Our purpose as a church is to declare the supremacy of God by making disciples who love God passionately and impact the world for Jesus Christ. That is a huge mission. The Bible sums it up by saying we are God’s ambassadors in the world. Of all the ways we are called to be faithful to this mission, none is more important than when we gather as a church. For our church family, this happens on Sunday mornings. Together we celebrate God and His Gospel through preaching His Word, ascribing glory to Him in song, declaring our dependence on Him through prayer, and seeing visible symbols of His work of salvation in baptism and communion. This is the culmination of our life together as a church.
Our hope and prayer is that God would use us to draw others to Himself, multiplying disciples, and seeing the lost come to know and follow Jesus. For this reason, we want to maximize every opportunity to reach our friends and neighbors with the Gospel. A primary way for this to happen is to invite those who do not know Christ or regularly hear the Gospel preached to church on Sunday mornings. In order to maximize our ability to invite others to hear the Gospel and join in the loving family of Christ-followers at Our Saviour, we are changing the time of our Sunday morning church service to 10:30AM beginning on Easter Sunday (March 31).
Beginning with the elders, then in conjunction with our staff and Ministry Team, as well as other key leaders, we believe this change will help us to reach more people for the following reasons:
1) A service that starts at 9:30AM has been seen to be too early for some and early in general for many. While churches with multiple worship services are able to offer earlier and later times, with a single service, we must place ours at the most ideal time for the greatest amount of people. Many people who are not accustomed to church attendance on Sunday mornings prefer a later service so they may still sleep in. We hope to attract more people, but especially more non-church attenders with a later service time.
2) Placing the Education Hour after the worship service constrains the corporate worship time of our church. While we do not wish to lengthen the service in any way, our current length (1:15-1:20) occasionally impedes the Education classes. By not having anything following the church service, a few extra minutes during a particular week would not be problematic.
3) Holding education classes following the church service is inhospitable for current attenders to invite friends and share time with them following the service or, at best, forces them to choose between these two things. If there was no commitment following church, we could invite friends out/over for lunch or spend more time socializing. The same could be said of visiting with guests. Often, people must rush to get to classes they teach or attend.
God is calling us to reach those around us with the good news of Jesus Christ. The leadership of our church believes making this slight alteration to our Sunday morning schedule will further this mission. I am sure many of you involved in various aspects of ministry on Sunday mornings will be curious as to the timing of things in the new schedule. Please see the break-down at the end of this letter.
As for this Sunday, we will be back in the Gospel of Luke! It has been 14 weeks since we were last there together and I hope your excitement to resume this series matches mine. We left off at the end of chapter 10 with Jesus teaching about what it means to be His disciple. That is exactly where we will pick up this Sunday at the beginning of chapter 11, with Him teaching us how and why to pray. I know many of us, with myself at the front of the line, need guidance and encouragement as we labor in prayer. Jesus is going to give it to us this Sunday. Come hungry for the Word of God and prepared for Him to speak to you. I can’t wait to see you at 9:30AM this Sunday (remember, the scheduling change will not take effect until Easter, March 31).
For the sake of His name,
Sunday Morning Schedule as of March 31, 2013:
8:00AM – Worship Team warm-up (specific time varies for each team)
9:15AM – Education Hour
10:00AM – Fellowship Time (refreshments, coffee, etc.)
10:30AM – Church
*Currently, we enjoy fellowship around refreshments at 11:00AM with most adult classes beginning at 11:10-11:15 and concluding at 12:00. In the new schedule, we will begin teaching promptly at 9:15 and conclude at 10:00 with refreshments to follow from 10:00-10:15. This allows the same time for teaching and fellowship, but simply flips the order, continuing to have a time of fellowship between our two morning environments.