The Death of Sunday Night Services

Every Monday I post one of The Basics. The Basics are simple steps every church can take to grow. They are the same steps that led my church from 87 people in attendance to over 700. These steps have helped my church see hundreds of people saved and baptized in just a few short years. Most of these steps you can take this week without even having a board meeting. These are The Basics.


I’m not sure when Sunday Night service died, but I’m glad it did.

That was my first thought as I woke from my Sunday afternoon nap, but that hasn’t always been the case.

For several years I was on the other side of the debate. Churches that cancelled Sunday evening services were shallow, unholy, and had lost their desire for God.

Now I realize they’re just smarter than the rest of us.

When you don’t do Sunday evenings, you can put all your energy and effort into making Sunday mornings great.

And let’s be honest, how many unchurched people are showing up to your church on Sunday evenings anyway? My guess would be almost none.

Sure, you can use that time to pour into the holy rollers, but aren’t they already getting that during Sunday school or small groups? Do they really need to hear another message?

Is it really worth burning out your pastor and volunteers?

What about an alternative? If you really feel like you need two services on Sunday, why not do them both on Sunday morning?

Instead of offering a 11am and 6pm service, what about a 9:30 and 11am service? Now, that makes a lot of sense.

Because here’s what we know, the most likely time someone is going to show up for a church service is between the hours of 9 and 11am on Sunday morning.

By offering two Sunday morning services you will automatically see an increase in attendance. People like options.

There are some mornings people are going to oversleep, no problem you got them covered. Just come to the later service.

Other times, people want to get church in before the game starts, the 9:30 service is perfect for them.

More service times means more opportunities and less excuses.

Here’s a couple of other benefits:

  • The pastor doesn’t have to prepare two sermons, he can preach the same one two different times. This not only makes him better as a speaker, it takes stress off of him, and prolongs his career.
  • When you have two services your volunteers now can serve one service and sit in another. This means your childcare workers aren’t having to miss service when they serve.

I know what some of you are thinking, we can’t do that it would interfere with Sunday school.

I would suggest you quit Sunday school, and offer small groups during the week, but if you insist on Sunday school, offer it during both service times. Who knows maybe you even see Sunday school attendance increase.

But we’re not running hundreds of people. Let me ask you this, how full is your sanctuary on a typical Sunday morning?

Fifty percent? Sixty? More?

If you’re filling your sanctuary to sixty percent capacity, you’re ready to start a second service. If you’re less than fifty percent, you need to remove some chairs or pews until you can get that number to over fifty percent.

Don’t make the same mistake we did, we waited far too long to begin another service. Do it as soon as possible, just don’t do it on Sunday night.

Is your church offering multiple services? Why or why not?

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4 thoughts on “The Death of Sunday Night Services

  1. Kelly

    We are in a town of 1500 and we started a second service in September. We were not out of room but we moved all of our kiddo programming to 11 o’clock and I was worried that our kids min folks wouldn’t be able to be in a service. What we have seen happen over the last 3 months is our attendance has gone up each month and we are seeing those who we may have considered more nominal attenders become more regular. People love options, I believe that this is the best move we have made in the 2 years that I have been here.

    1. tds0249

      That’s awesome Kelly. Most churches should have a goal of going to 2 services as soon as possible. Because you’re absolutely right, people love options.

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