Most everyone knows that many mainline churches are in a crisis mode due to declining attendance.For instance the United Methodist Church has lost 42.2% of its members since 1989 according to one calculation.Some ministers have created mega churches that have reversed this trend but they have just taken members away from smaller churches.Now a revolutionary new concept has been created to eliminate this problem;a large church with numerous local "network" churches with small congregations who participate in the service of the large home church through video feeds.Seem strange to you?Trust me,it is but in very positive ways.It's called the Life Church which is affiliated with the Evangelical Covenant denomination.
Here is what I found when went to one of their local branch churches:
I walk into a medium size very dimly lighted room.You know this looks sort of like a movie theater rather than a church.Look at those huge pop art posters covering the walls.I can't make out what they say.Oh that one I can;"SUPERNATURAL".That's the only thing it says.I like the praise and worship music that's on those three video screens but I wish the volume was louder.I keep looking at that poster"SUPERNATURAL".I wonder why it keeps capturing my attention? Do supernatural things occur here I wonder.Wow,I see a snack bar INSIDE the sanctuary.Wait a minute what is that?They're selling POPCORN! Oh the service is going to start now.The minister calls it an "Experience".WHAM WHAM WHAM the most deafening hard rock music I have ever heard is shooting at me like a sound hurricane.And look at those roving psychedelic lights just like you see at rock concerts.Oh wow,THERE IS A SMOKE MACHINE HERE! What do I think about all this?I'm not sure.WAIT! I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit.It is so powerful I am crying uncontrollably.WHAT?Does God like this sound blast?It must be the lyrics of this one song;they are so deeply spiritual.It's over.I need to try to mentally prepare for the next song blast.How can I do that?Here it comes.WHAT? The Holy Spirit is here again!! I'm crying again.What is going here? WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?This is hard rock music!!! Why is the Holy Spirit here?Ok its ending now.Is this the end of the music?No here comes a third song.Oh no I don't think God will like this one at all. It's such a hard driving rock sound. OH WOW, I'm crying again!The presence of Holy Spirit is so strong I just can't help it.THIS IS SO AMAZING!! Nothing like this has EVER happened to me before in any church.Now I am beginning to understand why they call this an EXPERIENCE! I'm in a total state of astonishment. I'm going to read that pamphlet they gave me.WHAT IS GOING ON IN THIS PLACE ANYWAY? I'm confused.Oh here maybe this will help me understand:
CHURCH VISION STATEMENT
"Our mission is to lead people to become fully devoted followers of Christ.Our vision is to establish a local campus for fellowship,worship,discipleship and evangelism.We use a SEEKER FRIENDLY approach to share the gospel and we will do anything short of sin to reach people.Our primary objective will always be evangelism" WOW these words are pure and true Christianity. I am crying again!Oh now I understand what is going on.THIS IS THE HOLY SPIRIT'S CHURCH! No wonder the people here are the most real and friendly people I have met in any church I have ever been to. Got in now God!! Man that took me so long to catch on.
As amazing as I found the local church,I was even more astonished when I discovered the internet "Experiences" of the home church.REVOLUTIONARY is the only word to describe them.They are increasing their "Experiences" to fifty a week to accommodate all time zones throughout the world.WHAT? You read it.50 a week!In the Experience I hosted a few days ago,we had people from 22 countries present.Each experience consists of a 60 minute music and sermon video coupled with two 90 min. chat rooms,one public for general comments and one private for personal prayer.WHAT? I know this is hard to understand, just go back and read it again.But it becomes even more amazing.Those in attendance periodically are asked to answer questions from the minister by clicking on a response tab.WHAT? Look I know this is hard but I'm doing the best I can to explain it to you.Here I'll make it easy for you.Just click on the link below and you'll be taken to the internet church site so you can witness an EXPERIENCE for yourself.If one isn't in progress at the time,you will be told down to the exact second when the next one will start.WHAT? Look I'm trying to explain a totally revolutionary concept to you.I know this isn't easy to understand.Here we go.Get ready now... http://live.lifechurch.tv/
If you want more information about this most amazing and EFFECTIVE way to present a very traditional gospel message,and I hope you do,go here:http://www.lifechurch.tv/welcome
Oh I almost forgot,another revolutionary aspect of this new concept church is that they sponsor numerous small group meetings,both in person and internet meetings to offer personal help to people.Ok I'm not even going to try to explain these to you.Drop into mine at 8:15 PM central U.S.A. time on Thursdays and see for yourself what goes on.Just click on this link and you'll be taken directly to our chat room:http://xat.com/ChristianCaringLifeChurchGroup
The bottom line is that the Life Church with their many outreaches has figured out how to use the latest technology and mod formats to reverse the trend of declining church attendance by utilizing small churches, support groups and mission trips which offer a very personal and extremely friendly alternative to the mega church horrendous crowd experience.WHAT A GREAT IDEA! HEY GUYS,GO FOR IT!!