Why 2 Services? Why Children’s Ministry Both?

August 9, 2010 by cloften  
Filed under Bible, Church and Leadership

In two weeks, we enter  a new era in the Grove Church.  I know what you’re thinking.  “We entered that two weeks ago, the era of the pastor that thinks he’s funny and sweats too much.”  Agreed.  But starting August 22nd, we will be starting a new era within that era?

I don’t know, but here’s the deal.  Starting on the 22nd we will go back to two services and we will offer Greenhouse (children’s ministry) for both of those services.   That’s something that we have not done before. I (mostly) joked on Sunday that we would think/feel differently about this had I been here since mid-June.  We would have been talking about all the reasons, getting motivated, etc.  However, that didn’t happen.  We strolled into town 10 days ago (as of the writing) and dropped this bomb two days later.

In 2014, “Charlie moments” like this won’t surprise anyone.  Hopefully, the staff will learn to manage them (me).  This isn’t 2014, it’s August 9th, 2010 and we are 13 days away from two services of Greenhouse, so here is some Q/A on the what, why and how.

Why two services?

Really one reason, fewer bodies in the room at once means a reduction in body heat and a reduction in how much I will sweat.  No really, if you have been their the last two weeks, we have been full.  It has been hard to find a seat.  We always want to have plenty of seats for people.  The same goes for the Greenhouse.  Have you seen some of those classrooms?  We may have to build a second level in some of those rooms, so we can stack the kids vertically.  This leads to the next question:

Why Greenhouse both?

Some of those classes are too crowded.  We have a lot of young families with young kids.  We want when someone drops off one of their kids for them to feel that they have left them in a fun, safe environment, not a chaotic, crowded one.  We need to “spread out” when the kids worship.  It’s also very important that the people who serve in the Greenhouse, be able to serve one service and worship in the other.  With two services, but only one of them having Greenhouse, people with children have to serve or worship, because they can’t have their kids with them both services.  Also, Grovers are more likely to come to the early service.  New people, most often, come to the later service.  We need to serve both.

Why so soon?

No one asked this question, but the size increase in the eyes of the staff asked the question for them.  The two biggest dates in the church year are obviously Easter and Christmas.  They are not only the two biggest seasons to celebrate, but they are also high attendance weeks with a lot of new people.  Putting those two aside, the busiest times for churches are when school starts in August and when school starts back in January.  People are making decisions to start new things.  They are wanting to “get back in the groove.”  So you will see attendance spikes and a lot of visitors.  A church needs to be ready.  You never know when it will be someone’s first week.  You never know when someone will walk through the doors of your church, when it is there first time to church ever, or their first time in years since (fill in the blank).  You want to have a great spot for them and for their kids.  You want them to be well-greeted and loved.  We will get a lot of these this Fall.  My guess is that this is even more the case living in a college town.

There is so much more to say, and we will continue this conversation tomorrow with some more questions about logistics.  However, we need to keep this in mind.  The reason we want to grow is because there are people in Fayetteville and in NWA that are far from God.  We want them to come and hear about the life they can have in him.  As long as there are people that need Him, we will make room for those people.

August 1st is Coming, AKA Help Me!

Wow.  We are moving in 8 days.  It really is hard to believe.  It has been an amazing four years at Fellowship Cabot.  I have learned so much about being a pastor and leader.  It has been overwhelming.  As I look to make this transition, I’ve been trying to categorize and put into words what I believe God has taught me about church and what it means to lead a church.  Over the next days, weeks and months that vision will come out in blog posts, sermons, staff meetings, and random meetings at various coffee shops around Northwest Arkansas. 

In the meantime, I am overwhelmed by how close August 1st is.  In a short few days, I start a new job and an incredibly opportunity to lead a great group of people and prepare for another God adventure.  I am “pre-working” over these next few days to get ready, and I need your help.


Please pray that our house will sell quickly.  We’re moving into an apartment until our house sells.  We believe God has a great plan for us, the people he wants to have our house, and has prepared a house for us in Fayetteville.  On the other hand, this is stressful.  I know many of you have been praying.  Please keep doing so.

Those who don’t live in NWA

Everyone seems to know someone who lives in Fayetteville or NWA.  If you do and they don’t have a church home, let them know about the Grove Church.  www.thegrovechurch.org  We are going to be spending August getting to know each other and talking about what kind of church we want to be and what we hope to see God do in and through us.  That would be a great opportunity to get to know us and be a part of what God is doing. 

If you know a student at the U of A, same thing.  We want lots of college students to be a part of the Grove and hope that God will continue to use as to reach and minister to U of A students.

If you live in Fayetteville or NWA and don’t go to the Grove

If you are not connected to a local church there, you can imagine what I’m going to say to you:  “see you soon.”  Come August 1st and say hey, check us out.  God is doing cool things at the Grove and will continue to.  I would love to have you be a part.

If you are connected to a local church, the invite gets a little trickier.  I would still love to see you one Sunday.  Come by and say hi.  We would, of course, love to have you, but we don’t want to be known as a recruiter from other churches.  There are so many people in Fayetteville and NWA that are not connected God and/or to church and those are the people that we want to reach.  Many of you I have been friends with for years, and I would love the opportunity to partner and minister with you at the Grove. 

On the other hand, I do not want to take you from a church where God is using you and blessing your family.  One of the best things that happened to me in Cabot is having friends and fans at other churches.  We want to partner with other churches in reaching people.  We are all on the same team.  If all you do is love us, pray for us and our churches can work together, then that would be great.

If you go to the Grove.

Pray, pray, pray.  The Grove is a great church and is doing some great things.  I believe he is going to build on that.  We are going to be a church that is reaching people who are far from God, strengthening believers, and launching missionaries around Fayetteville, NWA and the world.  You have a role to play in that.  You are going to be hearing all throughout August opportunities to be used by God to help us move forward.  God wants to use your talents and passions to reach and serve people.  Be praying now that God will show you what your part is.

Wow.  10 days and I will be preaching my first official sermon at the Grove as pastor.  Please be praying.

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