We are looking forward to February 12 and all the opportunities available to us with the upcoming Sunday morning schedule change. We want to take this opportunity to give you more schedule detail and to share with you a bit of the elder’s heart.
So, one question you may have is, “Why are we changing the schedule?” We recognize that for many, the current Sunday morning schedule works well. You may even be concerned a schedule change may cause confusion or damage to our worship experience. “Are we diminishing the priority of the preaching of God’s word?” some have asked. We recognize these concerns and are wary of unintended consequences that can accompany any change. In fact, any change is challenging. We seem to be hardwired for setting and maintaining established patterns in our lives. But disruption isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes it leads to a better path or desired end.
Several factors led the elders to begin considering a Sunday morning schedule change. One factor is simply the size of our church. A small congregation means a small number of people available to serve. For those serving in many of the needed weekly ministries, it means not being able to participate in the worship service, sometimes for weeks or months on end. Those servants must often choose between serving or worship. We don’t think anyone in our congregation thinks that is a good or healthy situation. We want to find a better way.
A Two-Step Schedule
The new schedule creates an Education Hour and a separate Worship Service Hour. The first hour includes Children’s Sunday School, which is currently one class serving 1st through 6th grades. We are also adding a new Adult Sunday School class to this hour. Initially, it will be taught by an elder, but we hope other instructors will be identified to participate in teaching during this time. There will also be Toddler Care so that moms and dads can participate in teaching or learning.
During the second hour, we’ll have our normal Worship Service, with one exception. The service is for parents and children (though toddler care will still be provided). There is broad consensus in the church today that separating children from the family worship experience has not been a good thing, and that as children grow into young adults, transitioning them into the worship service is only made more difficult, if not cause to lose them altogether. Our goal is an environment where whole families can worship together, with moms and dads modeling faithfulness to their kids each Sunday.
A Fruitful Endeavor
We’ve already alluded to the risk of unintended consequences, and there will undoubtedly be growing pains as we work out the kinks and make adjustments, but there are many additional benefits that we think will produce much fruit. We hope many will consider serving in ways that they never considered before like teaching children’s Sunday school (yes, you really can do it!), leading an adult Sunday school class, or watching a gaggle of toddlers for an hour. And we haven’t even mentioned serving on the media team running sound, video, or slides (yes, you can learn to do this too!).
The Apostle Paul tells us God equips the saints for the work of the ministry and building up the body of Christ (Eph. 4:11-12). I am so glad He doesn’t exclude anyone from this vital role! Serving in a new and challenging way not only fills needed gaps but also produces fruit in our lives in ways we could previously never imagined.
If you have any questions regarding the upcoming schedule change, please reach out to one of the elders. We want to hear your concerns. Do you have questions about serving in some of the above areas? The ministry leaders below can answer your questions. Also, please be praying that the Lord would continue to give us wisdom, grow our servant’s heart, and encourage us to pursue our calling in Christ to the fullest.