Teams come in all sizes and styles. Some teams wear uniforms, practice daily, and compete in tournaments and championships. Some work together on a building project, a life-saving endeavor, or in pursuit of a prosecution. No matter what the team looks like, a common goal is always the pursuit.
Churches have teams, too.
These may consist of staff members, lay leaders, volunteers, elders, deacons, teachers, youth leaders, and the list goes on, but the common goal that unites them is to serve the church and to do it well.
Just as a sports team trains, practices skills, and receives instruction and encouragement from a coach to improve, a church’s leadership team must do the same. But what does that really look like? Where do you even begin, and what skills are important?
While there are many ways to train your team, we believe there are twelve core team training skills that can’t be missed, and we want to share a few of them with you.
#1 – Integrity
Integrity is consistently choosing to do the right thing.
Often the right thing is obvious and everyone can agree on what that looks like, but not always. Developing a team of people with integrity is the first area to tackle and the one that will make the greatest impact to your church and its ministries.
For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).
#2 – Work Ethic
Work ethic is bringing your best to whatever you do.
We all work at something, but are we doing it in the best way possible? Understanding what a work ethic actually is and how to improve on it is vital to your and your team’s effectiveness. Kingdom work cannot be done well or result in changed lives with a team that does not value a Christ-centered work ethic.
Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:17).
#3 – Unity
Unity is a shared effort toward a common goal.
Families, communities and churches alike all strive for unity. However, FINDING unity is often a lot harder than seeking it. Learning how to create an atmosphere of unity, by honoring our similarities and differences, complements effective teams. Being united is often discussed as a lofty, yet somewhat unattainable goal, but there are ways that teams can achieve unity.
How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! (Psalm 133:1)
#4 – Communication
Communication is saying what needs to be said so people can do what needs to be done.
We are constantly communicating: speaking, writing, texting, emailing, posting…and chances are, we all believe we’re very good at it. But how do we really know that what we’re trying to communicate has been understood and can be acted upon? Effective communication is possible. It gets everyone on the same page and working toward a common goal, while minimizing frustrations and missed opportunities.
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver (Proverbs 25:11).
#5 – Delegating
Delegating is trusting and empowering someone to act.
We all know that we can’t do everything, but how do we know what to give up and what to keep? Just assembling a team isn’t enough; if you’re trying to do everything yourself, you’re not leading. Churches are composed of members with a range of skills, strengths, and talents. Leveraging these by delegating tasks to the right people fortifies the team and the church as a whole.
The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone (Exodus 18:18).
#6 – Planning
Planning is deciding and documenting what needs to be done.
There are literally hundreds of planning methods, tools, and apps. Which is right for you, your team, and your church? You can figure out what needs to be done and the best way to do it. This will allow for successful implementation of projects, programs, and ministries.
Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established (Proverbs 16:3).
That’s just a peek at six of the 12 skills we feel are most important for you and your team.
We also know that churches and pastors often struggle with team training, and the reasons are valid. Some of the concerns we hear from pastors are:
“I don’t know where to begin.”
“I don’t have the time.”
“We don’t have any resources.”
“There are too many resources.”
Take Your Next Step
Finding the right team training resources can be overwhelming when you have a million things to do. To be a great leader, you need to be intentional. So, we decided to offer a simple-to-use, everything-you-need solution. In 12 lessons, you will find action steps, Scripture references, input from pastors and other professionals, reading recommendations, and worksheets to use with your team.
You can “tack-on” these lessons to a monthly staff meeting or as a part of a leadership retreat. You can even teach the curriculum from your iPhone and send the video and materials to your leaders.
We guarantee that time spent training your team will be time well spent. The end result is you having more time to focus on your ministry, knowing your team is running smoothly and has the mission of the church in mind at every turn. We've included Team Training at no extra cost for all Church Fuel members.
Are you ready to do something about the increasing need for authentic leaders in your church? Church Fuel is a paid membership community of pastors and church leaders. You can join them on the journey towards having effective church systems, structures and leadership simply by clicking the link below.
Despite the fear evangelism creates within Christians, most believe sharing their faith is essential—especially millennial Christians. A recent report by the Barna Group illuminated this reality about millennials:
96% believe part of their faith means being a witness about Jesus
94% said the best thing that could ever happen to someone is for them to come to know Jesus
86% expressed confidence in responding to questions about their faith
Even though Christian millennials possess an urgency for evangelism, like every other generation, there is a gap between intention and reality. In other words, many Christian millennials don’t evangelize.
