May 25, 2010

The Launch of a Saturday Evening Contemporary Service Part I

The church that I am currently appointed to, Castleton UMC, is getting ready to launch a contemporary worship service that will take place on Saturday nights at 6pm in the sanctuary on our Castleton campus. I have been given the opportunity to be the lead pastor for this service which I have been working toward making happen for over 3yrs now. With plenty of prayer and dreaming, I got the word to launch on Saturday, May 29th about 5 weeks ago.

A little background info on our church...We have 2 campuses with a total average Sunday morning attendance of around 750. We have 3 services (8:30 & 9:40 traditional, 11 blended/contemporary) on the Castleton campus and 2 services (9 traditional, 10:30 contemporary) on the Sunrise campus. We have not had a consistent evening service option and as a result, it will be interesting to see the response to a Saturday evening service that happens each week.

I've received plenty of support along the way from fellow staff, members of the congregation and especially Joe Garrison (@JoeGGarrison). In the past 5 weeks, here's what we've done so far:

*Solely through social media we were able to find a solid worship leader (@matthewedilley), drummer (@jdcogswell) and strong female vocalist (@zanbone) to accompany 3 of our own musicians.

*The only promotion of this service has been through in-house publications (church bulletin, newsletter, e-bulletin, website), word of mouth and social media.

*We have most of our volunteer positions filled (greeters, welcome center, ushers) but have a few A/V spots (sound, lights, video, slides) that are still open.

*I decided on Saturdays at 6pm because I believe this time will lend itself to reaching a wide range of individuals for various reasons. I also believe it will provide countless opportunities for fellowship (and eventually study & small groups) to take place after the service.

*We will be podcasting & video archiving the sermons and live streaming the entire service online (find that stuff here) each week.

Needless to say this is going to be a work-in-progress as we move forward but should be fun to witness how it all comes together, as so much of it has already. I look forward to hearing any questions or thoughts you have about launching a new service and sharing this experience with you.


Steve and Andrea LaMotte said...

I'm excited to hear about how the new time and format go! I led our churches new services creation and it was one of the most exciting and rewarding things I've done in ministry! You'll be in my prayers! I love the 6:00 p.m. time as well. Can grab dinner and conversation afterwards!

Matt Lipan said...

Steve and Andrea LaMotte: thanks for read and comment.

we had our first service last night. band sounded great, my sermon was decent and we ended up with a nice showing of 144 people. the feedback on Saturday nights at 6pm is quite strong for some of the very reasons you mentioned.

is your service still going? how's it working?