Two Services Transition

Grace Bible Church is adding a second service!

Launch Date: January 26, 2020
Service Times at 8:30 & 10:30 am

This video was recorded before the we had collected information indicating that 8:30 & 10:30 would be a better split for our services than 9 & 11. Our services will not be at 9 & 11, they will be at 8:30 & 10:30.
On January 26, 2020 Grace Bible Church of Bend will be adding an additional worship service on Sunday mornings. Below are answers to some common questions people may have to help with this transition:

Why are we adding a second service?

We have a problem at Grace, but it’s a good one! There are more people who want to worship with us on Sunday mornings than there is currently space to accommodate. This is especially true in our children’s classrooms. On a busy Sunday morning, it is not uncommon for us to have to close 1-3 classrooms that hit maximum capacity, and the other classes are not far behind. In addition to our kids’ classes, we are also running out of space in the worship center. While there are still a number of open chairs on any given Sunday, on our busier Sundays it can be challenging for a family of 5-6 to find seats together.

There are four options a church can make when facing this kind of space challenge:

  1. Stop telling people to come. This will never be the answer!
  2. Plant a church and send people out. We just did this with GBC Redmond and will do so again when God makes that decision clear for us. Right now is not the time to plant again.
  3. Build a larger space or move to a larger space. This takes an incredible amount of money and time and is not currently an option.
  4. Add an additional service in our current space.

Through much prayer and discussion, the elders of Grace have decided that adding an additional service is the correct decision for our continued growth and the expansion of our ministry impact.

What will be the benefits of adding an additional service?

While any change is challenging, we believe the benefits of moving to two services will greatly outweigh the difficulties we might encounter:

1. Two gathering times help us to better accomplish our mission.

Ultimately, the purpose of Grace is to fulfill the great commission of our Lord by spreading the good news of the gospel and helping people grow and mature in Christ. If we can’t provide space for people and their children to come and worship and hear the Word of God, we have a serious problem! Moving to two services will allow us to create much needed space to reach more people. In addition, adding more service options may enable more people to come who otherwise would not be able to due to work schedules or other commitments.

2. Two gathering times help us to better love and serve our children in Grace Kids.

Our goal in Grace Kids is to partner with parents as they disciple their children. This is most effectively accomplished as our teachers are able to gain traction with the kids in their classes as well as with their parents. Unfortunately, this ideal is almost impossible when we switch around our teaching teams every two weeks, a serving rotation necessitated by a one-service schedule (many of our kids don't even know who all of their teachers are!). Two services would allow our teachers to serve every week for a school year without having to miss the worship service, enabling them to build those relationships with families and better be used as a discipleship resource for our parents.

Additionally, many of our children’s classrooms are over capacity, and we have actually had to ask some parents to keep their children with them during the service because the rooms are too full. Overcrowding the classrooms is not beneficial to our children or the leaders who lovingly serve them. Adding a second service will lower the numbers in each class and will better serve our kids and the leaders in those classes.

3. Two gathering times will allow people to serve and not miss the worship gathering.

Right now we have over 100 volunteers in Grace Kids and security who faithfully serve our children. Currently, this requires those servants to miss our main worship service two weeks out of every eight weeks. Adding a second service will allow people to serve at one service and still join a worship gathering on the same Sunday. We hope this culture of  “Attend one, Serve One” will become a regular part of the DNA of Grace as we fulfill the Lord’s command: “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Phil 2:4)

4. Two gathering times will allow more people to serve and use their gifts.

As the church grows, there are times when people struggle to find a place that they can serve, or at least they can perceive that to be the case. Having two services will create many more “entry level” serving opportunities for people, and will also stretch others by encouraging them to sacrifice a little more. Either way, it will cause all of us who are willing to be moved out of our comfort zone and to be used by the Lord in service to others.

5. Two gathering times will maximize our resources.

Two gathering times will allow us to be good stewards of the resources that God has given us by using our facilities to their greater potential. The move to two services will have very little impact on our overhead expenses, but will simultaneously double our capacity for ministry and mission. While it will require a little more work and some additional sacrifice of service for many of us, it will be a huge return on investment for the expansion of the Kingdom of God and accomplishing His mission.

6. Two gathering times will provide new opportunities.

While there will still be very limited space until we add new facilities, there will be some added opportunity to provide discipleship for more people while one or the other of the worship services is taking place. This includes such things as adult discipleship classes (much like Equip), membership interviews, counseling and one-on-one discipleship meetings, teen discipleship, and other things that currently must take place before or after church. This new format will give greater opportunities for increased discipleship on Sunday mornings.

Two Services Frequently Asked Questions

We know there are many questions that arise in a big decision such as this one. Our hope is that the following will help answer some of those questions.

When will the transition take place, and what will the new gathering times be?

January 26, 2020 will be our first Sunday going to two services at 8:30 & 10:30 am.

