Saturday, December 22
Sunday, December 23
9 AM · 10:30 AM · 12 PM
Monday, December 24
1 PM · 2:30 PM · 4 PM
Saturday, December 29
Sunday, December 30
9 AM · 11 AM
New Service Times
Sunday, January 6
8:30 AM · 10 AM · 11:30 AM
If Harvest has been your church home for any length of time, you've undoubtedly noticed a change in our weekend services the past few months. We've regularly heard feedback that "it feels like it did when we were at Skyview," and "I invited friends to church this weekend and I haven't done that in a while," or "I love the energy around our church!"
These are all comments that acknowledge the positive results to the changes your pastors and staff have been implementing the past few months. One of those positive results is that our weekend attendance is growing.
As a reminder, change is a response to a problem. We've been discussing this problem with Covenant Members for the past several months and it's simple: Evangelical Christianity is losing ground in Billings.
We realize that some of you just want the facts and nothing but the facts, while others want all the background, data, etc. Here is a summary of the key points. At the bottom is a link to all of the supporting information, if you are so inclined.
What's the "problem?" We are growing. That doesn't sound like a problem - anything but. This is obviously good as more people are hearing the Gospel and taking steps in their relationship with God to become Fully Surrendered Christ Followers. However, this growth, specifically in our weekend services is creating space issues.
We are consistently out of kids space now. We are running out of space in our adult worship services on Sunday, specifically at the 11 AM service; and at our current growth rate we will be out of space in all our Sunday services in about 6 months.
In order to maintain growth, where more people are making decisions to grow deeper in their faith, we need to plan for additional capacity at our Sunday services.
We need to add capacity to our weekend services to keep up with our growth, this means adding a 4th weekend service. Our growth is happening in our Sunday services (91% of new guests are coming on Sunday). Over the past 10 weeks, the Saturday service has grown 3%, Sunday at 9 AM has grown 10% and Sunday at 11 AM has grown 19%. In short, our growth as a church is happening on Sundays.
We need to align the effort and energy of volunteers and staff to make the weekends manageable, and provide better opportunities for our Saturday attendees to serve.
One of the fundamental changes we are making at Harvest is a move to a relational shepherding model, meaning our staff and volunteer leaders are more focused on ministry effectiveness over efficiency. While it is efficient to email large segments of the congregation, it is not as effective as taking time to be in a relationship with one another as we encourage each other in our spiritual walk. This means we are asking more of our leadership during the week.
Aligning all of our services on a Sunday enables our paid and volunteer leadership to observe Sabbath and rest on Friday and Saturday.
We also know that our Saturday night crowd is measurably not as involved in serving within the church. The absence of a serve one/attend one cadence results in a hindered ability to serve, which is a key step in a person's spiritual life.
You might be thinking … why don't we add a second Saturday service?
This solution does not add more space on Sunday where our growth is occurring. We are asking more of our staff during the week and are concerned about burn out. Aligning our services to Sunday keeps focus and energy manageable.
This is a decision the pastoral staff, Directional Leadership Team, Church Council and others have been wrestling with for many months and we realize this transition may be very difficult. We encourage you to join us on December 15th for the Q&A meeting or reach out as we navigate this together.
We will kick off 2019 with the new service times starting on Sunday, January 6.
If you have questions or would like to voice any thoughts or concern, please email the Church Council at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are also invited to a meeting after the Saturday service on December 15, 2018 (If you have children in a Harvest Kids class during service, pick them up in H11 following the meeting).