One of our challenges at Imago has been figuring out the right time to hold our Saturday night service. Pick a time to early, and folks find it hard to attend because they’re still wanting to finish their Saturday activities. (Especially during the summer.) Pick a time too late, and you’re running in to evening plans (which is bad if you’re trying to attract college students), dinner schedules, and small children’s bedtimes.
When we started back in January we decided on holding the services from 5:30 – 6:30pm. The reasoning went something like this: it’s early enough that people can eat afterwards, even go out to dinner with someone else from church after the service. It’s early enough that people with small children won’t run into trouble with bedtimes. It’s late enough that people should be able to make it and still have been able to put in a good day of work on Saturday. And really, for the past 7 months, that’s worked pretty well. For our volunteers, it means something more like a 4:30 – 7:00 commitment, but that’s still not awful.
Now we’re approaching fall and we want to add a couple of adult Bible studies on Saturday nights. We’ve tossed around all sorts of service times, from starting earlier (5:00?) with classes afterwards, to having classes first, then the service, to moving everything later… Even though we’re talking about at most a two-and-a-half hour block of time, for some reason it seems a lot more difficult to fit it in on a Saturday night than it would be on a Sunday morning.
Tonight at our core team meeting the elders are going to propose the following schedule:
- 5:00 – 5:15 prayer for the service
- 5:30 – 6:30 worship service
- 6:30 – 7:00 fellowship and snacks
- 7:00 – 7:50 adult Bible classes
I think it’s probably the best option we’ve got right now. The other challenge is what to do with the kids during the class time given that we’re struggling with having enough manpower to do kids ministries. But we’ve got to do that somehow, to make the opportunity available. We’re trusting that God will provide the workers to teach the kids He brings in.