The Church Council has decided that, as of the first Sunday of March, we will not be continuing our 11:00 Café Service due to lack of attendance at that service. Our friends from “Second Chances” will continue to share their gift of music with us on the third Sunday of each month, but in the fellowship hall at 10:30. Our intent is that this monthly gathering will become a fellowship opportunity for the entire congregation, rather than an alternative worship service.
Now that we once again have only the one Sunday morning worship service, the question arises: should we keep the current 9:00 o’clock schedule or take the opportunity to change our worship time? (Before the 11:00 service was initiated, our worship time was 9:30.) This decision will ultimately be made by the Church Council, and any change would not take effect until the beginning of June. In the meantime, we would like to solicit the input of the congregation on this matter. I really hope that this will not simply be a referendum on individual personal preferences. That kind of thinking only produces a win/lose option. I see the question as a matter of discernment. We should be asking ourselves: “If we decide to change the worship schedule, what time would be in the best interest of the church as a whole?” Among the issues to consider:
- How many of our current members find it difficult to worship at the current time? I have heard anecdotally from several people that some of our older members find it difficult to get up and get to church at the current hour. (I hear similar stories from parents about trying to get teens up at that hour on a Sunday.) Most of the handful of people that had been coming to the 11:00 service indicated that they came not because they liked that style of worship but found that later time preferable.
- When people are “church shopping” and looking for a place to worship, how much does the worship time factor into their decision? Previously, 11:00 a.m. was by far the most common time for worship. (I understand that this is a relic of the days when most of us lived on farms and had to get the milking done before leaving for church.) In more recent decades, 10:00 a.m. has become the most prevalent time for worship.
Having tried to re-frame the question from “What’s best for me” to “What’s best for us,” we do solicit your input.