We are continuing the series we started last week on Church Systems. If you remember we left off by mentioning that a healthy church has 7 different systems – The Sunday Service, Evangelism, Assimilation/Discipleship, Volunteer, Giving, Leadership Development and Strategic. Today we will be looking at the Sunday Service System and Evangelism System.
The Sunday Service System
In my previous post we established that this is the one system that every church has. It is how we plan, structure and execute our Sunday Services. Now this doesn’t just apply to everything that happens from when the service starts to when it finishes but it also applies to what takes place leading up to the start of service and even what follows the service leading into the week.
Some churches have decided to move away from calling their gatherings a service and instead referring to them as a worship experience. I don’t have a problem with that but I prefer using the word service because it continues to remind us that on Sundays we are serving God in worship and serving each other throughout the time we are together.
With that said, there are many different ways to conduct your services. You could have the traditional morning and night service or only have one big service in the morning. Your church could even have multiple services, where the worship and the preaching are the same in each service allowing you to double your capacity. Then within those different types of services you could have a myriad of different service structures.
One of the things I enjoy doing every Monday is watching online services of churches around the world to see how they are organising their services. I have seen all types and none of them are wrong if they fit your church. I’ve seen churches start with a benediction and a choir. I’ve seen churches sing one song and then have announcements and prayer followed by the rest of worship. Others have upbeat songs, break for the announcements and offering then have slower songs followed by the preaching. Some decide to do their announcements and offering following the worship and prior to the preaching. The idea is to take a look at your church with fresh eyes and consider what works best for you.
Think about the planning and executing of your Sunday Services, what are some weak spots that you are aware of and are there common complaints? Do you have regular awkward moments? Some of those issues can be solved through communication and planning.
For example, our church would consistently have miscommunication about when Sunday School was on break or if our New Life Journey class was meeting. We would also forget to dismiss the classes following the offering and announcements would be added last minute. The solution we arrived at was to develop a service plan that would lay out the structure of our services – the songs, who is leading each song, the announcements and the name of the preacher for that Sunday. The service plan and announcements for Sunday are emailed to Pastor and the necessary volunteer teams every Friday afternoon. It is a rare occurrence that either of those are changed prior to the service starting. Along with that, we trained our worship leaders to make the appropriate dismissals and created a WhatsApp group that included the leaders of Sunday School, Crechè, New Life Journey and our Chinese Ministry where they can easily notify us if they are not meeting.
By implementing these new procedures we cleaned up a weak spot and mitigated some awkward moments. That is just one example but we have consistently made changes to our service structure over the years to try and make it better.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself when looking at your current service structure:
- How are our service times working? Should we consider changing times, getting rid of or adding a service?
- Is our worship service too long or too short?
- How many announcements do we have? Are they effective?
- What type of language do we use when communicating form the platform? Is it easily understandable for guests?
- Are our volunteers punctual and well trained for their tasks?
- Do we have a master roster for all our volunteers?
Those are just a few things to consider and the answer to those questions may lead you to make some changes. One last thing I want to mention about the Sunday Service System is that it should be centred around our guests. This is the primary opportunity for them to experience Jesus and we must do our best to usher in that experience.
This system is the way we attract people to our church. In many churches evangelism is left up to an outreach coordinator. When I was growing up in church, my Dad was the Outreach Director at a few churches that we attended. He had a passion for the lost, the ability to talk to anyone and he was a great Bible study teacher so it was only natural to have someone like that leading outreach. This resulted in our family being involved in a lot of door knocking – inviting people to church by knocking on their door and talking to them about Jesus.
In 2021, this is probably not the most effective way to evangelise. I am by no means an expert in this area but I can definitely offer some suggestions. Before we dive into this, I want to mention that people are ultimately drawn by the Spirit of God. He is the one that has been working on their hearts. We also need to have the perspective that it is still one that sows the seed, another waters but God gives the increase.
With that said, there are a number of strategies that you can take when trying to attract people to your church. One of the most effective ways is by leveraging social media and your website to reach your community. Think about the message you are trying to preach through your social media pages. Are you consistently communicating the Gospel through your posts? Do you consider future guests when planning out your content or in your website build? Over the 11 years that I have been Administrator at the POS, our most effective evangelism tool has been our online presence – whether that be through Google searches, sermons on YouTube or pictures on our Facebook & Instagram.
Here are a few more suggestions that you may want to consider trying:
- If you keep a database of the guests you have had in recent years, you could send direct mail invites to them reminding them that you are still there and you care about them.
- You can organise a Big Event for each quarter of the year giving your church members the opportunity to invite their friends and family – Baptism Sunday, Friends Day, All Nations Sunday
- Organise training for your members in evangelism
- Conduct online services by live streaming your services
Feel free to suggest more in the comment section below.
Creating systems is all about doing our best to maximise the opportunities that God has given us to reach those who need Him. I hope this post has been helpful to you and that you can use something from the information provided. Just remember that none of us are perfect and we are going to continue to make mistakes but the goal is to get better in every area that we are able to.
Next week we will be looking at my personal favourite system, and the one that I have spent the most time working on over the years, the Assimilation/Discipleship System.