First, decide whether your new service should be identical to or different from your present one.
Add an identical service if your present one is consistently at or above 85 percent of room capacity. (Pews should be figured at 30 to 36 inches per person, as opposed to 18 to 24 inches, the standard used 25 years ago. People want more space today than in the past.) Adding another identical service can be done in only a few months since the issues are mostly logistical.
Add a new style service if you want to reach a new people group in your community who are not attending (and probably won't attend) your present service. A new service is needed to reach a different generation, a different cultural group, or a different level of spiritual seeker. Adding a new style service will require six to eight months of planning, preparation, and promotion to be successful.
Here are some guidelines when starting a new style service:
- Get leadership support, then congregational support, before beginning. With such support, adding a new service can be a positive, faith-building adventure. Without support, it may split the church!