I need your help. I am looking for advice concerning my church. I am the Teaching Pastor at Missouri Valley Baptist Church. In many churches the position would be called Senior Pastor, but we're trying to remove the stigma of a "professional" clergy hierarchy and therefore refer to each pastor by their primary responsibility (i.e. Teaching, Youth, Worship, etc.) I have been at MVBC for over 4 years now and we have watched as God has consistently done surprising things among us. We have transitioned over the past 4 years from a traditional, congregational church to a much more contemporary church that uses strong staff leadership in partnership with the congregation as our model of operation. We are fairly rural but we are pulling all of our growth almost entirely from the city which is a miracle, in my opinion. We've seen a lot of growth over the past four years (95% attendance growth, 300% giving grow! th, etc.) and we have refocused our energies on children and youth. As a matter of fact, on any given Sunday somewhere around 45-55% of our attendance is under 18. Which brings me to my question.
We are currently filling our worship center to around 70% capacity. We offer one service, at 10:45am, on Sunday morning and as we have grown, for the first time we are beginning to see the place in the near future when we will need to move to a 2nd service. So my question to you is when is that right time? I have typically been informed that 80% capacity is most church's stopping point and my guess is that we will be close to that around the beginning of summer. I anticipate that attendance will drop off during the summer some and then pick up in the fall again, at least that has been the normal model. So if 80% is the target, my guess is that we will be close, if not beyond that, by August/September.
If you have helped a church move to a 2nd service, or have seen it before, or simply have an idea about it, I would like to hear from you. What advice would you give me and/or our church?
In addition to this post, we are also considering how we will offer the 2nd service. I will post in the coming days about what types of ideas we are considering about the timing of the service, the emphasis of the service and how we are considering implementing it. I will look forward to your additional thoughts at that time.