Worship Schedule Planning Team: Summary from February 20, 2017

Worship Schedule Planning Team

Meeting Summary

February 20, 2017

 

Our Team reviewed the results of our last meeting. We also kept in mind our:

Problem Statement:

The current sequencing of Sunday morning activities at Braddock Street United Methodist Church does not allow all to engage in both the worship style of their choice and small groups.

Task Statement:

Create a schedule to encourage all to engage in a worship style of their choice and a small group on Sunday morning.

 

Congregation Wide Prayer Effort:

In order to be intentional about asking God for help, we agreed upon a prayer to be shared with the entire congregation. We will soon launch a prayer effort, asking the congregation seek God’s help with these words:

“Lord, Thank you for your church and the blessing of so many children, youth, and adults. Help us to see beyond ourselves and to seek a future where all are nurtured in worship, small groups, and service, as a gathered community. We pray for your direction. Give us open minds and hearts so that your will may be done. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. Amen.”

 

Facts and Assumptions:

We defined facts and assumptions, noted that assumptions should be kept to a minimum and replace them with facts as soon as possible. We then listed those facts and assumptions relevant to our task.

 

One fact that we discovered we were missing, but would likely be relevant to our discussion, was the percentage of adults attending Sunday morning small groups who attend 8:30 worship, and the percentage of adults who attend 11:00 worship? Staff will attempt to determine these percentages.

 

A concern was shared from some in the congregation that our attempts to reschedule would affect the majority, but address the needs of only a few. We assert that the current schedule does not allow for Sunday morning worship in the style of their choice for 80% of our children and youth, and no Sunday morning small group opportunities for all of the adults in our largest worship service. We also noted a possible long term effect of our current schedule is not doing an effective job of producing young adult Christians with the sacred habit of worshipping God. We plan to find out how many of the young people who were raised in this church in recent years who still live in the community are currently active in our church.

 

We noted that previous attempts for Sunday morning small groups of adults attending contemporary worship have stalled largely because of a lack of activities for children at the same time, such as at 11:00 am.

 

Facts:

Membership 1,118 (1,293 including children)

Average Sunday Worship Attendance: 8:30- 141, 9:45- 208, 11:00 171. Total- 520

Parking Spaces: 84; Street Parking within 2 blocks, 262; Parking required for full sanctuary: 175

Sanctuary Seating: 426 capacity, 40 more in Gathering Space

Classrooms for Small Groups on site: 15 in use, 9 more available, 8-10 more with modifications

Sunday Morning Small Group Average Attendance: Children- 62 (130 on roll), Youth- 50, Adults- 83

 

Assumptions:

  1. Classroom space is not an issue.
  2. Parking is currently adequate.
  3. The schedule change will likely result in an increase in small group participation, and in worship attendance.
  4. The schedule change will result in an increase in the need for small group teachers/leaders as we add small group opportunities.
  5. We expect that the schedule change will result in an increased number of small group teachers/leaders available, as those who prefer the contemporary worship service will not have to give up their preferred worship service in order to volunteer.

 

Course of Action Criteria for Evaluation:

  1. The most people possible will be able to participate in a small group and the worship style of their choice back to back.
  2. Least disruptive.
  3. “White space” or the creation of more time between Sunday activities, allowing for fellowship and transitions.
  4. Worship leadership logistics. In other words, is the proposed change in the schedule possible, given the staff we have (pastors to preach, music leadership, transition time between services, set up and take down, etc.)
  5. Improves our ability to accomplish our mission/vision of making disciples in worship, small groups, service.
  6. Simplicity.
  7. Allow for future congregational growth.

 

Possible Courses of Action

Each person was asked to submit a possible schedule, using the timeframe between 8 am and 12:30 pm on Sundays, to try to accomplish our task. Eight possible schedules were submitted. We began to discuss some of their challenges and merits, but they have not yet been thoroughly evaluated.

 

Future Timeline:

Our next meeting will be Monday, March 13, at 7 pm, when we will conduct a rehearsal of concept drill for each possible course of action. Our plan is to make a proposal to the Church Council on May 9. Implementation is planned for either the beginning of the new school year in August 2017, or January 1, 2018.