Changing Service Times

It was strange tonight having a cookout with the family instead of being at church. As many of you know, we have stopped having our Saturday night service during the month of August. During the past year, Cornerstone has had two services: one on Saturday nights at 7pm, and one on Sunday morning at 10am.  If you have been at church the past few weeks, you have heard our decision to move our Saturday night service to Sunday night starting September 13th.  It was not an easy decision to make, but we feel that it will be best for everyone involved.  When you have to change something that you created, it is tough, but I am excited about the changes we are making.

Here is what was great about Saturday night:

  • The laid back, conversational environment with tables and chairs surrounding the stage
  • The modern/eclectic worship style of our young adult band, Scattered
  • The ability for our people to attend the Saturday service and worship and then serve on Sunday mornings
  • The chance for me to preach the message twice each week.  Saturday night helped me develop and fine tune my thoughts for Sunday

But here is what we struggled with:

  • Encouraging people from the community to attend. After almost one year of meeting, we had very few people from outside of the church visit.  Attendance was increasing, but we weren’t reaching those in our community who weren’t already in church somewhere
  • Having enough volunteers to serve each week.  It was a constant struggle to make sure that we had our children’s ministry covered and enough people to setup and run the cafe.
  • Spending time with my family on the weekend.  Since Emma was in school this year, Saturdays with my family were important.  Preparing for a service meant that many Saturday afternoons were spent at the church. For the health of my family, this was not a good habit to get into

So we decided to address the good and the bad by moving the service to Sunday night.  We debated moving to two Sunday morning services, but we would lose the identity and environment that we have worked so hard to create on Saturday nights.  Having a service opportunity for our younger band to lead worship was important, and trying to incorporate two different bands on Sunday morning would have been difficult. Already, we have had much more support from our volunteers about serving on Sunday night.  It also worked well with our decision to start a mid-week youth service.

I hope that we will soon be adding a second service on Sunday mornings (that makes three services all together).   That will be the next logical time to add.  But for now, we are encouraging people to think about switching to the Sunday night service to free up some space for visitors on Sunday morning, especially our teenagers and their famillies.  I’ll share more about our youth ministry and the new changes over the next few weeks.


I am a former design engineer who now pastors Cornerstone Community Church in Galax, Virginia. I'm passionate about following Jesus and I love technology. I've been married to Jennifer for 28 years, and we have three adult children.

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