Yesterday I began talking about why I think Saturday Services work so well for us here at Mountain Lake. Here are a few more big reasons why:
3. We have realistic expectations.
Our goal is NOT to pack out our entire auditorium two times on Saturday Night. In fact, our auditorium is less than half full in each of our Saturday Services! How do we manage that? We literally have a Setup/Takedown team that comes in and puts up pole and drape across the room about halfway back in our auditorium. It shrinks the room and makes it incredible intimate worship environment for about 300 people in each services. We even use this to a our advantage! We actually communicate Saturday nights as a more intimate environment for people who are overwhelmed by the large crowds on Sundays and want something smaller. If we get to 40% of our total attendance on Saturday Nights, we will be extremely pleased!
4. We are committed to be good stewards of our space.
Most Worship Auditoriums fill up 2 hours on Sunday, and are empty the rest of the week. Really?! We are committed to be better stewards than that. We basically have another campus on our campus by hosting two Saturday services; but we didn’t have to buy any equipment, pay any rent, or go in any more debt!
5. We are committed to be good stewards of our Ministry Team.
Our Ministry Team is not burned out or even weary because of Saturday Nights. Most of our Pastors tell me that this is the healthiest ministry environment they have ever worked in. We work hard to provide a pace, environment, and even simple programming in place that allows our team to lay it on the line on the weekends and then pull back and rest. All of our Staff Meetings happen on Tue-Thur, so our team has the flexibility of taking Monday or Friday off each week. We all go home at 5:00. We have no other weekly ministry activities at night. Nothing! Small Group. That’s all. We also give very generous vacation time and offer a lot of daily flexibility to our team. We will not pursue the Great Commission at the expense of our team.
6. Saturday Services are considered a spiritual decision.
I have told our church we have no plans to ever build a larger worship auditorium. Therefore, in order to keep reaching people, we ask people to be willing to be commissioned to be sent out of the Sunday service and make Saturday Services home. It is a spiritual decision we ask people to make. Gimmicks to get people to Saturday night services usually don’t work in the long run. People respond to a call, a vision, and a willingness to sacrifice, give up their seat, to give people a place to belong and a place to become. Dozens of people who work retail and the restaurant industry worship with us because they have no other option! Saturday services allow us to reach people no one else is reaching!
Mountain Lake first began Saturday services in 2004. After moving in a new auditorium in 2009, we temporarily paused Saturdays due to our larger space. We relaunched them one year ago. One year later, we average over 600 people every Saturday Night! By Summer our goal is to be over 700. Do you get it? That’s 700 more people who have a place to belong and a place to become on Sundays!
Thanks Mountain Lakers for making our church a place to belong and become for many, and being servants in the greatest church in the world.