Monday, February 23, 2009

why do churches start so early?

Since moving to Kentucky, I have been attending Southland Christian Church, a massive mega-church on the southside of Lexington. It has been a really good experience for me, and has taught me in many ways, how to check my preferences when entering a worship service. It has been a good place for me to attend.

One of my favorite things about Southland is not related to the teachings, the plethora of services for the community, or the worship; it is the times of the services. Southland offers services at 5.30pm on Saturday night, 11.30 on Sunday morning, and 6.08 on Sunday night! You don't have to get up early to go to church. In these services it is not surprising to see a large number of people in the 18-35 age bracket; an age group that is very under represented in most churches.

One of the complaints is that church starts too early. If there are people who would be interested in church-but because they like to sleep in don't even consider it,shouldn't we adjust our meeting times? Instead I hear pastors complain that people aren't as dedicated like in the old days.

What is so sacred about 11.00am that people don't want to change their times? Honestly, I love sleeping in until 10.00am. I love it when I can relax in the morning before church; it actually makes going to church more attractive! If I wasn't going to be a pastor, and I could be picky about this issue, I wouldn't go to a church that only had Sunday morning services.

What do you think? Why do you think that churches continue to start so early?

6 comments:

Phil Strahm said...

I would say our 25-35 year olds like to go to service by 11am so they can be out by 12:15-12:30 and "have the rest of their day" for family, reunions, going to Colts games, etc.

Older people sometimes like the 9am setting. It's pretty much whatever culture has been created. And if you're not willing to change that culture then it will definitely affect who your targeting.

Phil Strahm said...

I would say our younger families like 10 am sunday school and 11:15 service.

A lot of people don't want to go to church on Saturday or Sunday night...but a lot do as well.

dan said...

what about Saturday night?

Tim said...

I'd say Phil hit most of the typical reasons.
- To have the rest of the day available (especially for young families)
- To get out before football (which doesn't happen on the west coast)
- Older people generally get up early anyway
- Tradition

And Saturdays are often nights out, esp. for the younger crowd. (Movies, dinners, clubs, concerts, etc.)

And Sunday night is the end of the weekend. Who wants to spend their final hours of freedom at church? :)

dan said...

but who wants to get up early?

i guess the point i tried to make, was that services on Saturday & Sunday nights are successful in bringing a younger crowd in.

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