Talking about generational differences, the challenges millennials face are different. They experience unique internal and external objections. So, to equip Christian millennials to evangelize, the strategy you use must reflect these differences.
In this post, I’m going to share six ways you can equip millennials to have more faith conversations. Use these tips to create a custom evangelism training plan for your church.
#1 – Cultivate an evangelistic culture
You cannot turn people—especially millennials—into evangelists.
There’s not a program you can provide, a book you can share, or a message you can preach that’ll turn people into evangelists overnight.
For most people in your church, a desire to evangelize will slowly develop over time.
The best way to grow this desire among millennials is to create an evangelistic culture. But let me warn you: Building an evangelistic church culture isn’t easy, and it takes (a lot of) time.
What is an evangelistic church culture?
In short, evangelistic church culture is when the members of your church share the gospel because it’s just what your church does. Like attending a worship service, joining a small group, or bringing food to a potluck, evangelism is what your church pulls together to do.
But my church culture doesn’t support an evangelistic lifestyle. Now what?
Below are several ingredients you can knead into the life of your church to compel your millennial church members to share the gospel.
#2 – Treat evangelism like a spiritual discipline
As a church leader, you’re called to make disciples.
To make disciples who live and love like Jesus, you have to teach them Christianity 101: reading the Bible, prayer, biblical community, and baptism and communion, to name a few.
Why state the obvious?
To help millennials embrace an evangelistic lifestyle, show them that evangelism is a spiritual discipline similar to praying and reading the Bible. Per Jesus, sharing the gospel is one way we can live like him (Matt 28:18–20).
Let’s be honest:
Sharing the gospel isn’t always fun.
Often, the people we talk to about Jesus will not be open to hearing what we have to say. What is more, many millennials fight the fear of “offending” someone, which makes sharing the gospel … tricky.
But here’s the deal:
The gospel will be offensive to some people (1 Cor 1:18). But we don’t have to share it offensively. There’s a big difference between the two.
Arguably the best way to share the gospel with someone else is in a relationship, which leads us to the next point.
#3 – Build bridges with people
Millennials highly value relationships.
Most millennials grew up with divorced parents, and they’ve experienced the pros and cons of developing friendships in light of social media and unfettered access to the Internet.
What is more, based on the survey by Barna, many millennials (40%) feel judged if someone disagrees with them.
Here’s what you need to know:
Millennials will be more open to hearing about the gospel if they know who you are.
Practically speaking, to equip Christian millennials to share their faith, encourage them to build bridges. In general, evangelism is most effective when the person you’re sharing the gospel with believes you have a genuine interest in their well-being.
Sure, there will be times when you’ll feel prompted to share the gospel with a stranger or acquaintance directly. But equipping millennials in your church to start faith conversations is enormous.
Encourage them to ask questions such as:
“Do you believe in a god or God?”
“What do you think about religion?”
“Have you read the Bible before? What did you think?”
These simple questions only scratch the surface. But asking questions is a great way to encourage millennials to engage in conversations about faith.
Equip the millennials in your church to ask good questions and listen well. If they don’t know how to answer a question, let them know that’s okay. They can tell their friends, “I don’t know. But let me look into it for you.”
Here’s another practical idea:
Encourage millennials to share how Christianity is relevant to their everyday life.
From sharing how God is leading them to ways he’s influencing their life every day (forgiveness, reconciliation, overcoming sin), transparency goes a long way in deepening relationships, and it also helps non-Christians see how Jesus is real and relevant today.
#4 – Start a mercy ministry
The gospel is good news.
To share the gospel, we have to use words.
This doesn’t mean doing “good” deeds isn’t necessary.
Far from it.
Acts of mercy are an essential part of living and loving like Jesus. But we don’t want to confuse the gospel (good news) with the fruit of the gospel (love, kindness, feeding the poor, etc.).
With that being said, here’s one way you can lead millennials to build relationships with people in their community:
Start a mercy ministry.
Think about it.
When you help people in your community, you will naturally build relationships with people, which will place you in a better position to have faith conversations.
#5 – Model evangelism
As a church leader, you have to model evangelism.
As you know, most of what you share will be caught—not taught.
