Fall Worship Schedule: Frequently Asked Questions

FALL WORSHIP SCHEDULE

Over the last year, Harris Creek has continued to experience rapid growth and has more than maximized the current structure on Sundays. While it’s good that we have continued to utilize the space available, the reality is we have little to no room for visitors or new people to join us if things stay the same. With that in mind, church leadership has been discussing and praying about the needed changes since March. We believe it is necessary to adjust our current schedule on Sundays for the fall. The new format for Sundays, beginning August 25, will be as follows:

SUNWEST CAMPUS

8:30AM CORPORATE WORSHIP

  • Cre8 for babies through pre-kindergarten
  • Navig8 for kindergartners through 5th graders
  • Equipping Classes for adults

10:00 AM CORPORATE WORSHIP

  • Cre8 for babies through pre-kindergarten
  • Navig8 for kindergartners through 5th graders
  • Integr8 for 6th graders through seniors in high school
  • Equipping Classes for adults

11:30 AM CORPORATE WORSHIP

  • Extended Care for babies through pre-kindergarten
  • Equipping Classes for adults

DOWNTOWN CAMPUS

10:00 AM CORPORATE WORSHIP

  • Extended Care for babies through pre-kindergarten

11:30 AM CORPORATE WORSHIP

We know there will be a number of questions about how this impacts the church, so we’ve developed this “Frequently Asked Questions” section below:

WHY DO WE FEEL CALLED TO DO THIS?

We are primarily making this decision as an attempt to create space so that we can reach new people with the Good News Jesus brought to this world. It doesn’t take long to see that we have run out of room at most Harris Creek worship services during the school year. Last year we added a fourth service and saw all but the 5:30 pm service at our Downtown Campus run well over 80% capacity on average. In the past, we dealt with our space issues by adding metal folding chairs in the aisles and cramming people in every corner of the building we possibly could. There were several Sundays we had our rooms with a live feed of the service, and even our front lobby, filled to capacity. This left very little room for new visitors and did not allow for a great first time experience when you had to fight an overwhelming crowd just to get a seat.

While our desire to reach others is driving this decision, we also knew we had to make changes that would be sustainable for our leadership and volunteer base. There were many signs pointing to the fact that our leadership, as well as the entire congregation, began to feel the negative effects of the overcrowding during the last year. We were limited during the semester when it came to including certain elements in worship (such as communion) and our response time. Security contingency plans were jeopardized when putting this many people in a space not designed for it. Set up and tear down at our Downtown service became very difficult to pull off on a weekly basis due to the times of our services. All of this has added extra stress on our leadership, volunteers, and our facilities.

HOW IS ADDING A FIFTH SERVICE GOING TO PROVIDE RELIEF?

The answer to this is two-fold. First, we are launching video preaching at some of our services, which puts less stress on the person preaching on any given weekend. We are going to experiment with a combination of video and live services, but the person teaching will preach no more than three times on any given Sunday, which is less than last year. Second, dropping the 5:30pm service provides a huge relief to our entire staff and worship volunteers. It is much easier to lead worship services back-to-hack than it is to have to return for a late service. Teardown at our Downtown Campus also becomes easier because we’ll have more volunteers present at the 11:30 am service to help.

WHICH SERVICES WILL HAVE LIVE PREACHING AND WHICH WILL HAVE VIDEO PREACHING?

This is something we are going to experiment with as the semester goes on. We want to try a variety of options to see what works best and makes the most sense. We are intentionally not going to advertise in advance which services are live and which are video because we don’t want this to be a determining factor for people choosing a service. The sermon and set list will be identical for all services on a given Sunday. The idea is that regardless of service time, campus, live preaching or video, all corporate worship at Harris Creek will be conducted in the same general fashion. We made a significant investment at our Sunwest Campus for the video sermons to be a high-quality experience. We also look forward to moving into the Hippodrome for our Downtown Campus where we can offer the same video quality for that campus. We will move into the Hippodrome as soon as construction is complete and we are allowed to make the jump.

WHAT CHILDREN’S PROGRAMS WILL BE OFFERED ON SUNDAY MORNINGS?

We will continue to offer children’s programs for babies through 5th graders at our Sunwest Campus and for babies through pre-kindergarten at our Downtown Campus. In addition to our options from last year, we are offering Extended Care for babies through pre-kindergarten at our 11:30 am service at our Sunwest Campus and at our 10 am service at our Downtown Campus.

The reason we are not offering full children’s programming during some of our services is a volunteer issue. With this new structure, we need 175 children’s volunteers during the semester just to pull off what we have in place for Sundays. Our hope is that our college students, young professionals, young marrieds, and empty nesters will gravitate towards the services where childcare is limited.

WHAT YOUTH PROGRAMS WILL BE OFFERED ON SUNDAY MORNINGS?

Our Youth Ministry will be moving Integr8 for 6th-12th graders to our 10:00 am service at our Sunwest Campus. This will allow for our youth at our Sunwest Campus to attend corporate worship before or after Integr8.

HOW WILL THIS AFFECT OUR ADULT EQUIPPING CLASSES?

The short answer is it should have little effect on our existing classes, as most of our equipping is done outside of classroom environments on Sunday mornings. The leaders of the groups who would be impacted have been in discussions with church leadership and made decisions based on availability and the needs of their class. For a current list of our adult Equipping Classes this fall, please contact Galan Hughes (ghughes@harriscreek.org).

WHY ARE WE NOT OFFERING THE 5:30 PM SERVICE AT OUR DOWNTOWN CAMPUS?

This service started two years ago as a way to begin to reach into the downtown community and hopefully reach unchurched people by offering a non-traditional time and space. We saw attendance at this service drop off significantly during the 2012-2013 school year due, in large part, to adding the 11:30 am service at our Downtown Campus. The 5:30 pm service averaged just under 50 people last year, which made it very hard to justify the effort that went into making this service happen. Our hope is that, by offering an additional service at 10:00 am at our Downtown Campus, we will be able to still reach people who are unchurched and provide options for those who call this campus “home.”

HOW CAN I HELP?

Thanks for asking! First, we ask for your prayers as we begin to venture into new territory with an additional service and video preaching. We also ask for your patience as we figure out how to meet the needs of our congregation in a rapidly changing environment. Another way you can help is by volunteering to serve on a Sunday morning. We need a large number of people committed to serving to pull all of this off. To volunteer, please contact Drew Greenway (dgreenway@harriscreek.org). Finally, as most visitors attend church services between 10:00 and 11:00 am, we ask you to avoid the 10:00 am service at our Sunwest Campus if at all possible. By seeing people willingly shift to other services, we hope to avoid having to turn people away and invite them to another service.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: