Congregational Discussion: One or Two Services?

Last year we discussed going to two services for essentially three inter-related reasons surrounding our hope to increase our capacity for multiplication.  First, we wanted to move toward planting another congregation and forming a platform to incubate a future church plant.  Secondly, we were consistently hitting 70% capacity in our sanctuary (not including overflow), which made the room feel fuller than it was, and causing some visitors to turn away, and of course we anticipated increasing attendance over the year.  In addition, our children’s space was equally (if not more so) reaching capacity.  Thirdly, we were hoping to increase our capacity to serve our children, as many folks expressed more interest in serving if they didn’t have to miss a worship service.  To make a long story short, a year later these three reasons have all changed, namely: (1) the different focus and nature of the Eau Claire plant, as our next church planting effort, (2) though we increased over the spring, Sunday attendance numbers were different than anticipated this fall for a variety reasons, and (3) we discovered that offering a second service did not increase our serving capacity in children’s ministry after all.

So the question on the table is whether we should stay at one service through May – the same time-frame for our two service experiment last year – and then reevaluate, or go back to 2 services in February.   What do you think?  What problems / gains do you see with either scenario?  To submit your feedback, or if you have further questions, please email James Walden

Below are some facts for you to consider as you think about the one or two service models.

    • Total capacity is 310 chairs.  (230 in Sanctuary, 40 in Balcony, 40 in Overflow)

    • Median attendance since August:

      Service # of People % Capacity % Capacity w/ overflow
      First service 94 35 30
      Second service 122 45 40
      Combined service 215 80 70
    • Median combined attendance from February through April 2018: 235 people

    • Median combined attendance from May through July 2018: 212 people

    • Projected 10-12% increase in fall based on previous data, actually had a 9% decrease in attendance since the spring.

    • Highest attendance was Easter: 285 people

    • Lowest attendance was May 6: 156 people

    • If you missed the Family Meeting, you can find a video where we began this discussion here. (may not work on mobile devices)

    • Graphs from the Family Meeting (download)

    • Historical attendance data from 2016 – Nov 2018, with a forecast for 2019 (download)*

      *The forecast is based on mathematical models using previous years attendance.