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Question: Worship Services

I've been thinking about worship services. OK, I'm usually thinking about worship services in some corner of my mind, but I've been specifically thinking about time/day/style of worship services.

How many worship services does your church have?
What time are they at? Day of the week?
Traditional? 'Contemporary'? Something else?
Which service do most people attend?
How long is your service?
Is your current offering of services the same as it's always been?
How did you go about making a change if it isn't the same as it's always been?


Kathryn said…
Are you sure you want this?
Mon, Thurs, Fri said Holy Communion (one evening, one mid morning, one early an effort to cover all constituencies)
Toddler worship every Thursday
Sundays: said Communion at 8.00
Sung Parish Communion at 10.00
Evensong at 6.30
plus once a month OpenHouse family church at 4.00
The latter is only 3 years old, the others have been there forever.
Would have loved to introduce an alternative worship service more regularly, perhaps once a month...but am changing jobs in just 2 weeks, so that's a vision for another time/place
Anonymous said…
How many worship services does your church have?

What time are they at? Day of the week?
All Sunday - 8:30, 9:30, 2 at 11 a.m.

Traditional? 'Contemporary'? Something else?

3 traditional, 1 contemporary/folksy

Which service do most people attend?

9:30 traditional or 11 a.m. contemporary

How long is your service?

If it goes over an hour people get antsy.

Is your current offering of services the same as it's always been?

Contemporary added 5+ years ago.

How did you go about making a change if it isn't the same as it's always been?

There are still people who do not like the contemporary service. A few people, with the senior pastor's permission, shoved it into being.

There has been talk of rearranging the morning schedule so we don't have 2 service at 11 a.m. and can create a Sunday School hour without worship service competition. No one believes that is possible, though.
Anonymous said…
Hi Beth,

A year ago our samllish (100+) church changed from a two service (trad/comtemporary) fromat to a 9AM traditional service (kids go off to children's choir or sit with theri parents), 10 - 10:30 fellowship time, 10:30 to 11:30 Communion Chapel and all Sunday school classes. Communion chapel is a meditative service where the communion elements are introduced at the beginning of the service with a brief introduction by our pastor. This is a meditative service with quiet music, both live and recorded. Participants go forward an take communion by intinction as they are moved to do so. Numbers are still low for this service, but attendees appear to like it. I do.

Perhaps more important than what we did was how we did it. The process began last February (2007). Because we were changing not only the second service format, but also shifting the time for the Sunday school hour and moving the traditional service earlier by 1/2 hour, our goal was to involve every one in the conversation. The worship committee made announcements in the newsletter, the weekly bulletin and from the pulpit. We had two 'town hall' meetings and broadcast the results and we made presentations to the church council. By the time we implemented the change in September, everyone knew what was afoot.

I think it went well, although there are periodic gripes about the 9AM start time (esp from the musicians!).

Thanks Beth. I enjoy your blog and really liked your observations on transparency.


Bill Abplanalp
1st UMC, Lafayette, CO
klh said…
How many? - 2
Times - 9am and 11am, Sunday
Type - Traditional and with no children, although, mainly because I (the new associate pastor's wife) have pushed the issue, the 9am service is, by way of concession, open to having children in it, and I am provided with a youth sanctuary buddy to help me keep my child quiet.
Which attended - split pretty much down the middle
Length - 1 hour; varies very little
History - No pastor has really changed anything very much in the past 10 years, following the retirement of a very charismatic pastor who had been here for 35 years. Adding a child-friendly element (meaning I don't get berated before entering the sanctuary anymore) to the 9am service was pretty radical for this church, and I don't think it would have happened without the culture clash of my family being appointed to this congregation.
Greg Hazelrig said…
2 worship services on Sunday, 9am and 11am - 1 prayer service on Wednesday evening at 6:15

9am is called alternative worship service - it has contemporary music and is casual but has Holy Communion weekly. We're going for something different and something very spiritual.

11am is blended traditional - a couple older praise songs a couple of hymns and once in a while apostle's creed. I still dress pretty casual.

Most come to the 11am - this has been around longest

All are about an hour to hour fifteen

The prayer service is only prayer and songs instead of varied things that the last pastor had and the 11am is less traditional and the 9am was started last September.

The last pastor only gave me two bulletins and both were different and I honestly didn't know what they were expecting, so I just winged it like I thought it should be and nobody said anything until I took out the apostles creed. Then I did sort of a comprimise.

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