14 Hints on Adding New Service Times from 13 Church Leaders Who Did It
Is your church thinking about adding new service times in the future? We recently interviewed a number of church leaders within the unSeminary community who have led their churches through this change to help extract some helpful hints for you. I’ve attempted to compress all of this learning down into the trends that we saw across all the churches we talked with. We’d love you to share what you have learned from adding new service times to you church … leave a comment!
- What did you do to prepare and announce the change that you would recommend other churches do?
- Start with the Why // “Promote the why behind the addition to church as a whole and to the “insiders”. Discuss idea of adding a service with volunteers even if you have already made the decision – creates buy-in.” – Morgan Herselman
- Over-communication is Critical // “In service announcements … funny videos that caught people’s attention. Those videos went onto all of our social media channels too. Slides pre/post service announcing new times. Email to entire congregation the week before with a reminder. Calls to all volunteers to make sure they were aware and ready for the shift. Biggest (longest) chore for us was changing all print pieces and website and graphics to new service times. Everywhere we looked there was another place we had our service times and needed to reorder/change. (Business cards, local newspapers, online “yellow page” sites, front doors, multiple pages on our own website).” – Andrea D’Angelo
- Sequence the Communication Roll Out // “Start with the influencers and informally talk with them about the need and the solution. Have them help you with unforeseen issues and momentum with those who are reluctant to embrace or accept the change.” – Matt Brookes
- Test the Times if Possible // “The first thing we did was a “trial run” on Easter Sunday – this gave us some solid evidence that we could pull off two services and do a good job.” – Scott Gamel
- Network for Learning // “Talk with other churches.” – Tyson Herald
- FAQ Document // “Created a FAQ about 2 services but it went just to our leaders for talking points.” – Roscoe Lilly
- Plan for Relationship // “We planned some church wide social events following the change in service times, to help those concerned about not seeing some people that move to the other service.” – Steve Stewart
- Choose New Times Wisely // “Don’t add a service time to an existing time(s). Change your times and force people to make a choice. If you add a new time to existing time(s), you won’t get people to move from their “old time”.” – Dean Johnson
- What did you do during this change that you would recommend other churches avoid?
- Don’t get too fancy! // “Try make new service time attractional by changing the production order or adding other elements – creates too much pressure and stress on volunteers.” – Morgan Herselman
- The Summer Slump // “Do not start a new service going into the summer even if you are dying because of the lack of space. It started off strong, but continued to die all summer long and it didn’t pick back up in the fall.” – Steve Robinson
- Be Careful How Change Impacts You! // “Over eating from stress.” – Joe Boyd
- You Might Get What You Ask For // “Asked all the leadership to attend during the first three months. I should have rotated them.” – Nathan Gonzalez
- Prep the Teams // “Spent more time preparing the worship team for the change.” – John Wiley
- Choose Timing Wisely // “Looking back, we would not have had our first “time change” services on another “big day.” We changed service times during our Fall Kick-Off. Just pushed up the stress for staff and volunteers.” – Scott Gamel