Switching to Multiple Service Times

In our third Listener Q&A Episode, podcast listener Jason Daugherty asks for advice as his church plans to switch from one worship service to multiple worship services. Brenton Collyer, Justin Kalama and I share some key concepts to keep in mind when switching your church from one service to multiple services, from scheduling to family, to time usage, unity, keeping it authentic, and more. If you’d like to submit a question for a future episode email me at alex@worshipleadertraining.com  or call and leave a voicemail at 831-607-WLT1.

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Alex Enfiedjian 00:03 Hey everybody, Alex Enfiedjian here with a short bonus episode for you This month we have a another listener submitted question. And if you as a listener have a question that you’d like us to answer on the podcast, you can email me at Alex at worship leader training comm or you can call 831607 w l t one. And this one’s question comes from Jason Doherty. Jason writes this, our church is moving out from a school and into our own place due to growth exciting. We are moving from one service to multiple services due to space constraints. Do you have any advice for worship leaders like myself, that are somewhat leery of the move? How do you keep from burning out your worship team? Any advice for family men because inevitably, my wife and kids will be at church longer because I’ll be there longer. And anything else that I can’t even think of? Because I’ve never been part of multiple services on the same day. Thanks for your help, guys. So that’s Jason’s question, Jason. I have two really good friends here with me who both are in charge of multiple services. Justin calama. At hope chapel, he I think, Justin, you had services Tuesday night, Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday, multiple services and Brenton has services Wednesdays and three services on Sunday, but he actually has five services Sunday, because he has two venues. So they’ve got a lot of experience with that at my new church. I have Thursday nights, Sunday mornings, three services, and Sunday night a different service. So we all have experience handling multiple services. So Justin Britton, thank you for being on the podcast and giving some wisdom to Jason. Thanks. Glad to be here. Thanks, Alex. Cool. All right. So let’s just jump in here. He asked a couple things about scheduling. So let’s just talk about Jason is in a situation where he has multiple identical services on the same day. So maybe you guys want to talk about how do you schedule your teams when you’re scheduling for an identical service?

Unknown Speaker 02:04 Yes. So the way that I structured that is, all have the same team, if it’s the same service. So for instance, at our church on Sunday morning, we’ve got a service at nine, and another service at 11. So I’ll rehearse with that team. And then I’ll have that same exact music team tech team, everybody, for both of those services. So you know, inevitably it ends up being a longer morning, of course, than if you had just had one. But the advantage, of course, is you’re not having to redo all of that work with a second group of people to try to accomplish, you know, that same service again, and, you know, to touch on his questions about, you know, not having your team burnout. You know, I tell our worship volunteers that for them to be up for participating two Sundays a month, so like two out of four on an average month. So I don’t have this same people play every single week, week after week. But when someone does play, they’re aware, like, okay, when I’m on, it’s gonna be a big day. It’s a little bit of a bigger commitment. But I can look forward to having other weeks where I’m not on at all, and can really enjoy time with my family and coming to church with them and everything like that

Alex Enfiedjian 03:20 routine is your night service, the same as your morning services.

Unknown Speaker 03:24 Yeah. So interestingly, so it is the same service, the same teaching, our teaching pastor is there. It’s, it’s not like come again, on Sunday night, you know, a lot of people just come on Sunday night, but I do have a second worship band and tech team for that service. Because I felt like, you know, because we get, we start at 6:45am. And we’re not out of there till close to one. And so I felt like, you know, saying, Okay, and then come back again, at night was a little bit too much. So I have a new team that comes and we usually do the same songs. And it’s just for me, as a worship leader, I have to rehearse again with that team. But that’s okay. I’m pretty comfortable with it by that point in the day.

Alex Enfiedjian 04:03 That’s cool. Now, just in Colombia, you had a different experience, where when you took over, you had different teams playing every service, even though it was the same service. So you want to just share a little bit about that share why it was a bad idea, share how you moved from that model to the current model, just maybe in a minute or so.

