(Before reading this post and jumping in on the conversation, please check out the explanation of the Q/A Series I posted on Read Here First! on July 10, 2007...it will help you understand a little more. Thanks!)
"What to do about people who are always lat showing up to church?
It seems that many of us share this problem at some time in our ministry. I have it now!
It can be:
• Awkward and embarrassing for new folks who show up on time and even ahead of time.
• Discouraging for the musicians and the pastor when 5 minutes before kick off there are very few people in the auditorium ready to go.
We kick off on time even with very few people in their seats until the first song or 2. Then they all arrive.
I think this:
• Is not God honouring
• Reflects disorganization./ lack of commitment
I don’t want this to continue – I would really appreciate your suggestions."
"For at least 3 weeks in a row, start the service off with the sermon. We did that at my last church, and the quick turn-around would have been funny if it wasn't so sad...nobody likes walking in late for the preaching...it may make your guests feel uncomfortable, but's it worth it to get the message accross to your regulars.
And, I'll echo the above remark (see blog comments)...try to do it differently at least every couple of weeks. People come late because they anticipate what is going to happen.
One more thing, begin using every opportunity to teach your church that every aspect of your service is important as it all can and should be an act of worshipping God. Rethink every aspect of your service, and cut out anything that doesn't support this."