on up.
Keep ringing that 3rd service in the evening bell. It’s got to get a LOT louder before it happens. 🙂 It is on the horizon, but how distant depends on several factors that I will talk about on Oct. 5
Totally agree with you Carolyn on the importance of getting out before noon.
Erica, thanks. At the end of the day, these aren’t my service times. These are the times our community wants to gather for worship, so I need to listen…
September 30, 2010 @ 5:43 pm
As suggested, I am ringing the Sat evening bell! Won’t work for us every week, but HOORAY for when it does!!!!!! Remember the Sat evening service at TFC is what lead us to RAC in the first place. 🙂 Understand starting/maintaining one would take HUGE amounts of extra time, energy, etc. from everybody, including you. Just “ringing the bell” as I was told to do. :> Sometimes I follow directions.
September 30, 2010 @ 7:44 pm
Couldn’t see where the survey link was? In any case, we’d vote big time for 8:45 and 10:30…that would make the second service so much easier for us to do. (But we’ll keep doing it at 11, too, of course! Just would be better!)
September 30, 2010 @ 7:46 pm
8:30 and 10:30 is my preference.
I am opposed to a Saturday night service. I believe that we have to keep in mind that our Rector and his sanity and family time is important. Adding one more service to the mix may not be healthy for our start-up church plant. We have achieved a lot in the past two years – I think slow and steady should remain the pace.
September 30, 2010 @ 7:53 pm
I don’t see a survey monkey link.
September 30, 2010 @ 7:55 pm
I found the link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WMDJC2M
Copy and pate this into your browser…
October 1, 2010 @ 8:29 am
Steve, thanks for your care and concern for me and my family– very kind! However, I am one of the biggest supporters of a third service… we just need the timing to be right. I appreciate all of these thoughts! Hopefully the survey is right there on the blog post for you. I think it goes away once you have filled it out on that computer (ie one survey per computer)
October 3, 2010 @ 7:35 pm
I am a proponent of either the 8:45 or the 9:00 for the sake of volunteers who have to get to church early. It is amazing how much earlier 8:30 feels than even 8:45 when you arrive an hour or an hour and a half before the first service.
Please continue to invite people to come in on the conversation!
October 4, 2010 @ 11:37 am
Aaaaand another ring of the bell for an evening service – Sunday OR Saturday.
October 4, 2010 @ 3:08 pm
Yes, I’d love an evening service — especially if it was Sunday evening (which young adults seem to prefer). Whichever evening, a big plus would be to have communion at the service, as is offered at the Sunday morning services.
October 5, 2010 @ 8:31 pm
8:45 and 10 would be my preference, as I would likely attend both, depending on the week, leaning towards the latter most frequently. It would be nice to be out before noon. Thanks for including us in the conversation.