Logistical Questions for Adding a Second Service
Logistical Questions for Adding a Second Service

Adding an additional service will have a real impact on congregational life. Once the decision to add a service is made, the designing and implementation stages begin. Here are a list of questions to help guide your planning:

Nature of the Service

  • If a duplicate service is planned, will the service be a duplicate in all aspects? ·
    • Will the central focus (usually the sermon) be the same, or will it change?
    • Will the music be the same? Will a choir perform? If there are special musicians, will they perform at all services, or only one?
    • Will children’s religious education be available during the new service? For all ages, or only for some? \
    • Is childcare available for the youngest children? 
    • Will the special elements (for example, child dedications and coming-of-age services) be featured consistently at one service, or will they rotate through all services?
    • Will days with special elements be changed to days with only one service?
  • If a different service is desired, what differences will be incorporated? ·
    • Will the service be designed to fulfill the unmet needs of those already present, or will it be an outreach to a new constituency out in the community?
    • How will we determine the unmet internal needs?
    • How will we determine the needs of our outreach constituency?
    • Is the time and day appropriate to this new segment?
    • What supportive elements will there be—music, hospitality, child care, religious education, and so on?
  • When is the right time for the service?
    • Should it be on the same day as the existing service? Earlier? Later?
    • Should it be on a different day than the existing service? If so, what day and time?
  • Will children be included in the service?
    • How will they be included?
    • What part of the service will they attend—all of it or part of it (and then which part)?
    • Will there be a special focus for the young people? Who will do this?
    • What impact does including or not including the children in part of the service have on class time? On the worship service? On overcrowding?


  • Will the choir perform for all services, or just some? If just some services, then which ones?
  • Will special music be offered at all the services? If not, what will take the place of the special music part of the service?
  • Will congregational singing be included? The same amount? More? Less?


  • Will a single fellowship time be held, or multiple ones? Before the services? After the services?
  • If a single fellowship time is held, how will people be brought out of fellowship and into the worship service?

In-between Time

  • If the additional service is on the same day, how much time is needed between the services?
  • Will any programmatic element be held between the services? If so, what will it be, and for whom?
  • What impact does this activity have on traffic patterns and overcrowding? Is parking a concern, and if so, are two coffee hours needed?


  • How much time is needed to allow people to depart from the earlier service and to arrive for the later service?
  • How will the traffic flow between the services? In the parking lot? Indoors?
  • Will parking lot attendants be needed?
  • Does space allow for a single social time, or will more than one be needed?
  • If the new service is on a different day, what arrangements need to be made for setup and snow removal midweek?
  • Will additional people be needed to handle the additional collection and bank deposit?
  • Will the office be staffed during all services? If so, by paid staff, by volunteers, or by a combination?
  • Will an activity be offered for the children whose parents are active in both services? Will they go to two sets of religious education classes, or will alternative activities exist for them? 


  • Will an increase be needed in the hours and/or pay for musicians? Religious educators? Custodial staff? Administrative staff? The minister?
  • Will rental costs increase?
  • Will utility costs increase?
  • Will photocopying costs increase?
  • Will additional religious education curricula and/or materials be needed?
  • Will an increase in membership and in member contributions likely cover all anticipated increased costs?

About the Author

  • The regional Congregational Life staff are congregations' local connection to the UUA. All of the program Congregational Life staff have expertise in most aspects of congregational life and each also has a few program areas of expertise. See the UUA Congregational Life Staff...

For more information contact conglife@uua.org.

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