New Service Times Starting September 11 (What & Why)
Starting Sunday, September 11th
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM - Connect Hour + Nursery
10:45 AM - 12:00 PM - Worship Service + Nursery + Wee Worship
As we begin a new ministry year on September 11th, we will also be changing to a new Sunday morning schedule as well. We will have our “Connect Hour” at 9:30 AM, including our Sunday Morning Communities for adults, True North Brunch for teens, Club 56 for 5th and 6th graders, along with the rest of our North Cincy Kids classes and nursery care provided. All Connect hour classes and offerings will end at 10:30 AM. Our worship service will then follow at 10:45 AM, which will wrap-up each week before noon.
I know that this news will raise at least two major questions, “why are we staying at one service?” and “why are we moving the worship service to take place after our Sunday morning connect hour”? Let me briefly address both of these questions.
1. Why are staying at one service?
Last year September (2015) we began offering two services on Sunday morning, with Sunday Morning Communities and nursery care offered during both service times. The primary purposes of doing so were simple:
- to create additional space for growth in our attendance and…
- to provide additional options for those who serve during the worship service, to be able to worship on the morning that they serve…
A year later, while we recognize that God has grown us and are thankful for his Faithfulness, that numeric growth has not yet justified staying at two services. At the time, we believe that we can continue to worship and have room to grow while remaining at one service. However, that will not always be the case, and we beginning to proactively work toward that time. Various experts would say that when a sanctuary or auditorium is 80% full, that is practically “full.” Our deacons have identified that our sanctuary has a current capacity of 401 chairs. Using the “80% Rule” this means we are “full” when we have a consistent Sunday morning attendance of 321 people each week. We currently have room to grow to 320 and are working on identifying solutions for what to do when the Lord grows us beyond that 80% threshold.
2. Why is the Worship Service scheduled after the Connect Hour?
Many of you have heard me say that I believe people are more likely to “stay late” than to “come early.” Reflective of this belief, last year our programming put a priority on Sunday Morning Communities by providing the majority of our North Cincy Kids, True North, and Adult Community offerings during the second worship hour. This encourage most people to attend our first service and then “stay late” for Sunday Morning Communities and other offerings. Those who know me well, know that I still believe this principle to be true. So why make the change?
In talking with our staff and hearing from many of you, especially those of you who serve on Sunday Mornings, the following are four of the primary things I have heard that are the reasons we are making this switch.
- Places priority on the worship service – The later time period of 10:45 AM is much more of a “prime time” time slot, especially for visitors and newcomers.
- Enables pastors and others to spend time connecting with newcomers after the service without rushing off to teach/facilitate a class
- Prevents teachers and volunteers in Sunday Morning Communities, North Cincy Kids, Nursery, True North, etc. from having to rush from the worship service to their classrooms.
- Enables team leaders (Eric, Amy, Matt, Cheryl, etc.) to meet with their teams prior to their serving by giving them the necessary time to do so
There are always “pros” and “cons” to any programing or scheduling decision. However, based on what we have heard from many of you we believe that the “pros” of making this change outweigh the foreseeable cons. However, even while I believe that this change is the right move to make, I also want to give you a strong pastoral plea…
3. Please Come Early! – Join Us for Our Connect Hour at 9:30 AM
Believing that many of you are still more prone to “stay late” than to “come early” I want plead with you to make the “Connect Hour” a priority for yourself and your family this year. Some of you will be tempted to sleep in and only come to worship. However, when you do you are missing out on an essential opportunity in you and your family’s Christian formation that you will not get elsewhere, including from the Worship Service.
North Cincy Kids classes are a unique opportunity for your children to experience the joy of being part of a church community and of developing both peer and mentoring relationships in the larger body of Christ. True North Brunch is a unique opportunity for teens to learn to process the culture in which they live in the context of the church. Sunday Morning Communities are an unparalleled chance for adults to connect with one another and to be practically equipped with a toolset to live out the mindset of the Christian life that they hear about from the pulpit. In short, when you miss the “connect hour” you really are missing alot that you aren’t going to get elsewhere. So as your Pastor, let me plead with you. Please come early!
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