If you want to lead millennials to have more faith conversations, you and your leadership team will need to hit the pause button and take a long look in the mirror.
Do you regularly have faith conversations?
Do you want your church members to model your evangelistic behavior?
If you answered “no” to either one of these questions, then you’ll need to prayerfully consider whether you can serve as a better model. Remember, it’s hard to ask a millennial to do something that you don’t do yourself. They’ll sniff out your hypocrisy a mile away.
Don’t stop reading this if you don’t have an “epic” story to share.
Millennials aren’t interested in hearing something fit for the big screen. Instead, they want to listen to stories they can easily relate to in their everyday lives. As they see God at work in your church, they’ll become more inclined to share these experiences with their family and friends.
Not sure what to share?
Think about the answers to these questions:
Did someone recently commit his or her life to Jesus?
Is someone getting baptized?
Have church members recently built new relationships?
Can anyone share how they overcame the challenges of sharing the gospel?
As you share stories, you’ll inspire people to evangelize.
Know what else?
You’ll reinforce an evangelistic culture in your church. As a church, you will celebrate what you cultivate.
Over to you
Remember, evangelism training isn’t as easy as downloading software, recommending a book, or running a one-time program. It takes time to cultivate an evangelistic culture in your church, and for Christian millennials to grow in their ability and comfort in having faith conversations.
Project management is an essential skill for church leaders.
Not convinced this is the case?
Take this short quiz to find out:
Do you regularly miss deadlines?
Are your plans consistently over budget?
Are your events, programs, or ministries poorly attended?
Is your church staff or volunteers experiencing significant stress?
Do you or your team burn the midnight oil every week?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then there’s a good chance you need to brush up on your project-management skills (or learn them for the first time).
In this post, I want to help you successfully start and complete any project in your church. I’m going to share with you four essential project-management skills, and different project-management tools your church can consider.
Let’s get started!
#1. Get specific
The first step to completing any project is to know exactly what you want to accomplish. In other words, you need to know what you’re aiming for.
Think about it like this.
In basic firearm safety, the first thing you must do is identify what you’re shooting. The same holds true for church project management. You must identify what you want to accomplish.
At this point, there are two crucial questions you need to answer:
1. What do you want to accomplish?
2. When does it need to be completed?
In answering the first question, do you want to start a small group ministry to disciple new church members? Are you interested in launching a college ministry to reach college students with the gospel? Need to start a capital campaign to fund a new building project?
Don’t worry about all of the details—yet.
What you need to nail down is what you want to achieve.
Know what you want to accomplish?
Now you need to know when you have to complete your objective.
Some of the projects you need to complete will have a hard start and stop. Said another way, the date is inflexible. For other projects in your church, the time can be flexible.
Regardless of the project, you must pick a date it must be completed. Without a specific timeline, your project is nothing more than a dream. So, give your vision some feet and make it walk by giving it a due date.
#2. Delegate responsibility
Here’s the reality of most projects:
They’re unruly like a wild stallion.
When managing a project, expect something to go wrong.
What is more, if you don’t have someone assigned to manage the project, then get ready for it to derail completely.
What’s the moral of the story?
Delegate the responsibility of managing your project.
In your church, this can be to a staff member or volunteer. Regardless of who you choose to manage a project, be sure to give him or her the authority needed to accomplish the goal.
When you assign someone this responsibility, then he or she will be able to corral the project to make sure everything stays on track.
A project manager should:
Create a plan
Oversee the project
Regularly communicate with everyone involved
Monitor the progress
Creating a plan and monitoring the progress involve more detail. So, let’s take a more in-depth look at these two tasks.
#3. Create a plan
After you’ve picked a project manager, he or she will need to create a plan to accomplish your goal by the deadline.
Generally speaking, here are five items the project manager must cover in his or her management plan:
The first step your project manager must take is to identify every task that needs to be completed. From beginning to end, he or she will need to know what must be accomplished to complete the project.
In general, your project manager will have a good idea of what needs to be done. If not, encourage him or her to reach out to someone else for input, and, if necessary, to add different tasks and rearrange the timeline as things come up.
For each task that needs to be completed, your project manager should assign someone to complete that task. The tasks can be assigned to the project manager or someone else on your staff or team.
