I'm a full gospel worship leader who found himself in a Southern Baptist Church 2+ years ago. The music had to be totally revamped. The pastor wanted a blended mix I.E. Hillsong". We put the team together and accomplished the task. The music was presentable and the sets a thoughtful mix of the contemporary anf hyms presented with a contemporary slant
Some of the congregation embraced it ... others not so. It's obvious that in this setting, the blended thing just isn't working. The old schoolers' want it their way or nothing. The rest of the congregation is running with the edgy stuff while the platform musicians wish to take the gloves off and be who they are musically speaking. Attendance is down significantly.
The pastor is looking to start a second service. "Totally contemporary/guitar & keyboard driven." This is fine with me. I've got the people to do it. This will give us an early contemporary service and traditionalists will have theirs later in the morning.
Have you walked down the road I am approaching? What has been your experience? Did it work? Did the church grow? Did the church stay unified? I'd like to get the lay of the land before i walk into it.
I am from a very small traditional church in England, and circumstances only permit us to have one service........... having had lots of chats about this with my musician friends from other churches, they tell me that they have two separate services, one contemporary, one traditional. They say it works, but the that the congregation never come together for worship. Although their churches have stayed unified to a degree, for example, social events, they have said that it can feel as though there is a split within the church.
Please David, this is not meant to discourage you in any way. This way of doing it is quite the norm where I come from. I think it is sad when people aren't prepared to give and take when it comes to worship........I wish you every blessing with this and for what it is worth I know exactly where you are coming from. Lorraine
In a recent conversation with a long-time member, I discovered that in my current church, it's "okay" to have two services on Sunday (for space reasons) but not to start a Saturday night service. "It will divide the church."
Sometimes the logic is hard to follow. I'm a bigger proponent of reaching the lost than maintaining the club.
Hi David. I'm actually glad to see you taking this route. While it may not work for every location, I believe it has some great advantanges.
I've been in churches where we should have gone this route (two different services) but the "power brokers" group discouraged it, saying it would wreck the church. Result: the churches declined anyway.
Does it divide the congregation? Yes, in some ways, but they are already divided along these lines. A blended service doesn't fix that. Really what you are doing is reaching two different cultural groups of people, so treat it as your plan of outreach.
Will it work? Usually, yes. Make the extra effort to do all-church events throughout the year, like church picnics, special services at Easter, Christmas, etc.
Will the church grow? In most cases, yes. You will lose a few at first (and they will insist that you drove them out, even though you provided a service they should be liking), but over time new people will come to both, and the overall result will be growth.
Will the church stay unified? It isn't unified now. - just being honest! But the new church that will come out of this (provided you and the pastor handle it well and with a servant's touch) will be more unified because it will be made up of people who are better at accepting differences.
Now, I've also been a part of churches who already had these different types of services operating when I arrived, and the feeling I got when I began attending was one of excitement and purpose.
Given the two options, I know where I'd rather be!