Multiple Worship Services at Harris Creek
Due to the overwhelming growth we have experienced through the summer, we are going to three corporate worship services beginning this fall. This is a plan which leadership has been discussing and praying about since March, and we believe it is time to make the move. We are encouraged about what God is doing in our midst and pray that you will receive these changes with enthusiasm. So, here is the new schedule beginning on August 21:
9 am Corporate Worship at 401 Stageline
- Navig8 for babies through 6th graders
- Integr8 for 7th-12th graders
- Adult Equipping Classes
10:30 am Corporate Worship at 401 Stageline
- Navig8 for babies through 6th graders
5:30 pm Corporate Worship at The Palladium
We know there will be a number of questions about how this affects the church, so we’ve developed this “Frequently Asked Questions” section below:
Why do we feel called to do this? Harris Creek is in a season of unprecedented growth in our 130-plus year history. While typically the summer has lower attendance for worship, we have been over 85% capacity for the majority of the summer. Read that last sentence again. This is with many of our families traveling over the summer and hundreds of our college students gone. Every bit of common sense says churches don’t grow in the summer time. That has simply not been the case for us. As we said when we made the announcement for our second worship at The Palladium, we anticipated needing to launch another service on Sunday mornings in the not so distant future if our growth trends continued. For a number of reasons we prefer adding another morning service over using “overflow rooms” and knocking down walls right now. So, as God has continued to build our momentum during the summer, it has become clear we will not be able to fit everyone in worship at 10:30 am on August 21 without some additional adjustments (even with the addition of the 5:30 pm service at The Palladium).
How can I help get the 9 am worship service off the ground? In order to create space for people searching for a church home, we are asking our members who are able, to attend either our 9 am or 5:30 pm services. Our 10:30 am service will always seem to be the time we get the most visitors no matter how many services we offer.
Outside of attending the service, there are a few other ways you can help. First, we need you to pray. We need our church to be devoted to prayer on behalf of what God is doing in our midst. We need you to pray for those people who might be reached through each of our services. Please pray that we remain faithful to our vision as we continue to grow. Also, pray for the leadership of the church as we venture into this unknown territory which we feel God is calling us. Finally, we ask you to pray that all of us will view this season as offering unique opportunities to serve God rather than as a time of inconvenience for ourselves.
We also will have new volunteer needs when we go to this model. As our structure continues to grow, our needs for volunteers are obviously on the rise as well. A short list of needs at the moment are: people to help clear the sanctuary of trash and re-stuff chairs in between services, people to serve as greeters and on our welcome team, and we could always use more people willing to step up and serve in our Children’s Ministry.
The last need is for you to be excited about what God is doing at Harris Creek. We need you to talk to friends and neighbors around town (especially unchurched ones) about what God is doing at Harris Creek. This amount of change can be overwhelming and presents several challenges to the church. Growth is good, but can also be painful. It is human nature to resist change, but we continue to pray and believe the Spirit can move us past our flesh to provide uncommon unity during this transition.
What children’s programs will be offered on Sunday mornings? We will continue to offer children’s programs for babies through 6th graders offered during both hours of the morning worship services. Navig8 for preschoolers will consist of an interactive Bible story with lots of activities for your kids, plus creative playtime. Navig8 for kindergartners through 6th graders will consist of 25 minutes of worship and large group teaching, and then 45 minutes of small group time with discussion, hands-on activities, and games during both hours.
Will my kids be repeating the same material and activities both hours if I attend both hours? For preschoolers who are on campus both hours, they will be getting the same content but different presentations and activities. Elementary children who are on campus both hours will be getting the same content, but different presentation, activities, and leaders. We believe repetition for kids at this age is vital for retention and memory purposes. Dr. Sean Brotherson says, “For any child, repetition is vital to understanding and memory. Why do 4 year olds love to have the same book read to them night after night? It is because a child’s brain is “wired” to encourage repetition of sounds, patterns or experiences that provide security, and thus develop strong neural pathways in the brain that become the highways of learning.” But, if you would rather your elementary kids go to our children’s programming for only one hour, we would encourage you to include them in corporate worship with your family during the other hour.
What youth programs will be offered on Sunday mornings? Our youth ministry will not be affected at all by these changes. We will continue to have Integr8 for 7th-12th graders at 9 am on Sunday mornings. This will allow our youth to continue to go to corporate worship at 10:30 am or attend our 5:30 pm service at The Palladium.
How will this affect our Adult Equipping Classes? The short answer is it should have little effect on our existing classes. We will continue to offer a Biblical Survey Equipping Class at 9 am on Sunday mornings. We will also have a few of our classes, such as the Harvesters Class, that will meet during this hour.
Who will be responsible for leading the services? Our normal worship and teaching team will oversee and execute this service. Whoever is preaching and leading our worship music on Sunday morning will do so for all of our services. The idea is that all corporate worship at Harris Creek, regardless of time or location, will be conducted in the same general fashion.
Who from Harris Creek will attend the 9 am worship service? The short answer is whoever feels called to make this the time where they want to attend corporate worship. We are hoping a few Life Groups and other individuals will pray about which of our three corporate worship services is the place God desires for them to participate.
How does this affect Sunday night at The Palladium? It doesn’t except for the fact that we cannot take our eye off the ball for getting this special (“special” meaning in a different location) Sunday evening service going, too. We still need a large number of people to commit to worshipping at this service for the semester to help get it going. We also need a number of volunteers to help setup and tear down every week. If you are interested in helping with this service, please contact our Community Pastor, Brian Horn (firstname.lastname@example.org). Each of us needs to view our corporate worship as an opportunity to help minister and reach out to others and not only worship time for ourselves.