When your project manager assigns a task, they’ll also need to provide a due date for it to be accomplished. Depending on the assignment, encourage your project manager to connect with whomever they assigned the task to, to make sure he or she has the bandwidth to get it done.
Another big item you need to plan for is your budget. To complete your project, how much money will you need? For larger projects, it’s best to set a range. You'll also need to create a contingency plan if something doesn’t work out as initially planned. For smaller projects, be sure to know how much money you’ll need, and make sure your church’s leadership is informed.
Finally, your project manager should set milestones. To complete your project, what major milestones and deadlines need to be met to ensure the project stays on track? By setting these benchmarks, your project manager will know if the project will be completed on time or if any changes need to be made.
#4. Monitor the progress
One thing you’ll want to emphasize to your project managers is that it’s key for them to consistently monitor the progress of the project. By keeping their thumb on the pulse of the plan, your project manager will be able to guide the project to completion.
To monitor progress, your project manager must regularly communicate in two ways:
1. By keeping in touch with team members
2. By updating key stakeholders
Your project manager should regularly communicate with all team members.
At Church Fuel, we find it helpful to meet as a team once per week to check in on our projects and goals. A weekly meeting is one way you can help your team work together in accomplishing a goal.
What is more, it’s ideal for communicating one-on-one with staff members and volunteers involved in the project throughout the week. When checking in on your team members, ask how things are progressing and if there’s anything you can do to help.
Another group of people your project manager should regularly connect with are the project’s key stakeholders. For your church, this can be your senior pastoral leadership, your church’s leadership (elders, deacons), or volunteer leaders assigned to the project. From the good, bad, and the ugly, your project manager needs to share any pertinent information that will inform decision-makers and let people know of any potential roadblocks.
Whomever you tap to manage your project, ask them to provide weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly updates on the project they are managing. How often you request updates will depend on the scope of the project and the timelines involved.
At this point, you’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed.
You’re not alone.
But here’s the good news:
Project management isn’t something you’re born with.
Project management is a skill you can learn.
Know what else?
There are a ton of online tools you can use to better manage your projects.
Below, I’m going to share a few options.
Before I do, I want to make sure you hear this loud and clear:
Project-management tools are only tools.
Like the tools in your garage or kitchen, you need to know how to use them to get the results you want. Without mastering the basic project-management tips I mentioned above, it won’t matter what project-management tool you use.
Alright, with that being said, here are a few tools we recommend.
Project-management solutions for churches
There are numerous project-management tools you can use.
Among these tools, you’ll find a variety of pros and cons.
But here are some of the standard features to look for. You’ll need the ability to:
Assign tasks and due dates
Communicate with your team
In short, whatever project-management tool you choose, you’ll be able to fulfill the tips we shared above in one central location. This means there'll be no more email chains, sticky notes, or group text messages.
Not sure what tool to choose?
If you’re just getting started with project management, here’s what we suggest:
Don’t spend hours researching and testing the different options.
Pick a project-management tool to use and hold your team accountable to using it too. Instead of bouncing between different tools, focus on using one for several months to know if it’s going to meet your needs or to figure out what features you like best.
For the sake of this post, I’m not going to be able to cover the ins and outs of every project-management tool. However, I’ll point you in the right direction to get started.
After working with hundreds of church leaders, we’ve found that these three project-management tools are the most popular:
All three of these options work well for small churches, they’re cloud-based, and they can scale to meet the needs of larger churches too.
When it comes to pricing, Trello offers more free capabilities compared to Asana and Basecamp. So this is naturally a big win for many churches.
Regardless of what option you choose, there’s a learning curve involved. Plan on spending time figuring out how to maximize whatever tool you choose to use.
At Church Fuel, our CEO, Michael Lukaszewski, swears by Basecamp. The types of projects we manage may look different than your church. But after experimenting with different tools, we’ve found this one meets all of our needs.
Over to you
There you have it: The top project-management tips for churches, and a few suggested project-management solutions to get you started.
As a friendly reminder: The tool you use to manage your projects isn’t as much as a concern as following the project-management tips above.
Focus on nailing these best practices, and you’ll be well on your way to successfully managing any project your church undertakes.
Whether you’re a social media aficionado, or just your everyday feed-scroller, by now you know that social media influences today’s world significantly. The Church can engage culture like never before through social media, as messages of Gospel hope can be shared on a global scale with the click of a button. In this post, we’re sharing 9 social media post ideas for churches to engage the culture around you. Safe for Instagram and Twitter feeds alike, these crafty ideas make engaging your church community on social media fun and effective.
#1- Local Shops We Love
Highlighting local shops and eateries is a great way to support your community and nudge your congregation into social spaces! Check out this example from Gwinnett Church, with their #ForGwinnett.
#2- New in Town Guide
Consider updating your first time guest gift by including a thoughtful list of places and events where your congregation loves to, well… congregate! This is information is helpful for new people and also for your regular attenders. If you know where/how your church spends their time, you can more effectively plan community events to strengthen your church’s culture of community.
#3- Date Night Conversation Starters
Invest in relationships of every stage with this fun-loving take on date night. To share this on Instagram, simply select 3-5 questions to paste into your church’s Instagram story highlights.
#4- Five Staycation Ideas
A staycation is a vacation, but taken where you currently stay. It’s taking a drive downtown and booking an Airbnb or staying at that cute new hotel near the river. Wherever you stay, it’s a low-maintenance, flight-of-fancy kind of vibe. You can encourage your marrieds to do this quarterly with a church wide “staycation” reminder via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
#5- Summer Calendar for Families
Letting parents know what’s available this summer for their kids is a great way to engage them, and their little ones. The summer calendar from Compass Bible Church does just that. Check out this sweet post that highlights what’s going on, and where to register.
#6- Firework Watching Guide
Who doesn’t love a glittery sky? You can head to google for a quick search on which fireworks are most popularly used in your town’s show and then head to social to share what to look for.
#7- Where Kids Eat Free
An easy win for parents on a budget. Another google search will show you which restaurants in your area cater to kiddos. Be on the lookout for establishments with their own social sites – you’ll be able to retweet or repost and let your people know where to go!
#8- Five Places to Get Outdoors in Our City
For your physically active attenders, a curated list of the best views in town will provide a great weekend of exploration. Just choose your social platform and share!
#9- Advent Devotional Guide
Direct your church’s worship towards the true meaning of Christmas by digitizing your advent guide! Grab inspiration from this post by The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas.
You want to launch a second worship service, and you know that is easier said than done.
You can feel the need.
You can see the potential.
You’re ready for the new responsibilities.
But you also know about the:
Tension with leadership
Uncertainty among church members
Need for new volunteers
Don’t let perceived (or real) hurdles discourage you. If you sense the need for potentially adding a new worship service, then prayerfully move forward.
In this post, I’m going to share some helpful guidelines and tips, including:
2 reasons to add a new worship service
5 common mistakes to avoid when launching a new worship service
How to launch a new worship service
Let’s dig in!
2 reasons to add a new worship service
As a church leader, it’s essential to learn how to work with people.
From your church’s leadership (elders, deacons, board) to volunteers to church members, there are a variety of relationships you have to learn to navigate well.
Working with people is especially essential if you’re launching a new ministry, ending a ministry, or initiating a significant cultural shift in your church, such as adding a new worship service.
Before making any sweeping changes, there’s one question you must answer:
Why should we (the church) add an additional worship service?
The answer to this question will not only help you nail down the practical details. But the answer will also guide you in casting a vision your church can see and embrace.
Not only do you need to know why you want to add an additional service. But your church’s leadership and church members need to know why too. They have to feel the tension in making the decision.
Let’s take a look at two big reasons why many churches add a second worship service:
1. It provides an opportunity to reach more people.
2. It empowers additional volunteers.
An additional worship service is one opportunity to reach more people with the gospel. There are two reasons why this is the case.
First, people in your community who have not committed their lives to Jesus are not committed to prioritizing life in your church—yet. This isn’t because they’re “bad” people. This has everything to do with the fact that they have not experienced new life in Christ, and they don’t have the desire or interest to rearrange their lives around going to church.
You’re probably thinking:
What does this have to do with adding an extra worship service?
In short—a lot.
In general, when you have one worship service, you are limiting (some) people from being able to participate. For some individuals and families, your worship service may be too early or too late. What is more, if there’s a conflict with the time of your worship service, then many people will feel inclined to pass on visiting your church.
However, if you offer more than one worship service, you can place your church in a position to reach more people. This is one big way you can help potential visitors overcome hurdles in attending your worship service.
