The results are in!
As you know, our aim as a church is to help people take the next step on their spiritual journey. We want everyone in our city to experience the life-giving message of Jesus and to grow in their relationship with God.
As you also know, our church is growing steadily. While we still have some available seating in the main auditorium, our Children's Ministry is nearing capacity and our parking lots are full.
For the past several weeks, our leaders have been praying about how to best accommodate our growth. Launching an additional site is expensive, and we are not prepared to move from our current location. So, we are seriously considering the option of offering two service times on Sunday mornings.
We recently surveyed the congregation to receive feedback and input about the possibility of adding a service time on Sunday mornings. We got some really excellent feedback and input from you! We also received some great questions. Below are a few of the frequently asked questions we received, and also a breakdown of our survey results:
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it possible to hold mid-week or Saturday night services in the Tivoli or Family Center?
We wish! The Tivoli shows movies in the evenings, and unfortunately, due to traffic and parking constraints on the Loop, evening services in the Family Center are not a viable option for us.
Could we use side auditoriums as overflow?
Using side auditoriums is something we have considered, and even attempted on Easter Sunday. However that option does not address the challenges we are facing in our Children's Ministry and in our parking lots.
Can our Dream Team Accommodate two services?
It will take dedication, commitment and a willingness to serve, but we can absolutely do it. More than 90 survey respondents indicated a greater willingness to serve if it meant they would not have to miss a service. We anticipate that two services will allow many more people to join the Dream Team than are currently serving on the Team, and those who are currently serving will enjoy the benefit of being able to serve in one service and attend the other.
Will we lose the intimate sense of community by going to two services?
As we continue to grow, we will always face the challenge of ensuring that we continue to share the journey together in intimate community and fellowship with one another. For us to continue to experience the close-knit sense of spiritual family that we enjoy, we will need to focus on increased participation in Life Groups and on our Dream Team. Christ calls us into real, authentic relationship with one another, and we will need to be proactive in our pursuit of meaningful relationships with one another. Also, we must always remember that Christ calls us to reach beyond ourselves -- to reach out to our friends, neighbors, colleagues and family to help them take the next step on their spiritual journey. We must always be a community who faces outward to those who need to experience the life-giving message of Jesus, and invite them into our midst.
Can we make the interval between service times longer?
Due to the matinee movie times, our services must end no later than 11:15 on Sunday mornings.
When would we start?
Our staff, elders and trustees have been praying about and discussing the appropriate time to launch an additional service. We want to make sure that we have carefully examined every detail of this expansion before we dive in. The most likely time would be sometime mid-fall.
- 157 people responded to the survey.
- 93% of respondents either like the idea of offering two services (64.3%), or were neutral to the idea (28.7%). Those who like the idea cited the following reasons: two services would allow us to remain in the Tivoli as we continue to grow, would help with the growing number of children in our Children's Ministry, would open up parking options, and would allow greater flexibility for people who drive from far away or who have work schedule conflicts.
- 3.8% of respondents expressed interest in other possibilities (like a mid-week or Saturday night service).
- 3.2% of respondents did not like the idea of offering two services as a way to accommodate our growth. They expressed concerns about experiencing the same degree of intimate community that they currently enjoy in a single service, and concern that it may be difficult for the Dream Team to fill all of the roles needed for two services.
As for service times:
- 62.4% of respondents indicated that they would prefer to attend a 10AM service, while the remaining respondents were split between an 8:15 service (22.3%) and an 8:30 service (15.3%).
One of the most surprising and helpful responses from the survey was this:
- 60.3% of respondents indicated that they would be more willing to serve on our Dream Team if it meant they would not miss an opportunity to attend a weekend worship service.
So, as you can see, there is much to consider! Keep praying about this possibility. Your responses to the survey have been thoughtfully and carefully considered by our elders, trustees and staff, and we are praying through, thinking through and talking through every detail. Based on the growing need (especially in our Children's Ministry and in our parking lots), we are strongly leaning towards launching an additional service sometime in the relatively near future.
I am so grateful for all who took the time to fill out the survey and provide us with your helpful feedback and input. Thank you for your interest in this exciting possibility for the expansion of our church family!