What does a church do if attracting a crowd to worship works?

What do you do when you run out of parking and chairs? First it is a great problem to have. Second, most churches don’t have this problem. But they should.

So what do you do? Let me submit a couple of ideas.

First, don’t think you’ll be able to maintain 80% of seating capacity for more than a month or so. What usually will happen is over a period of 2 – 3 months if you are running near or at 80% of your seating capacity is that people will begin to feel as if it is over crowded. Even though many want to hide in the crowd they don’t want to hide in too big of a crowd. So when you start bumping the 80% mark in attendance it is well advised to have a next step plan ready to roll.

Second, don’t fool yourselves into thinking that just because you have the parking spaces available to park more than 80% capacity that you can. Hasn’t worked to my knowledge for an extended period of time so I don’t think you or I will begin to beat “the odds” if you will anytime soon. I am all for having enough parking spaces to facilitate 100% seating capacity of any facility, maybe even a few more; however, once you start hovering around 80% capacity of your facility it will not matter how many parking spaces you have you will not need them all.

Third, please don’t kill yourselves trying to figure out how to beat the odds. Be blessed that you have a packed house on Sunday morning and begin to focus your time, energy, and resources on finding other solutions other than stuffing persons into one hour on Sunday morning.

So here are my thoughts.

1. Consider multiple services on Sunday morning if you currently only have one.

2. Think about starting a worship service at another time other than Sunday morning. I’m currently at a church that has six different time slots on Saturday and Sunday in addition to College worshipping on Thursday nights and a mid week bible study and communion service on the first Wednesday night of the month.

3. Start multiple styles of worship services at different times during the day to spread out the crowd.

4. Consider asking your folks to only attend one service on any given day. No repeat customers if you will. If you have and morning service and an evening service ask persons to only attend one.

5. Look into starting services at other locations in the community. Have a lay leader and/or other staff to preach those services. (Same content that is being taught at the main church; however, allowing the teacher/preacher of that location to make it their own)

6. Consider multiple site venues – video campuses as well as complete regional campuses which have their own pastor and lay leadership team, but fall within the leadership of the main church campus.

7. Plant a new church from within your own congregation.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

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