Another significant reason your church should consider adding a second worship service is for empowering additional volunteers.
Depending on how many church members you have and the volunteer opportunities you provide, launching an additional worship service will naturally offer more volunteer opportunities. From children’s ministry to greeters and ushers, your volunteer needs will increase.
At first, empowering more volunteers may feel overwhelming.
Before you grab a paper bag to keep from hyperventilating, take a moment. This can be a good thing.
As God leads your church to reach more people in the community, he will also call your church community to participate in his work by volunteering. This is why it’s essential to cast a vision and focus on reaching more people—not on the additional work you will need to do.
Alright, I know you’re ready to move forward.
There are a few landmines to watch out for.
5 common mistakes to avoid when launching a new worship service
The thought of adding another service can sound promising.
Your church is experiencing positive momentum.
You’re reaching new people in the community.
You have led new people to join community groups.
You see the potential of adding another worship service, and you feel compelled to plow forward in faith. Before rushing forward with your head down, there are five mistakes you should identify and avoid:
1. Rushing the process
2. Not planning
3. Not preparing your leaders or volunteers
4. Creating “different” churches
5. Lack of promotion
Let’s take a look at these.
#1 – Rushing the process
I’ve already alluded to the first mistake: rushing the process.
This is an easy mistake to make—especially if your seating capacity is already bursting at the seams. But it’s never a good idea to rush anything. In the words of Solomon, “Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way” (Prov 19:2).
As we’ll see below, adding a new service is not only a logistical decision—e.g., what time, how many volunteers. It will also be a significant cultural shift for your church. Making this move too fast could be detrimental for your church, which leads me to the next big mistake churches make.
#2 – Not planning
When you add another worship service, there are a ton of moving parts involved. From identifying the motivation to getting the support of your church’s leadership and members, to then figuring out all of the details, you have your work cut out for you.
Pastor, hear me loud and clear here:
You should not manage this process alone.
There are way too many details for you to manage.
Depending on your church’s situation, delegate this responsibility to a staff member or volunteer who can oversee all of the moving parts.
Besides, as a pastor, you should focus on preaching and teaching, providing pastoral counsel, and casting a vision for your church.
#3 – Not preparing your leaders and volunteers
Another mistake churches make when adding a worship service is not preparing their leadership, staff, and volunteers for the new challenges.
When you launch a second or third service, you will place new leadership burdens on your team, and they must be prepared, coached, or mentored. If anything, be sure to provide yourself with accountability.
It will take time and experience in facing new challenges before you know what to expect and how to handle the new hurdles.
#4 – Creating “two” (or more) churches
There’s one big challenge you’ll face when adding more worship services:
How can you make it one church with many services?
Think about it like this.
When you add a new service, people in your church will start to divide between the different options, and this trend will continue the more services you add. When this happens, people will naturally cross paths less, and, unless you’re purposeful in building community between your multiple services, then your church members can feel like they’re involved in different churches—not just different worship services.
Be prepared to respond to these questions and plan on making purposeful strides toward making your church feel like one.
#5 – Lack of promotion
Adding an additional service isn’t like the Field of Dreams.
Adding it to your schedule doesn’t mean people will automatically come. In fact, you should expect to see a bunch of empty seats if you don’t promote it well.
As with starting anything new, you have to tell your church members over, and over, and over again. From church bulletins and direct mail to emails and social media updates, get ready to talk about your plans—a lot.
How to launch a new worship service
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.
Below are seven tactical things you need to keep in mind when adding a new service.
Treat these tactics like guiding principles you can use to help you think through the details of launching a new worship service.
#1 – Get a vision
Casting vision isn’t a one and done thing.
To cast a compelling vision for your church, you first have to receive direction from the Lord, and then you have to get to work.
Here are the steps involved:
Make it memorable
The first step you need to take is to get clarity.
As I pointed out above, you have to answer this question:
Why should your church add a worship service?
When you think about the answer to this question, take the time not only to clarify why you believe the Lord is leading your church to make this change. But take the time to start thinking through the objections you’ll hear. This way, as you move toward promoting this change, you’ll be prepared to address objections from within your church.
The second step you want to take is to make it memorable.
Sharing logistics, details, and a new service from the pulpit isn’t exciting. Create a slogan your church members can sink their teeth into and remember.