Unknown Speaker 04:22 Yeah. So just real quick, I didn’t take over I actually co lead with the same worship pastor has been here for many years. And a model that he had used for a very long time was having a different band for every service. So because our challenges are, our services are spread out over different days, Friday, Saturday, and then to on Sunday morning. An approach that he used for a long time was having a Friday set band, a Saturday set band, different band, every service and one benefit to that was he never had to schedule anyone. He never worried if anyone was showing up. He knew that someone would always be there. Now, you can imagine the challenges as a worship leader showing up running the same service same setlist, but having to work with four different bands to execute as well as you can. That was a challenge. We also had a challenge introducing new songs, because now somehow, you’re going to get four different drummers on the same page with a new song. vocalists, you know, the list goes on. So, about two years ago, we changed our scheduling model, so that we could achieve a rehearsed team for every service. And so the way we do that is now similar to Brenton, we have one team lead Saturday night, and then they come back and do both Sunday morning services. And so that allows us to come in Saturday afternoon, around 330, we get a good hour and a half, two hour rehearsal and run the set, you know, three, four times be able to detail transitions and really work on harmonies and make sure we’re already we play Saturday, we all go home, we come back, you know in the morning. And so the benefit to that is we can introduce new songs any week to that team, they’re going to be able to rehearse it. And we end up bonding a lot more through that weekend, we’re spending more time together and between services, we’re able to ask each other how they’re each other’s lives are going and that sort of benefit to. So by our third service on Sunday, we’re having just an awesome time, we’re not worried about what we’re playing. And it becomes an even better experience for us as worship leaders. We’re not worried about transitions, not worried about anything, we’re really able to be in the moment. And so that’s the change we made. And it’s just made a huge difference in our services.

Alex Enfiedjian 06:47 Now, that’s kind of difficult to have people show up on two different days. Do you ever have people drop off? And if so what do you usually do?

Unknown Speaker 06:55 So if someone contacts us and says, you know, hey, I can’t be there on Saturday, what I tell them is I say, Okay, let me see if I can find a replacement for the whole weekend. And that’s what we go for, because we want to stick to that model. So if someone can cover the whole weekend, that person is then off. On occasions, we do have to split Saturday and Sunday with two different people for any given position. But even then it’s it’s an improvement from the old model, because we might have one person for both services on Sunday.

Alex Enfiedjian 07:25 Yeah, that’s really good. And Jason, I would highly encourage you to do the same where you schedule the same team to play identical services. So you don’t have to double up the work. And again, like Brenton said, You’re not going to burn them out if they’re only serving maybe twice a month, and yeah, it’s a big big day, but they should be okay. Now, do you guys provide like food for your volunteers? Since it’s a long morning? Should Jason be thinking about that? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 07:50 I mean, you definitely can we put together like just a little like snack box, you know, it’s got like some granola bars and just easygoing stuff, some fruits and nuts, stuff like that. And it’s more of like a kind of like a thank you or thinking of you kind of gesture. I don’t know anyone who like counts on it for breakfast, you know, necessarily, but I think if you can pull something like that off, it’s just, it’s just a neat way to be considerate.

Unknown Speaker 08:16 Justin. Yeah, we do. And if, if the church is able to do that, or maybe someone within the church considers it their ministry to provide food, we’ve had that sort of situation. But we do see them Saturday afternoon before rehearsal. And then we have a quick lunch in between our two morning services. Like Brenton said, they feel appreciated. They know we’re considering what their experience is like, and we’re feeding them. Awesome.

Alex Enfiedjian 08:43 Cool. Let’s talk a little bit about family. So you guys are both married. Justin, you have kids? I have kids. So how do you guys handle the family situation? Do your wives and kids come to all three services? Do they just pick one. So just speak a little bit into that and just help Jason kind of know how to serve his wife in this new change.

Unknown Speaker 09:04 So for us, thankfully, I do get one weekend off a month where I’m not the worship leader. And so I don’t get to attend a full service every weekend. But once a month, you know, we get to go to a service where we walk up the stairs together, we check our kids in children’s church and go to service. But the rest of the week, obviously, I I catch most of the sermons sitting with my wife, but there are three weeks out of the month where I’m kind of doing, you know, family time as well as leading. And so if you can have one family service, that would be great every weekend, if not consider having a model where the church leadership knows that you’re going to take one off a month, which we appreciate printed.

