How to Start a New Service

Your Church Can Reach New People

Cover Art

Where to Purchase

More Options


Based on a five-year study conducted by Church Growth, Inc. (Monrovia, Calif.), Charles Arn suggests that perhaps one-half of the churches in the United States should consider starting a new worship service immediately. Research of hundreds of churches that added new services to their existing programs showed that this is perhaps the single most effective way for a congregation to grow and reach new people. And for Arn, that is the fulfillment of what ought to be the most important goal for any church--reaching the unreached.

The adjective new is, according to Arn, an important one. The key to growth is for churches to broaden their appeal beyond their current membership base by adding worship services that are substantially different.

Readers will find useful guidelines and practical examples that illustrate methods successfully adopted in a number of churches as well as pitfalls that can be avoided. Both clergy and lay leaders will profit from the wealth of information presented here as they begin the planning process, gather support among congregational leaders, determine their target audience, and hold their first services.


Raymond W. Hurn: "For 20 years I have benefited from the creative flow of ideas from the mind and heart of Dr. Charles Arn. His new book 'How to Start a New Service' flows with sparkling ideas and skillful methods--based on excellent research--for lay and clergy leaders who long to reach new people."

Clarence A. Kopp: "Charles Arn has done wonderful research of a very valuable approach to reaching the unchurched. This very practicable and understandable book should be read by pastors, church planters, and congregational leaders. In fifty years in ministry and supervision, I havenot seen a resource that I would recommend more highly."

Lyle Schaller: "Half of the congregation in North Americaa need to expand their weekend worship services. Read this book and you will learn how to do it succcessfully."

Ray W. Ellis: "This is a timely book that gives insight by a leading church consultant to help pastors and lay readers maximize church facilities and ministries for outreach and growth. How to Start a New Service is the best book I have read on how to start new worship services in the local church."

Dirk J. Hart: "I get more questions from pastors and planning committees on multiple worship services than any other subject. Now there's a primary source that I can recommend. Even if you are only beginning to think about adding a worship service to your weekend schedule, get this book. It will steer you into the right direction and help you make good decisions. And if you have reached near capacity on Sunday morning, or want to reach a new group of people, or start a new church, this book will give you a wealth of information and choices."

Win Arn: "How to Start a New Service is loaded with insights for any pastor with a heart for reaching others. Charles Arn is one of the most insightful thinkers in the church growth field today. Of course, I may be somewhat prejudiced!"

Leith Anderson: "It's a good book. Exciting. I kept asking myself 'What if this really works?' Imagine thousands of churches across America following Charles' prescription. It would be wonderful."

Gary L. McIntosh: "How to Start a New Service demonstrates why Charles Arn is a leading spokesperson for the Church Growth Movement. Destined to be a classic, this strategic book presents both the "why's" and "hows" of adding new style worship services which will reach new people for Christ. Do you desire to see an increase in your total worship attendance? Then buy, read, and use this book."

Kevin A. Miller: "'Should our church start a new service?' is a critical question for thousands of church leaders today. Charles Arn's national research gives clear, practical answers. Here's what you need to know before you grow."

Kenneth W. Behnkin: "Charles Arn provides a much needed book for the church on a timely topic that continues to stir controversy. How to Start a New Service is not a philosophical dissertation on what might work. It is a practical tool, based on documented research, which shares strategic plans and tested procedures that lead to the implementation of a new form of worship. This book should become a much used resource in the library of every pastor and church leader that seeks to relate the Gospel of Jesus Christ to an ever changing world."

Charles Hackett: "This book provides all the information any pastor would need to add a new church service. It is through and complete."

Marlin Mull: "Dr. Charles Arn uses a balanced approach to the subject. His throughly researched conclusions about adding a new service will help any leader considering the idea. This book is a 'must' read on the subject."

BILL M. Sullivan: "This book tells you anything you ever wanted to know about how to start a new service. Charles Arn leaves 'no stone unturned.' Pastors shouldn't even think about starting a new service until they have read this book."

Bill Sheeks: "Charles Arn's book How to Start a New Service is a tremendous motivator. It is the most comprehensive publication that I have read on the subject. I sincerely believe God will use this practical book to resurrect many churches in America that have reached a plateau."

Jack Barker: "Well researched, biblically sound, practical--must reading for anyone interested in reaching more people for Christ and his church. This book is not only a must for those considering addition of a "new service" but for those who have a passion for communicating the gospel effectively to modern society."

Paul Murphy: "Simple says it best. One can toss a "flurry" of church growth tactics to a congregation and create a fog or provide a well-focused formula and create a clear, productive path. Charles Arn teaches us that working smarter is better than working harder. Creating new worship services is clearly working smarter."

Stephen Wagner: "Charles Arn carefully instructs the reader concerning the necessary steps to create a dream, design strategic plans, develop necessary leadership, and inform a new constituency that a winsome, warm, inviting, new worship experience is becoming a reality. Pastors, worship leaders, and lay leaders alike will find this book informative and helpful. It speaks to issues that surround change and growth in existing congregations. It is a road map to better understand the dynamics of change within a congregation, the issues surrounding the development of an additional worship service, and the spark that can lead a church to new growth."

The Author

  1. Charles Arn

    Charles Arn

    Charles Arn (EdD, University of Southern California) is professor of Christian ministry at Wesley Seminary, Indiana Wesleyan University, and president of Church Growth, Inc., where he is responsible for research, design, and development of instructional materials. He...

    Continue reading about Charles Arn


"Charles Arn's book is a technician's delight. Its aim is clear. Its approach is confident. Its process is comprehensive. If you are thinking about starting another worship service in your congregation's ministries, don't do it until you have read this book."--Reformed Worship (March 1999)

"This book has to rank as one of only a handful that are likely actually to promote church growth. The author, an experienced researcher and authority on church growth, distills many years of thought and data on this topic into a practical guide for pastors, local church leaders, and denominational planners. . . . If you feel your church has reached a plateau, this book may be just the tool you need to expand your outreach to people in your community. The productive energy unleashed in such an effort will likely rejuvenate the existing congregation as well, if you follow the sage advice within these pages."--Congregations (May/June 1999)