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5. Try a hybrid approach

As one minister friend points out, “one size does not fit all.”

The Brentwood Oaks Church of Christ in Austin, Texas, adopted a hybrid approach when Sunday night attendance fell to roughly one-third the size of the morning crowd.

The first Sunday of each month, the church has no evening assembly or activity.

Minister Roger McCown said:

In response to the harried and hurried pace of life, we encourage members to stay at home together as a family. Have dinner together and talk about the coming week, offering prayers for any challenges that they might sense in family, school or work.

Small groups meet around the city on the second and fourth Sunday evenings.

The third and fifth Sundays feature a traditional 5 p.m. service at the church building.

McCown said:

We have about the same number at those meetings as we had before we stopped meeting every Sunday night. We seek to maintain a missionary focus on these third Sunday evenings, bringing in a mission speaker from any source we can find.

Often, this will be reports from men and women who have been on short-term missions. Occasionally, it will be a missionary supported by a sister congregation who happens to be in town. When that isn’t possible, we tend to provide focused updates on one of our many other ministries.

Fifth Sunday evenings are conducted by our high school students. We follow these third and fifth Sunday evening assemblies with a fellowship meal. If you feed them, they will come … sometimes.
This seems to be working as well as anything we have done, and we are pleased with our emphasis on missions, ministry and fellowship.

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