by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 11/19/15.
For 20+ years I’ve seen that offering culturally different worship encounters can help connect more cultures in a community to God. But, adding a new worship encounter has its caveats.
Here is my “short list” that I use to help clients see the basics of multiple worship encounters.
First, there are two equally important goals.
GOAL 1: The first goal is the Great Commission to “make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). Thus, getting new attendees into small groups where they can grow along with others is a major objective.
GOAL 2: The second goal of a new worship service is to create a culturally relevant worship encounter. It is not a performance, nor a time to create mini-celebrities. It is a time to foster an encounter with God.
Everything should revolve around these two goals. If it does, then here is the short list of things you must do to create a new worship encounter for an existing church.
Here are the key principles for starting a new service:
1. The people who design a new worship encounter should demonstrate that they are missionaries to that culture, or that they are from the culture you are reaching out to.
2. Ensure you can financially sustain a new service for 18 months, before you launch it.
3. Make sure you have duplicate leadership too (start training them now, telling them that soon we will launch a new service and they will lead it).
4. Pick a venue that will be at around 35% full with your projected attendance.
5. Have small groups (Sunday Schools, etc.) ready before or after all worship encounters.
6. Keep the worship encounters to 50 minutes total (with 15-20 minutes between services) if you can 😉
7. Also, make sure your overall attendance is at least 100 before you start a new service.
- Then ask 50 people to agree to come to the new service for one year (make a covenant to do this, usually written.
- At the end of that time, they must either recruit someone to take their place, or re-up for another year. The idea is to create the minimum number of attendees necessary for worship to break out in a larger gathering: usually 35+ people.
- Thus, with 50 committed, you will usually have 35 in attendance and your new service can grow.
If you follow these principles, you can avoid what these video portray – the temptation to succumb to a largely attractional tactic (ugh!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ys4Nx0rNlAM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjHMZKNKbTk&feature=share
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