If you were in a small group this past Sunday you heard someone talk about how, starting May 1st, we’re going to restructure some things at our church. Let me give you a quick breakdown of what the new schedule will look like followed by some rational for the change.
10:00 am – church wide prayer
10:45 am – pre-service fellowship
11:00 am – corporate worship service
6:00 pm – small groups (all groups currently meeting on Sunday morning will shift to Sunday night)
6:00 pm – children’s ministry (including pre-school through 6th grade)
6:00 pm – youth ministry (begin a 7th – 12th grade ministry)
Let’s cut to the chase–you look at the new schedule and the glaring thing is the addition of Sunday nights. Your normal Sunday night routine is about to be broken, and you want to know why. Here’s our rational. Your pastors believe that the new schedule, and the added time it requires, will strengthen our church in at least four areas.
- Prayer – Prayer is an essential part of any thriving biblical community. The blunt truth is, as a church, corporate prayer is one of our greatest weaknesses. If we are going to fulfill our God given mission in Franklinton we are going to have to make a serious commitment to prayer. For that reason, we want to give corporate prayer a prominent, accessible place in our weekly gatherings: every Sunday morning at 10:00 am.
- Small groups – Sunday morning small groups aren’t horrible, and they fit nicely into many of your schedules. The question we always have to ask is: What it the best way to do small groups in our setting? What we have found is that Sunday morning small groups are often too pressed for time. The result is less fellowship and very often great biblical conversations are cut off. Sunday nights will allow for more time and more flexibility. In addition, we believe small groups are going to play a crucial role in our church’s evangelism. And Sunday nights have the potential be a more accessible time for unchurched individuals to enter a small group.
- Children’s ministry – Our past experience has taught us that doing children’s ministry in the evening connects with the kids and families in our community far better than Sunday mornings. For that reason, we want our children’s ministry to coincide with adult small groups, and together form a great opportunity for evangelism and discipleship in Franklinton.
- Youth Ministry – By moving things around we will free up some individuals to re-start a youth ministry at Union View. This is a huge personal concern of mine–no surprise since it’s coming from your former student pastor. And again, I’m excited that we’ll be able to minister to both adults and their kids at the same time!
Some of you are like me and tend to think pragmatically. Your questions is: “Will this work?” I can’t answer that question fully, but I can say that part of what happens through this restructuring depends on us; our involvement, our expectations, our attitude, and our willingness to take these new opportunities and use them for evangelism and discipleship.