12 things I learned when our church started another worship service

3.  I learned that…Another service is a way into your church for people who aren’t attending

12 Things I learned when our church started another worship service

12 Things I learned when our church started another worship service

There’s something about the new that really works.  In our lives we see new things all the time, and we’ve come to expect them.  Tim Horton’s has a new sandwich every month.  We like this.  New stores open, and we go.  A new fitness class starts at the gym, and we join it.  New things are naturally shared and discussed.  It’s news.

I learned that by starting another service, people who were in the community and looking for a connect or a re-connect to church felt very happy to come.

Picture walking into an established group or society in your town.  Full of people.  All seated.  Some people can do that easily and comfortably.   Most people can’t.  It’s harder to walk into something established.  To feel ownership in it.  That’s it a place for you.

I learned that with the new service, people just freely came and took ownership of it very quickly.   And still do.

12 things I learned when our church started another worship service

2.  I learned that…Starting another worship service generates the unexpected.

The unexpected, while against some Presbyterian sensibilities, can be a gift.

12 Things I learned when our church started another worship service

12 Things I learned when our church started another worship service

I didn’t expect, for example, that there would be tonnes of musicians in and around the congregation who had so many gifts.  Guitarist.  Pianists.  And yes, drummers!  (One started at age 13, and is simply amazing.)

I didn’t expect there were people who wanted to and had gifts to organize, lead, learn and choose worship songs and hymns.

I didn’t expect two senior women from the other service to agree to lead a kids’ program during the one we started.

I didn’t expect someone who had started attending to come into the church one Tuesday morning and say, Greg,  ‘I’d like to organize a lunch once a month after the new service this year, and I’ll provide it.’  Wow.  Not expected.

I didn’t expect how much I would enjoy having two totally different kinds of music at the same church.  One of the (now 4) worship band leaders asked me to play bass guitar in their band.  Now I get to do it once a month.  And I look forward to it.  When I shipped my black Geneva gown from Ottawa to this church, I didn’t expect that!

I didn’t expect how many new leaders in the church would come from the new worship service.  Elders, board members, children’s faith program leaders, prayer group members, committee workers, ministry partners, youth, children who invite their friends into the church.

I also didn’t expect how many people would come, and stay, and want to grow together.

12 things I learned when our church started another worship service

1.   I learned that…It’s more work than you think.  

You might be kicking around the idea of starting another service at your church.  All the gurus say ‘it’s the quickest way to grow attendance’.  You might think, sure, update the church sign, get the ushers there a little earlier, bump up the musician’s hours.  No sweat.

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12 Things I learned when our church started another worship service

Well the conversation we had at our church went on a bit longer.  We actually had flow charts, personnel plans, updated worship assistant schedules, details on how to count the offering, even discussion on whether or not to separate it from the other service’s offering (we didn’t), timetables for who will open the church and when, notes to contact the coffee coordinator, how Communion might look, a whole page of notes on a new order of service.

We planned.  Presbyterian style. I’s dotted.  T’s crossed.

But nowhere did I plan for the extra energy required for the brand new service.

Oh another worship service.  Just another 60 minutes out of the week.

Far from it.  Faaar.

In the wonderful and amazing God-moments I’ve witnessed now that it’s up and running, it’s been a lot more work than we planned.  For church administrator, elders, board, ushers, musicians, for me the pastor, everyone.

And worth every, single ounce of it!

Surprisingly, it didn’t take long before the energy poured out has come back, by Grace, and ten times more.