Unknown Speaker 09:52 Yeah, for me. My wife is a part of our worship ministry which is pretty cool. So she’ll, she’ll be participating. The whole morning with me sometimes. And then otherwise, you know, we’ll drive separate, she’ll come to one of the services, usually the second service on Sunday morning. And she’ll just come and find a seat. And then when I’m done leading worship, I just come down off the stage and go sit with her and participate in the service, the teaching time. And then when we go back up to close out the service with a little bit of music, I’ll just kind of discreetly make my way back up. But yeah, we sit together every Sunday, you know, if she gets there early, you know, have a chance to say, hey, but if not, then I’ll just find her as she’s come into the

Unknown Speaker 10:36 sanctuary. on this topic of, you know, husbands and wives being able to worship together not being on stage, every weekend, when we went to that rotation model, one thing we were excited about is, for the first time, we were seeing musicians, when they weren’t scheduled, you know, showing up with their spouses, or with their kids coming up into church and just doing service together. And we’re at a point where now they’re sitting in three times a month, and then they’re playing once a month. And so to see that to see them able to just kind of engage in worship next to their spouse is, is just an awesome blessing of this rotation model.

Alex Enfiedjian 11:14 Yeah, that’s really good. Yeah, and for me, family is super important. Because like four years ago, I was not doing a good job loving my spouse at church, I was like, Hey, this is my ministry time and like, you’re bugging me, and the kids are being annoying, and like, Get him out of here. You know, obviously, I wasn’t, I wasn’t that harsh. But I did not do a good job, making my family feel welcomed on Sundays, because it’s a busy day, you’ve got a million things in your head. And so I just want to encourage you, Jason, like as much as you can make sure that you’re serving your wife and your kids on Sundays. So like an example that I always do. Now he’s like, my wife, she picks the service that she’s going to go to sometimes it’s second service, sometimes it’s third service, so that we can go home together. But pick, pick a service that works for your wife to get the kids there. And then my wife calls me or texts me, I’m on my way. And when she’s here, she texts me, I’m here. And that’s obviously in between services, usually, and I will make sure to go out, stop whatever I’m doing, meet her in the parking lot, get the kids get the kids checked into Kids Club, or kids class or whatever you want to call it. And then you know, make sure that my family feels like oh, Daddy’s present, Daddy’s here. And the other people that I’m supposed to be ministering to, you know what they’ll survive, if I’m, you know, giving attention to my family while they’re here. But, you know, again, for us, like last service is usually the service that my wife comes to. So we can spend a little bit unrushed time together afterwards, and then head home together and have lunch together as a family, but you have to make it work for you. You know, some Sundays, I’m doing like a worship leader training thing with our worship leaders here. And so my wife will bring lunch to the church, and we’ll eat together in my office, um, because I don’t have time to go home between the third service and then the worship leader training, and then the night service. So you just got to make it work. But the key is to really make sure your family is getting the attention they need from you on Sunday. So cool, let’s, uh, let’s ask this question. How do you guys use your time in between services? Are there any, like things that you’re doing that, like, really capitalize on the time between services?

Unknown Speaker 13:16 Yeah, that’s a good question. So like, if you have to, let’s say you’re going from one service to two services, you basically probably have like a little bit of time before the first service begins. And then again, a little bit of time between the services. And so for me personally, and I’d say for any, you know, all the worship leaders listening, that those are both really great times for you to interact with your church family to go out and find people to say hi to and to talk to, and pray with a new people that you can meet. And I encourage our team to do that as well. But before the first service begins, I have the team meet together, kind of backstage, and we’ll kind of review any last details we need to and then we’ll spend a few minutes praying together, and then we’ll leave for that service. And then between services, it’s just kind of like, you know, it’s a big day, it’s a lot of energy. So I don’t expect, like, structured time for my volunteers. During that time. It’s kind of like say, hey, to your family, you know, just relax, do whatever you want. But usually, people are kind of hanging out a little bit. And then we’ll meet back again, 10 minutes before the next service and do the same kind of thing. If there was anything that I wanted to change, or adjust or communicate that with them. We’ll pray together again, and go from there. So