Don’t worry about crafting something snazzy like you’re a Madison Avenue ad man or woman. Instead, focus on creating something that’s clear, concise (one sentence or just a few words), and compelling.
When casting a vision, you want to encourage participation.
For example, if your motivation is to reach more people in your community, remind your church that God is calling them to participate in his work by building relationships with people, being hospitable, and inviting people to join the worship service.
Adding a new service isn’t something you can do alone.
This is something your entire church needs to embrace.
Finally, after you have these three points nailed down, you’re ready to create a communication plan.
Here are some big items to keep in mind:
Word of mouth
In your promotions, don’t just start the week before.
Instead, plan on talking about this for at least 4–6 weeks ahead of time. What is more, keep in mind the timing. For example, if you plan on promoting a new service during the summer, it may take longer since many of your church members will not be in attendance every week.
#2 – Get buy-in from your leadership
Making big decisions isn’t easy, and you can’t make them alone.
When you want to make a significant shift in the church you serve, it’s essential to get buy-in from your leadership.
You may believe that a change is necessary. But your church’s leadership may not “see” the vision or feel the need to support adding a new worship service.
As you work to get buy-in, be sure to share the “why” behind the “what.”
Lead them to feel the pain point you identified earlier.
Cast a vision for them to rally behind.
What is more, take your time during this process.
You don’t want to rush forward unless you have the support of your church’s leadership.
#3 – Be mindful of your church's culture
For better or worse, your church has a culture.
It’s why and what you do.
It’s your values, beliefs, attitude, purpose, habits, behavior, norms, tone, and more.
As you prepare to add a new service, you need to take stock of your church’s culture.
Unless adding a second worship service has been a part of your church’s culture, it will be more challenging than you think to make the change. The unknown will make people nervous, and other church members will circle the wagons and protect the way things used to be.
As a church leader, no one will know your church culture and members better than you.
In preparing to change, identify what you believe will be the common rebuttals, and be prepared to respond. What is more, be ready to listen. Like, really listen. You will learn a ton about your plans and the people you serve along the way.
One last thing about this point.
There are two types of people you want to identify:
1. Early adopters
2. Late adopters
After clearing things with your church’s leadership, connect with the early adopters in your church. Share the vision, and invite them to participate in serving as ambassadors. Having people outside of your leadership circle to share the excitement will go a long way in creating momentum within your church community.
As for late adopters, you want to know who this group is within your church, walk alongside them during this change, and encourage and challenge them to accept how God is leading your church into the future.
#4 – Set a time
Here’s one common refrain when adding a service:
There’s more to adding a worship service than adding a new time slot on Sunday.
For example, as you think through the timing (when your new service begins and ends), it’s best to take into consideration the entire day. In other words, you may need two new times for both of your worship services—instead of simply adding a new service at a new time.
Here’s one benefit:
When you require every church member to make a change, it will lead everyone to adapt to the new service, which tends to lead to better participation across the board.
#5 – Create community
How do you create community when your church adds a new service?
There’s no silver bullet to this question.
Some churches have found that providing time and space in-between services can help people connect before or after a worship service. Other churches give a Bible study in-between services, whereas others decide to move these studies to a different time and day. Still, other churches emphasize leading people into small groups to create community during the week.
Whatever choice you make, be sure to foster community, and lead your church members and first-time guests to take a next step in getting further involved.
#6 – Be ready to preach (a lot)
Adding an additional service isn’t a cake walk.
You’re now adding another preaching time to your schedule.
Since preaching is physically taxing, it will take a toll on your body and mental well-being. So, if you start to preach more often every week, then you should prepare to preach less throughout the year.
If you haven’t already, create a plan to have guest preachers fill in the pulpit for you throughout the year. By making a plan now to take a break in the future, you’ll be able to recharge later and you’ll have something to look forward to.
#7 – Go big or go home
It’s not every day you add a new worship service.
Make it big!
Start a new sermon series.
Throw a party.
Invite some food trucks to dish out some treats.
Follow your promotion plan above, and empower your congregation to invite their family, friends, and neighbors.
Basically, you want to pull out all the stops for this launch.
Over to you
There you have it.
Easy, right? 😉
Don’t feel like you need to go about making such a big change alone.
Lean on your church’s leadership, a mentor, or work with a ministry coach to help you receive a vision from the Lord, add a worship service, and march forward in fulfilling your church’s mission.