The Pros and Cons of Additional Services on One Main Campus
Growing churches have several options available to them as they consider how to expand (as we have discussed here). One of these options is to add additional worship services. Starting a new service, however, comes with some pros and cons that every church should consider before launching a new one.
- Going from 1 to 2 services instantly doubles your seating, parking and children’s ministry space.
- It uses the existing building more.
- Allows for consistency, possibly using the same worship team, same speaker, etc.
- Allows for variety, perhaps using a different worship team or style to reach a different demographic. As Charles Arn says, “A mistake some churches make…is to diversify the music or liturgical style [of their current service]. In so doing, however, most churches actually diminish the effectiveness of their present service(s) among every people group, including their predominant one.” A new service starts fresh and allows you to reach new people without displacing those already attending.
- Allows for more people to be involved. To have an additional service you need additional ushers, greeters, children’s workers, etc.
- Coordination and Communication is still relatively easy. The same staff structure that is in place with one service is often employed with two. There is no offsite staff at another campus to coordinate with.
- Retains Growth Factors. Oftentimes the church has grown for good reasons, perhaps their facility has great visibility. By simply having more services at the same location they can capitalize on this further.
- Typically churches that add a service grow. As Charles Arn notes, “Eighty percent of the congregations that move from one worship experience to two find their overall attendance jumps by at least 10 percent.”
- Compared to building a larger sanctuary, it saves money, fights with city hall, the stress of building a new building, and can be implemented faster than new construction.
- Focuses Church on Unchurched – Although perhaps not a much as planting a new church in a new location, adding new services still makes people ask the question “okay, now who is going to come?” and focuses them on those who are currently outside of the church.
- Rechurches the dechurched. Again, Charles Arn says, “It is not uncommon, however, to see a new service boost the member attendance percentages from the 40 percent range to 60 percent or more. In other words, some of the people most likely to begin attending your new service will be your inactive members.”
- It’s new. New sparks interest, gathers attention and grows faster than the old.
- Can be taxing on staff. Increased services typically mean increased demands of time in planning, preparation for and attending multiple services.
- Although the consistency of one speaker may be a good thing, there is a danger of a church being built on one personality.
- You’ll hear people complain that they won’t know everyone (Reality check: if your church is larger than 75-100 people, they don’t know everyone whether you have one, two or more services.)