Will the gathering itself change at all?

No, our worship gatherings will remain the same and the two services will be identical in form and format. We love what God is doing in our worship gatherings, and an emphasis on God’s Word preached, God-honoring worship music, and a time of reflection and communion will remain our focus. We love the fact that God has made our church so multi-generational, and we want to minimize anything that would cause those generations to separate (i.e. traditional/contemporary service).

Will Grace Kids be offered at both times?

Yes. One of the primary reasons we are making this move is to add more space for our kids. To be able to offer this ministry at both services, we are asking our current leaders to serve a little more often…but our real hope is that many more people will join in to love and serve our kids together. If you have questions about how to get more involved with Grace Kids, we would encourage you to reach out to Andrew at [email protected]

What will my kids do if we serve at one service and attend a second?

We want your kids to LOVE Jesus and His church, and we want to minimize anything that would cause them to dread having to be at church. This means that we want to make the time in Grace Kids as engaging as possible and do things that will make them want to come back and be a part. We recognize that most kids don’t want to be a part of the same program twice. To help with that, we are planning to have a special room to bless the kids whose parents graciously serve in Grace Kids and also attend the worship gathering. This room will be staffed, and will be filled with fun and games that will make your child’s extra time on those mornings a joy for them. For the teens, our hope would be that they too can serve in one service and join their family in worship for the other service.

Won’t this divide us as a family? I already feel like I don’t know everyone.

This is a real concern that we have labored and prayed over. The fact is, the larger our church gets, the harder it is to “know everyone,” even if we continued to gather all together. The primary purpose of Sunday morning worship is for the glorification of God and the edification of the saints. Fellowship and community is a great added bonus, but the main vehicle for that at Grace is Community Groups. So, if you are not connected to a Community Group yet, please take this opportunity to find one. Community Groups are really where church becomes family. Our location is not what makes us family; our common Savior and shared mission is what makes us family, and that will never change.

Will we ever gather together as one large family again?

Yes! This move will make it even more critical that we think through ways for our whole church family to gather together as one body. One of those ways we will do that is through our continued Family Membership Nights. At least five times a year our family membership will gather together in care and prayer for one another. We will also encourage all-church picnics in the summer months to try to bring the whole church together. This decision will challenge us to be that much more intentional to find times for our whole church family to be together throughout the year.

Will we go back to one service in the summer?

Our plan now is not to return to one service in the summer. While many churches can encounter lower numbers in the summer, we have generally not found that to be the case in Central Oregon. Many people move to Bend in the summer months and we want people to experience the same worship service they would experience if they joined us in the fall. We also know that the change back and forth can be very challenging and want to minimize that as much as possible.

Are there needs with this new change that I could help with?

Another great question…Yes! One of the ironies of a church growing larger is that often times a smaller number of people do a greater amount of work. This is not good! We want as many people helping and engaged as possible, and this change will provide ample opportunity for that. We will need more help with media (sound, audio, video), worship, nursery, Grace Kids, greeters, security, etc. This is what a family does…it takes turns serving one another! Young, old, married, single, boys, girls…there’s room for everyone to help and serve.

If you are interested in helping to serve our growing church family, we encourage you to visit and see the opportunities available. We are always looking for more people to use their gifts to serve others at Grace. Remember…church is a battleship (all hands on deck), not a cruise ship (how can others serve me?).

What are the next steps?

  1. Pray: Any time there is change, the enemy will try to use that to cause division and destruction in the church. Please pray that this would not happen. Pray that God will provide the servant’s hearts necessary to meet all the needs. Pray that God would continue to use our church as a family on mission for His glory in Central Oregon, and celebrate that now there will be two worship gatherings in which that can take place!
  2. Invite: Use this opportunity for more seats opening at Grace to invite someone to fill those seats and hear the gospel of Jesus Christ! Start to think of who you can invite and then ask God for the courage and boldness to step out in faith and make that invitation. How amazing would it be to fill two services with people hearing the gospel and worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ?
  3. Serve: If you are serving now… thank you! There is no way we could do this without you. For those who are currently serving, we would ask you to consider if you have the ability to serve a little more. If you are not currently serving anywhere on Sunday mornings, we would encourage you to pray about taking this opportunity to start serving on a ministry team. We especially need those who are willing to serve the youngest amongst us in Grace Kids. The needs to serve will be clearly communicated in the coming weeks. Please pray about helping with those.
Finally, If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to one of the Elders to sit down and discuss those. We have tried to answer the most common questions people will have, but if your question has not been answered we would love to have the opportunity to do that in person.

I hope that you are as excited about this next step of growth and faith for our church as the leadership is! We have a problem at Grace… but it’s a good problem. God is blessing our church and adding to our numbers, but no matter how many worship gatherings we gather in, our mission remains the be the Family of God, on the Mission of God, for the Glory of God in Central Oregon and to the ends of the earth.