I'm going to break my usual pattern of simply disregarding unsigned notes and give our rational for why we have two services.
1. Two services makes it easier for a family to worship together. With two services, a family can worship together in one service and attend an age or topic appropriate class during the second hour.
2. Two services allow all of our workers to have a
corporate worship experience every week. It doesn't matter if you are working in nursery, serving as a greeter or usher, teaching children in the Sunday School or helping our youth grow in Christ--it is easier to serve one hour and worship in the other. Without two services, some in our larger congregation would have to choose to be either out of worship altogether or distracted in their worship as they try to juggle two things.
3. Two services allows us to offer more options to our unbelieving neighbors. Some of the people you are presumably trying to reach with the gospel will prefer to come to an early service, some a later one. Two services allows us to reach people with different Sunday habit patterns.
4. One service in the Fall is simply too large. Every study shows that when your facility is 75-80% filled, it becomes unattractive to guests. On a flat floor like our gym, that percentage might be closer to 60%. If we only had one service, we could almost guarantee that we would be less effective in reaching new people for Christ through that one service.
5. Some people prefer the intimacy of the smaller service. Some prefer the larger service (Those are usually the ones that write me anonymous notes!) Two services allows us to meet these different desires without any compromise to the gospel.
6. Overall attendance in worship, even of our regular people, goes down when we only have one service. This is simply the reality that we have seen. We have the cold hard reality of 15 years of experience with this trend and the testimony of every book written that deals with this issue. With the downturn in attendance comes other negative factors. (see below).
7. When people are inconsistent in regular worship, they begin to drift spiritually and relationally. This produces higher counseling loads on the staff, and (this is counter-intuitive) more difficult time in keeping workers. It also results in lower offerings which then puts a drain on all the ministries of the church.
There are numerous pluses to having one service. And trust me, I have heard most of them. But quite frankly, they don't overcome all of the positives of having two services.
Here's a novel idea. Let's pray that God would fill all the worship services of every church in town that honors Him and His word. Now that would produce some problems that would really be worth having!