Since March 31, 2013, we have been offering two Sunday services. Over the past few months, I have been continually praying and just holding that whole area up to the Lord and His direction and leading. At the close of 2013, we gathered all the numbers from those 9 months of two services, to evaluate and assess where we are at as a church. Here are some big takeaways:
- Our average Sunday attendance stayed about the same as before (around 360).
- Of the total attendance, 59% attends first, 41% attends second.
- 30.5% of our attendance is birth through 6th grade (SonChasers).
- Taking into account the chairs we have out in the Living Room: In the first service on average, the room is 41% full. In the second service, the room is only 26% full.
After much evaluation, conversation and prayer, as an elder team, we have decided to move back to one Sunday service at 10am. This announcement was made in our services on Sunday, January 12.
When are we making the move back to one?
We will be moving to one service on February 9, which aligns with the start of a new teaching series and the spring community group semester. That gives us a month to adjust volunteer schedules and rotations, and communicate to the church family appropriately.
Why are we going back to one?
At this point, looking at the numbers over the 9 months and even with anticipated growth in the future, we don’t think offering two services is necessary or warranted. Frankly, there is something about a larger gathering of people (whether it be children in SonChasers, or adults/students in the Living Room) that stirs up momentum and anticipation. I think anyone who attended our 10 year combined celebration would agree. If you compare it to rocking a car back and forth to get it moving in the snow, sometimes, you have to go backward, in order to go forward.
Finally, we are going back to one, because we can and get to change. As a church, we remain flexible and adaptable to what the Lord is leading us to. That ability to change didn’t stop when we left the Middle School. Instead, we continue as a church with the mentality of a pioneer, and not a settler where nothing ever changes. We are not retreating, but advancing, simply in another formation. There is a season for everything, and the season we are in right now is to move to one, and keep advancing the Kingdom and mission.
What have we learned in going to two services?
We have been reminded again of how our volunteers are great. They are faithful, they step up, and they continue to be His hands and feet. We are not going back to one service because we didn’t have the volunteer for two, because we actually did, and that has been one of the biggest blessings and encouragements in this journey. We also learned that we can adapt to change as a church, and still do effective ministry. Our willingness to change must not go away simply because we get older as a church. We also learned that we could do the move to two services. There was unknown in moving to two, and we learned that God is able and His people are faithful. I’d say those have all been good reminders.
When do we go back to two services?
Our desire is not to flip flop back and forth every month or so. Instead right now, we believe that we need operate as one service and push through the level of seeing 400+ consistently attending on a Sunday service. Looking at the proportions of children in SonChasers, and their breakdown among age groups, we believe we can grow to 425-450 using one service. Those are ‘our thoughts’…we’ll see if the Lord has other thoughts down the road.
Will we all fit in one service? What about in SonChasers?
Looking at our current attendance, yes, we will definitely fit in both the Living and Family Rooms, and yet also have room to grow and continue to be driven to reach people with the Good News. We intend on purchasing additional wall dividers for the mobile classrooms in SonChasers to help with defining those spaces clearer. We will also have to remain flexible as to where those age groups meet, and if a particular group gets very large, we will adapt to that.
What about the volunteers that have stepped up when we moved to two services?
You are still needed. Because we are moving to one service does not change the Biblical truth that God has and is using you as a part of His Body to accomplish His purposes. Some volunteers are serving in multiple places on a Sunday morning. With this move, it might allow them to concentrate in one area. In SonChasers, some teachers/worship leaders might choose to tag team lead, especially with the younger ages. Some volunteers may move to a substitute list and be available to cover sicknesses or unexpected absences. Some volunteers, as they seek the Lord, might determine that their strength and giftedness is in one area, so they will ‘play to their strengths’ and serve in that capacity, or have the flexibility of moving to another area of ministry in the Body. We also hope to better staff some areas of ministry in making this transition and pursue excellence in all we do.
By moving to one service…
We understand that some volunteers who attended one service, but served in another, will now not be able to do that. We hope our audio podcast will continue to serve as a blessing and resource for you to stay in the know and encouraged in the Word, even as you serve. We believe we’ll be able to add some more creativity into our services, especially with the worship band being in the service the entire time. We don’t anticipate changing the service length, but if a particular Sunday comes up that requires that, we’ll be able to adapt to it. With a 10am start time, we will also be able to incorporate more relational, church-wide gatherings (i.e.: breakfasts and lunches) to keep building 3D community.
As a church, we are continually learning and growing as the Spirit leads us. I am personally so thankful for you all, the Crosspoint family, and grateful to serve alongside you. I’m thankful for your grace as well. Leadership often feels like a walk in the dark, where the Holy Spirit illuminates simply the next step you are to take, and then the next, and so on. I think that is where the Lord wants us though, because then, we are reminded that we are completely dependent upon Him, and He is who we put our trust and faith in. His wisdom is what we seek. Over 10+ years of ministry as a church, we have continually seen God reveal Himself as faithful, trustworthy, and awesome. I have no doubt that as we are humble before Him, and follow, He will continue to lead and grow us and those yet to be reached into a community of people that are devoted to Jesus, dedicated to one another, and driven to reach more and more people with the life changing news of the Gospel.
If you have questions, please let myself, or an elder or staff member know. You are loved. Looking ahead to what God has in store for 2014!