WORSHIP SERVICES & How to Create a New Service START-UP PLAN in 5 steps

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 10/8/15.

This week I’m teaching a DMin course at Fuller Seminary in Calif.  I am also teaching  an online course for Wesley Seminary. In both I received a similar question about how to create a “start-up plan” for a new service.

A young female Presbyterian pastor asked about reaching out to the urban poor in her church neighborhood. And the African-American Pastor asked about reaching out to Hispanics. The latter summarized stated well the question that I often receive.

Larry said, “In the past we have thought about starting an all Hispanic service once a month and bring in a Hispanic speaker to help connect us to this community.”

In my response (below) I outlined the six steps to the start-up planning for a new service. You can also find more about “worship services,” both their launch and their planning on this blog.


Hello Larry,

I think you have some good ideas about reaching out to the Hispanic community. However you may be getting the cart before the horse.

By starting with a worship service and bringing in an outside speaker, you coils be beginning an attractional model for which you don’t have any Spanish-speaking persons in the church to support.

Rather if you search on churchhealth.wiki about “person of peace” I describe a more indigenous approach.

Here Is the plan briefly:

1) You look for an emerging culture to which you can reach out.

That would be the Hispanic culture.

2) You begin looking for a “person of peace” in that culture.

This is someone similar to whim Jesus told the disciples to look for in Luke 10:1-12. This is a person of “shalom” (the Hebrew equivalent term) that is well regarded in the community and an influencer. They also are a person who builds compromise and peace among people with different viewpoints. You reach out to that person and begin to disciple them.

The Seventy Sent Out

10 Now after this the Lord appointed [a]seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no money belt, no [b]bag, no shoes; and greet no one on the way. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house.’ If a [c]man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in [d]that house, eating and drinking [e]what they give you; for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not keep moving from house to house. Whatever city you enter and they receive you, eat what is set before you; and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whatever city you enter and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you; yet [f]be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I say to you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city.

3) Then when they are ready, you help  The person of peace start a small group Bible study (and which you help them launch)

4) Once you have a small group (up to about eight or 10 people) you explain to them their purpose is to take a few people from the existing group and start another small group. This creates a second small group of this emerging culture.

5) Finally once you have two small groups of about 8 to 10 people each (of this new culture), you offer to them the church building in which to launch and lead their indigenous worship service. They then come together and organize the worship service themselves (under your leadership, but with their aesthetics and speakers).

This way Larry you create an indigenous and organic new worship option that is based upon:

  1. Find an emerging culture,

  2. Connect and discipling a person of peace,

  3. Create a small group the person of peace leads,

  4. Start a second small group from members of the first small group,

  5. Then let them launch a worship service.

Speaking Hashtags: #Renovate16