Survey for Families with Children and Youth

We are considering moving to two services on Sunday morning (9am & 10:30am) rather than our normal three (8:20am, 9:40am & 11am). With this change comes some adjustments with families and when we do Main Street (our hour-long children’s ministry) and Youth classes (we would still have Nursery for ages 0-3 at both services).

We are looking at doing an experimental run at this in January 2014.

Could you take a moment and give us your feedback on which service time you would bring your family to?

If you have other thoughts and opinions you would like to add, please do so in the comments below. Thanks!

// Pastor Jeremy

  1. I think this is a great idea. I love the service times and we would most likely go to church as a family at 9:00 (yay! extra 40 min to get there, don’t have to rush)and attend Sunday school at 10:30 if it was available then. I feel like you may actually see church attendance go up with this format, which will only create a new problem. No one ever said it was going to be easy :).

  2. I think 10:30am would be better for our family. What about doing mainstream either before or after church service so that kidscan expierance that worship time with family. And hold s childcare part during service for ages 0-4?

  3. Has any thought been given to returning to what it was years ago, with worship at 8:30 and 10:30 (or 10:45) with classes in between? Meeting in the middle is just that–a real connection time for everyone. Offering classes only during worship time makes it too easy for families to attend only one hour… and kids miss out on the valuable experience of family worship. So my vote is “neither.” During my years as superintendent I saw so many benefits to doing it this way.

    • Yes, that has been a consideration. There are many reasons as to why we’re thinking what we’re thinking. The purpose of this survey is to figure which time (if we did the two services) would work best for families with children. Pastor Mark, in the coming weeks, is going to talk more specifically about the rationale and the reasoning, etc.

      But I hear you, Naomi. Ideally that would work. Part of the issue is that adults don’t seem that interested in Sunday morning classes (attendance has been abysmal when compared with how many adults are in our church), but with our growing and thriving small groups ministry one can understand why. And, for better or worse (and maybe we caused this), folks with kids tend to come to one service where they can drop off their children and they can attend worship. This seems to be a cultural phenomenon (not just in our church, but in many evangelical churches).

      The downside of this are obvious: Children don’t attend nor experience a worship service. The goal isn’t just to get people to spend two hours at a church on a Sunday morning. The goal is to foster worship, discipleship, service, evangelism, and mission, all of which can’t be done merely on a Sunday morning. Our whole lives should be indicative of the mission and engagement of the Gospel.

      Another pragmatic consideration is optimal times for attendance in a morning. Because our numbers in certain seasons tend to reflect a need to consolidate to two services on a Sunday morning, we start to consider what times would be best for the parishioners. Part of the goal of moving to two services on a Sunday morning is to lessen the busyness of the morning. We feel that 9am and 10:30am would be ideal times for people to be able to come to church. It’s not too early and they’re not too late. If we had a Sunday school ONLY hour in the middle, then we are not changing any times (again, a pragmatic consideration).

      If change is necessary, we do need to approach things slowly, methodically, and bring people wisely along. We know we need to consolidate to two services, and this change will be subtle if the only real difference is that we just don’t have one of the three services. There are some philosophical changes we would like to make regarding children, their families, and worship, but we want to make changes slowly.

      I don’t know if my response has helped or hurt the discussion, but at least you know some of the thinking so far. We’re still listening to people (we always do), so don’t stop sharing and thinking with us…

      • Maybe what’s best for the parishioners is a strong church family. By providing a middle ground for fellowship and instruction, you will strengthen the church. This is the perfect opportunity to restore some of our loose and broken connections.

        • I hear ya, Naomi. It seems like the primary locus for fellowship happen more and more in small groups, but it’s important not to assume everyone is in small groups and there does need to be intermediary steps to get there.

          I really appreciate your insight. It is very valuable and helpful. Thanks!!

  4. 10:30 would make it easier for myself to get to church and my kids to Sunday school more consistently, because my job requires me to work late at night.

    • Thanks for the insight, Amanda! It’s really good to know these things and help :)

    • Thanks Amanda, glad to know I’m not the only one who works late on Saturday nights…….

  5. Hard decision. I do think many families do prefer a later service…. our family just really enjoys having a whole day for our family with an earlier service. Yes your right Jeremy….9am is already an hour later than when you have to have kids at school!

  6. I think you would reach more children with the 10:30, plus think of the people that live 20 minutes or more out of town :) I think 2 services is a great idea!!

    • That’s true, Emily… I didn’t think of the distance factor… thanks for mentioning that!

  7. We really would prefer the later time, 10:30. We have 2 teenagers with a heavy homework load, and weekends are the only time they can catch up on sleep.

    • It would allow for slower start to the morning for families if Main Street was at 10:30am. Although, if it was at 9am it would be an hour later than families are used to getting their children to school (8am). However, it is the weekend, and we have to think pragmatically to some degree. So I wonder if doing Main Street at 10:30am would be a blessing for some families. It would definitely provide more room in the morning.

  8. We love coming to an early service. 9 is a perfect service time!

  9. I think, for us, 10:30 would be better, but we will be there regardless.

HWC Information

PO Box 507
10655 Nyman Ave
Hayward, WI 54843

ph: (715) 634-4613
fax: (715) 634-7823

HWC Service Times

  • 8:00-8:45 a.m. MorningSong
  • 9:00 and 10:30am Services, nursery available
  • Youth & Children Ministry during the 10:30am service ONLY