When we say “more than Sunday morning,” we don't suggest that churches abandon Sunday worship.
Sunday worship is essential to the life of every congregation we know. It's an area of considerable expertise, it has a noble history, and it draws large numbers together for common purpose.
What we do intend to say is that Sunday worship isn't enough. For many prospective constituents, it's the wrong activity (passive, audience-style) in the wrong place (central location, pews) at the wrong time (Sunday morning).
Passionate Sunday worshipers might not want to see that fact, but it's reality for a large number, perhaps for the majority, of those who could be part of your church.
What could you be doing?
Start by examining what congregations in your community are already doing. Don't get sidetracked by superficial differences in style. Just look for what people around you will support.
Here's what you are likely to see:
Parallel Sunday services: usually a contemporary service in one part of the facility and a traditional service in the sanctuary. "Contemporary" means many things, depending on whom you are trying to reach. It can mean child-friendly, casual in style and attire, new songs, instrumental combos, projection screens, a less formal and more conversational preaching style, more audience participation, coffee and pastries at tables – some or all of the above. Plan carefully, and be prepared to invest as many resources in the contemporary service as in the other. Share the lead preacher.
Evening worship: Saturday evening and/or Sunday evening. Appeal to new constituencies, such as young adults. Some congregations have been successful with Taize, Celtic and other reflective forms of worship. A few offer a “recovery service” for people seeking recovery from addictions and the effect of addictions. These new audiences might not be drawn to the normal Sunday morning fare. Ask first. Evening services can lead nicely into suppers and other fellowship opportunities. Plan carefully. Market extensively.
Weekday worship: Start fresh. Do market research and see what needs aren't being addressed. A service devoted entirely to young children, for example. A men's prayer and discussion time. Centering prayer, labyrinth meditation, a candlelight vigil for victims of violence. Don't be restricted to what you normally do, such as eucharist requiring an ordained celebrant or hymn-singing requiring the organist.
Questions of cost and staff time will arise. Fortunately, these other worship events can fit into your budget, rather than crash it. Not every service requires the lead pastor or a professional musician. You can use a projection screen and avoid printing costs. Over time, non-Sunday-morning services will develop fresh resources, such as volunteer clergy, lay leaders with gifts in preaching and music, and self-directed choirs.
Once you venture beyond seeing worship as something a few paid experts do for an audience, you will find many venues and forms emerging -- alongside, not replacing, the beloved Sunday morning traditions.