I really don’t like change. Or maybe more simply stated, I don’t always like having to expend the necessary energy to change. For example, I need to lose about twenty pounds, but I am not wholly committed to giving up my bacon cheeseburgers to achieve that goal. It seems ludicrous that I would have to abandon such joy in my life! And yet, even now, I can hear some of you shouting your encouragement to me: “Forsake the cheeseburgers; lose yourself for the kingdom!” And you are probably right! I should at least moderate my bacon-cheeseburger-eating habits. Maybe I’ll begin this week . . . but I urge you to measure your expectations. Don’t expect to see a brand new, slimmer pastor in the pulpit this Sunday!
Change can certainly be necessary. We are keenly aware of that in the church itself. Over the past several months, our staff has wrestled with potential changes that we believe can position us for better growth opportunities, and we recently presented those recommendations to our deacon body. Thankfully, our deacons affirmed those decisions and have joined with us in committing themselves to the work ahead. So, beginning in September, our Sunday Morning Worship Services and Sunday School/Bible Study schedule will change a bit. At 9 a.m., we will continue to have our Blended Worship Service in the Sanctuary, as well as a simulcast in the gathering Worship Service (just like we do now). However, we will also have a new Sunday School hour beginning at 9 a.m. At 10:30 a.m., the gathering’s second worship service will begin, as will a second Sunday School/Bible Study hour. Perhaps it would be best to put it like this:
9 a.m. Blended Worship Service (Sanctuary)
the gathering (Contemporary) Worship Service (Gathering Space)
Sunday School/Bible Study
10:30 a.m. the gathering (Contemporary) Worship Service (Gathering Space)
Sunday School/Bible Study
For the majority of you, nothing will be much different in your Sunday experience. Right now, 60-70% of you attend one of the 9 a.m. services, and then you attend Sunday School. For the most part, that will still be your practice.
Why the change? We need the room for our Sunday School/small group Bible Studies. Basically, every adult room is utilized on Sunday morning. We have a great, strong Sunday School program, and I give thanks for that. To me, small groups are more important to the well-being of our church than the larger worship assemblies themselves. But we need to start more classes to reach more people! We need to give people places to serve together in small groups. By going to two Sunday School/Bible Study times on Sunday morning, we double our space without having to invest in more building. I don’t believe in change for change sake, but I do believe we do what is necessary to foster growth. And I pray this change will position us to do just that . . . grow! Of course, I also believe that moving the gathering’s second worship service to 10:30 a.m. will make it more attractive to young families who have kids!
My friends, we need you to help us make this work. We need more teachers! We need more Sunday School directors! We need more class participation! That means we need you! Please contact us if you are interested in being a part of this new, exciting opportunity for ministry. And join us in praying for us to have the determination, the strength, the wisdom, and the resources to see this through to growth! Love you Temple family! See you Sunday!