Unknown Speaker 14:32 yeah, a lot of a lot of the same. On occasions, there’s troubleshooting musical parts or something, you can tell that a musician was lost, or there was some sort of fumble on the first service. If you’re using the same team for the second service, then that’s a time to fix that. But similar to what Brendan said, I really value that time to actually just have a conversation with some of the musicians You know, when they come in. We’re all focused on task a lot and making sure equipments ready making sure our parts are ready. And if people just come in the doors play and leave, and I don’t get a chance to really talk with them, you know, I try and use that time in between service to check in with people spend a few minutes, you know, getting an update on their life and stuff like that. So that’s a great time to connect with your team on a relational level. Yeah,

Alex Enfiedjian 15:23 yeah, definitely that connecting on a relational level. Also, like Brendan said, tightening things up musically, or checking in with the video, or the media team or the audio team, how’s it going? anything weird, you know, debriefing with the band, all that stuff. So that’s how to use the time in between services wisely. Also, something that I’ve been thinking about lately is, I usually see we have like a backstage area, I wouldn’t call it a green room, because it’s really just like where my office is. But we have this backstage area that we all go back and hang out in after service. And we have like a food area where we can go eat. And a lot of times, I’ll just retreat in there with my team, because it’s a time to be with my team. But what I’m realizing is I kind of probably should be going out during the in between sections of the services to the foyer, or lobby or whatever you want to call it. and spending time out there getting to meet people in the congregation, because it’s a really big church, and I don’t ever get to meet these people. And how will I ever connect with people and find musicians if I never go out into the lobby where the people actually are? So that’s something that I think I’m going to start doing in between services. Now. Brenton? A couple, a couple of thoughts that I had lately, when I was considering this question is like, sometimes it feels like having a church that’s one split into two essentially becomes two unique congregations. Yeah. So have you noticed that? And I’m not really sure what we’re going to talk about, but I don’t know, just so Jason realizes that does feel like it happened? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 16:57 that’s a really good question. And I mean, that could be a whole discussion for another time, but I’ll just share a few brief comments on it, that does happen, you know, as you move to a couple of different services, and one portion of your congregation generally comes to say, the first one, and then the other portion comes to the second one, they can both have a different feel that people can react kind of to the music time a little bit differently. And just being aware of that, and in tune with that is really helpful, it can kind of modify the way that you lead them a little bit. And, you know, I’ve talked to a lot of people who are really apprehensive about that, you know, they really don’t like that idea of feeling like, oh, man, we’ve now gone to two services. And now it feels like we have two different churches. And, you know, to start with that, that’s not true, you have one church, one church family, but on the other hand, you know, just encourage you, that’s not a bad thing, you know, for your church to grow. And to be out of space, that’s a really good problem to have. And if it’s between, you know, building a bigger building, which may be years and years and millions of dollars down the road, or just adding another service. Sometimes that can be a really wise decision and just the right thing to do. And, you know, any one church attender is never going to be able to connect on any real level with more than maybe 40 or 50 other people at church, you know, maybe a few more, if you’re super relational, but, but anything beyond that, you know, it’s gonna they’re gonna be people you don’t know anyways. So splitting your services, maybe having an overall number go down for a little while, actually could be a really good thing. And like the relational aspect for the actual individual of a church family.

Alex Enfiedjian 18:41 Yeah, and something that you kind of mentioned was like, people respond differently to the music times in both services, like I know, that first service, people are going to be a little bit lower energy. Second service, people are usually amped up, and that’s usually our most full service. And third service, people are pretty amped up, but there’s a little bit less of them. So it’s, it kind of changes the energy in the room. And you kind of lead the songs differently even and one question I had for you too, is how do you keep it authentic? When you’re leading the same songs and prayers twice or three times in a morning? Good, Justin.

Unknown Speaker 19:19 I think it just has to be authentic in the sense that you’re not going through the motions, you know, you planned intentionally with your songs, you, you have a sense of you know, what your plan is and how you want to delete your church, the things you maybe wanted them to reflect on the things you wanted them to sing on. If those plans are intentional, that’s a great place to start, rather than going through the motions or just sticking to default habits. And then of course, there’s variation you know, within that plan of each service might respond differently, like like you guys are saying and so being sensitive to that you might coach part shorter You might extend apart, you might exhort a little bit differently. And so being open to those things, you know, remembering that you’re leading those people and being sensitive to each of them as a congregation that keeps it fresh. But if, like I said, if you went into it with an intentional plan of what, you know, you want it to lead your church through, then executing that plan, for lack of a better word, is also going to feel intentional and purposeful, and then all those things.

