For numerous months, we have considered a possible shift toward one weekly worship service rather than two. We are excited to move forward with the transition to one worship service beginning June 3.
Below are some of the details and moving parts related to this shift and a bit of the rationale behind this move. While this is not exhaustive, we hope that it helps paint a clear picture and answer some of the most common questions you may have.
What is Changing?
- One Worship Service: Rather than our current arrangement of having two worship services every Sunday morning, we will now only have one. It will begin at 10:15 a.m. and end by 11:45 a.m.
- Lengthening the Worship Service: Rather than our current 75 -minute services, we will expand to a 90-minute service. The longer duration will offer increased space for things like prayer, testimonies/videos, Scripture reading, and words of encouragement.
- Children and the Worship Service: As we move to having one service, here is how we will plan to incorporate and minister to children during that time (of course, if families would like to keep their family together in the auditorium for the duration of the worship service, we’d love for them to do that as well!):
- Two Years Old & Under: We’ll have nursery available for the duration of the worship service.
- Three &Four Year Olds: These kids will be encouraged to join their families in the Auditorium for the first half of the service and then can be dismissed to a classroom before the sermon for a teaching time.
- Five Year Olds Through 4th Grade: This group of kids will be encouraged to join their families in the Auditorium for the first half of the service and then can be dismissed to a large group teaching time and small groups in the Children’s Wing.
- 5th & 6th Graders: This group will be given the option to serve as volunteers with younger children on a rotation.
- Life Education Shift: Currently, we offer adult and children’s classes from 9:00-10:15 a.m. each Sunday. Starting this summer, we will shorten that time down to 60 minutes. And while we will still offer classes for adults during that time, we’ll only be offering childcare for children rather than instructional time.
Why the Changes?
- Committing to One Service: The shift toward having one worship service is not simply because we can, but because we want to. Even as the Lord shows favor and our church grows numerically in the years ahead, we want to do all we can to prioritize worshiping together as an entire church family each week!
- Involving Children in Worship Services: As a church, we very much want children to see how God’s people worship together in singing, praying, reading, baptizing, taking communion, etc. So we want them to be in services to see those things! Yet we also want to be sensitive to families whose children would have difficulty sitting quietly through a lengthy sermon. We will strive to have children learn about the same topic/text that is being preached in the worship service, but will do so in a context where it can be explained and applied to them in ways that are more age-specific.
- Streamlining Discipleship Efforts of Youth: On the surface, it may appear that we are diminishing our investment in children and teenagers by removing our 9:00 a.m. instructional classes for them, but rather we truly desire to make our discipleship of young people more streamlined and strategic. These shifts will result in: a) more young people attending worship services, b) more opportunities for older children and teenagers to serve, and c) a greater emphasis on our mid-week programs as a primary venue of discipleship.
We created a simple visual graphic below to help paint a picture of what new realities will look like on Sunday mornings. Please know that we would be glad to answer any more specific questions you may have!