Does Having Multiple Worship Services Follow the Acts Model for the Church?

Worship Services

Try this experiment. Ask some of your friends how they handle Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. See if you can find even one family who “breaks up” their family gathering into an “early shift” and a “late shift.” My guess is that you don’t know anyone who approaches it in that divided fashion.

In a similar way, churches have 52 times a year to gather around “the big 4.” In the early church, “they devoted themselves to (1) the apostles’ teaching and to (2) the fellowship, to (3) the breaking of bread and to (4) prayer.” (Acts 2:42) A “family gathering” of believers on the first day of the week was every bit as important to those first Christians as Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner are to families today.

The temptation, or “opportunity” if you prefer that word, is for a congregation to add multiple worship services as the church grows. Of course other options would be to: (1) plant a new congregation; (2) enlarge the worship space; or (3) fit more people into your current space.

I suppose we could list advantages and disadvantages of each option. But isn’t it interesting that families do not “break up” their special family gatherings into multiple “shifts”? There are good reasons why families want everyone together at one time. There is a desire for family unity, family joy, and family interaction with one another.

Have you ever belonged to a church with multiple services? If so, how close did you feel to those who worshipped at a different service than you? Did it basically feel like you had two or three separate congregations all operating under the same roof, the same name, and with the same preacher? And for that matter, how many of the “sheep” had a personal relationship of any kind with the pastor (shepherd) of the congregation?

As pastors, we have human limitations just like everyone. We can only maintain interactive relationships with so many people. That’s just the nature of pastoral ministry. And yet every disciple in a church appreciates knowing their pastor, and rightly so. It benefits everyone.

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Dan Delzell

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