Unknown Speaker 20:27 Yeah, that’s a really good question. And it’s, it’s interesting, like, for some reason, when we sing a song, that, you know, we may have sung 10 1520 times, you don’t have a hard time putting that on the setlist again and singing those words again. But we have a hard time saying the same sentence word for word, from one service to the next just two times. Now I don’t know why that is. And I do I’m there you know, for I don’t know what it is about, like about us as people but but I think it’s really important for worship leaders is thinking through their songs to also be thinking about, okay, if I’m going to pray, you know, actually seeking the Lord and saying, you know, I’m praying on behalf of our whole church family, lifting up this prayer to the Lord, with the hearts of everybody here, like, that’s something to really think about. And consider, you know, what, what should I pray for today, or if you’re doing a call to worship, maybe you’re sharing, like a little portion of a song or, you know, and then you might say, you know, hey, this Psalm says, to sing to the Lord with joy, you know, so this morning, as we start to sing, let’s just bring our joy to the Lord and our excitement for him or something like that. And then, when the next service comes around that thought that hope that sentiment is no less genuine. And it’s kind of silly to think, okay, in the moment, I’m going to say the same kind of thing, but different, but hopefully, it sounds as good. And that just never happens. If you just say the same exact thing, you’re going to communicate more clearly, you’re going to communicate more effectively. And you know, in your heart is, I still feel that way, I still want people to sing with joy. So that’s fine. Just say it again, you know, and, and, and don’t, don’t be afraid of, oh, maybe someone heard me last service, they’re gonna hear me again, and they’re gonna write it down. Don’t worry about that, kind of get over that and just go for it.

Unknown Speaker 22:13 Yeah, it took me a while. You know, all those services are kind of stitched together for us from a leading perspective, but remembering that that person’s attending church, you know, in their week, and so I might say something for three services. And also for the fourth, I feel Oh, man, I’ve said this so many times, I don’t want to say it again. But that’s not that congregants experience, you know. And so really remembering that that’s their time they’re coming to worship. And, you know, we just got to go all out. Yeah. You know, you learn from the previous services. But in a sense, you also forget, and you just, you’re put in front of these people to leave them well. And, and that’s what you got to do.

Alex Enfiedjian 22:55 That’s awesome. Yeah, I don’t usually say the exact same thing. But I say close to the same thing. But like you guys said, remembering that this is a unique group of people in each service, and God wants to do unique and different things in each service. And yet, your execution might be very similar to the last service, but God is working in a different way. Because it’s different people with different needs. And it’s a different time. So it’s the same for you, but it’s new for them. So well said, Do you guys have any closing thoughts that you think we might have missed that might be helpful for our listeners?

Unknown Speaker 23:27 Yeah, I think, you know, as I’ve led worship, through the years in different environments, you always think that wherever your current stage and model is, and you’re wherever your teen is that if that’s your experience, you just feel like that is the peak, like that’s the limit. That’s the ceiling, you know, until you break through it, and you expand your team, and you add another service, and you get accustomed to that. And suddenly you realize, okay, this isn’t as scary as I thought it would be. This isn’t as crazy or difficult. I’m actually accustomed to this now. But just to you know, as I’m listening to Justin, and you, Alex, you guys both have more services than I do at my church. And it’s hard for me to think about, like, how do you pull that off, but you guys do it, and it works. And I’m sure for you. It’s normal, and it’s comfortable, and you found your rhythm with it. So I would just say for someone that has one service, making that jump to another service, it’s easy to think that that’s just impossible. Like we could never do that. I just don’t know, anyway, that how I would pull that off. But I can just tell you guys, for everybody listening, you can do it. A lot of people do it. And it works great. And there are a lot of real advantages. So you know, don’t fool yourself into thinking that whatever your current model is, like, that’s the ceiling for what you and your team are capable of.

Alex Enfiedjian 24:46 Well, thank you guys for your wisdom, Jason. I hope that helps. And again, for the rest of our listeners. If you have a question you’d like us to answer or attempt to answer you can call 831607 w l t 1831607. W L T one or just email me Alex at worship leader training calm. Alright guys, thanks. God bless you and I will see you the first of the month with our next episode.