New Service Launch
In our seven years of existence, we have changed our service times seven times.
We went from: Friday Night 7pm to Sunday Night 6pm to Sunday Morning 10:30am to Sunday Morning 9 and 11am to Saturday night 6pm, Sunday 9 and 11am to Sunday 9am, 11am, 6pm to Sunday 8:30am, 10am, 11:30am and 6pm
At each change our church has grown and that would not have happened if we wouldn’t have taken the risk of change. Here are some things we have learned at PromiseLand when it comes to change!
- Live in a culture of change. Always move with the times and never let your people get too settled. That doesn’t mean that you have to change all the time, but the congregation needs to be comfortable and used to changing. If you never change anything and then all of the sudden want to change, then your church culture will be abrasive to it. We often teach on change and remind folks that change is uncomfortable for everyone. Change doesn’t have to be comfortable to be right, however it should be confirmed by God.
- Communicate the change EARLY. If you want people to accept change and participate, then let them in on it early as possible. There are several different ‘crowds’ of people that need to know about the change and it affects them each in a different way. Here are the different levels of communication when we encounter BIG change.
- God– I talk to God and he directs me. I often resist the idea of big change and he confirms it is the right thing to do.
- Core Leadership – The church staff and elders are on the ground level of making the decision for change. I begin to run the thought of change through them to get ideas of how to implement the change. Before anything is decided, this group needs to be ‘in’ on it and ‘down’ with it! They need ownership. Plus, they have crucial ideas that help shape the best plan for action. This communication is done through small meetings and they are asked to keep the ideas confidential. We do not want anything to be presented to the general public until we are all on the same page and presenting the same message. This happens 6-8weeks before the change launches.
- General Leadership– The men and women that lead the main functions of ministry need to know about the change before the congregation. This respects and honors them. At this point, the change has already been decided on, but we want the leadership team of the church to be on board. We discuss all the details of the change and get their input on how it could/should work. This happens one of 2 ways. We either announce at a leadership meeting where everyone is there, or we talk to them about it in small group meetings with other leaders (we call these ‘Check Points’). We talk to these folks 4-5 weeks before the change launches.
- Congregation- We announce the change to the congregation 2 ways. First, it is mentioned to the church in our worship services about 3-4 weeks before it occurs. We also mail a letter to the entire church database (not guests) 3-4 weeks before it happens. The letter gives us a change to explain the philosophy and goals of the change. Plus, it canvases the congregation. If we were to rely solely on pulpit announcements, we would have to announce for 5-6 weeks before everyone heard the message. They are given the opportunity to sign-up to serve at the new service. We have a ‘volunteer fair’ a couple weeks out.
- General Community – We mail postcards to everyone on our database (members, guests, etc) about 2 weeks before the change happens. We include all the other things happening that weekend that would be appealing to them. This message is not about the change as much as it is about excitement for something new, bigger, and better. We also blast an email out to our entire database. We post Facebook events, twitter, etc.
- Plan the Change when you know there will be momentum anyway. On our calendar there are 3-4 times where we know that momentum will happen. We must be ready for these times and do everything we can to ride that wave. For us those weeks are: Week 2 and 3 of January. Easter and 2 weeks before. 2-3 weeks after Labor Day, and 2-3 weeks before Christmas. These weeks are great times to plan something BIG. When we launched our 3rd morning service this weekend, we planned it 2 weeks after Labor Day and we planned to have John Ragsdale as our guest that day. We know that he attracts our “regulars” and guests like him too. We wanted to give all our regulars several good reasons to attend on this big day. On Easter, we usually don’t have guests ministers because we want all those guests to see what a regular weekend at PSM will be like.
- Follow up. Meet with your teams afterward and see where things can be improved. Clean up some messes! 🙂
I’m not sure that God really cares when we meet together as long as we do it often.
Here are the numbers of people that worshiped with us on Sunday at PromiseLand San Marcos:
- 8:30- 170
- 10- 312
- 11:30- 238
- Internet viewers- 35
- Gary Campus (12:30pm)- 80
- 6pm- 24
- TOTAL: 859
It was a huge weekend for us! We are excited about how this will open the door for more growth in the future.
Posted on September 20, 2010, in Church Business. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.
Great insight, Great post. Change is inevitable. Messes are merely skinned knees along the way. After all, you can’t trip if you are standing still. Follow the cloud and the fire. Exodus 13:21 (NKJV)
21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.
Update: It’s been 10 years now and 9 service changes