So, the 2 questions everyone wants answered after Sunday’s
Let’s start with # 1: How did it go?
From my perspective it all went very well. The transitions from service to service went well. I was a little concerned beforehand that there might be some logjams with one group heading out and another coming in, but it never materialized. We also didn’t have any trouble starting or finishing on time, which was a very good sign. The key to 3 services is being able to finish on time so people have an opportunity to get out of the building before the next group comes in. Hopefully, when this becomes the regular schedule in October, we’ll be able to continually meet our “times”.
On a personal note, one of the things that I really enjoyed was the overall pace of the morning. The schedule moved quickly and it seemed like as soon as one worship time was over, it was time for another one. There was no real “down” time, which for me, was a blessing. With our current Sunday morning schedule, after the worship time is over at the 1st Service, it’s 2 very long hours before we’re up again. There are Sundays when I feel like I completely forget how to play certain songs in the time between services. And even when that doesn’t happen, it still feels like we’re going into the 11 a.m. service “cold”. Here’s what I mean by that. The early service begins at 8:30 a.m. Our sound check normally gets done around 8:10 a.m. That only leaves around 20 minutes before the service begins. But with the 11 a.m. service, we’ve had 2 hours of non-playing/singing and it takes a song or two before you feel comfortable again. With the 3 services, that didn’t happen.
Now onto question # 2: How many people were here?
The overall attendance was 774, which is the most people we’ve ever had for a Sunday service. The previous high was last Easter with 679 people. So, what does that mean? It means that the church is growing and it means that hopefully we are reaching more people for Jesus. I also hope that it helps people see the need for 3 services in the fall. If we had only had 2 services on Sunday, we would have had to turn people away for the 11 a.m. service. There’s no way we could have gotten everyone in.
The really interesting part was seeing which service people attended. The 1st and 3rd services were a little bit smaller than our normal early (8:30 a.m.) and late (11 a.m.) services, but the middle (9:40 a.m.) service was very big. It had almost 350 people in attendance. Unfortunately, when we start our new 3 service schedule in the fall, it will probably be the smallest. With the 9:40 a.m. Sunday School/Bible Study time being the most popular, the middle service will probably be the lowest in attendance. But that’s ok. We’ll start with a small number of people and hopefully it will grow from there.
So, overall, I would call the 3 services a big success. I'm sure there are things that we'll tweak between now and October, but I'm really looking forward to 3 services being our normal schedule in the fall.