My Multi-site Church Experience
I am spending most of this week in Oklahoma City for a convention. (More about that another time.) The convention actually begins Sunday morning. I drove up on Saturday afternoon.
For a while I have been intrigued by the concept of the multi-site or multi-campus church. One of the pioneers of this movement is Lifechurch.tv and Pastor Craig Groeschel. I have followed his ministry and used resources from Lifechurch for a while. Since I am here in time for a Saturday evening service, I decided to attend one of their worship experiences for myself.
I chose to attend the 6:30 service at the south Oklahoma City campus. I found the campus easily enough. I simply located it in my GPS and had clear directions. This campus is located in a retail strip next door to a large Academy sporting goods store. I was directed into the auditorium by friendly greeters.
The band and worship team were very good. The only negative I observed is that the songs were not very participatory. The band was loud and the songs were a little difficult for congregational singing. It very much had a concert feel.
When it was time for the sermon, the campus pastor introduced the sermon on video. This message was in the middle of the summer series “At the Movies 2010”. For this series the pastor takes current movies and identifies biblical principles in the stories. He then uses scripture to teach those lessons. The sermon time included extensive clips from the movie. Tonight’s movie was “Up” and the lesson dealt with dreams and plans. The take-away is that we do not know how much time we have in this world (James 4:13-14). We tend to live our lives with a “when” and “then” mentality. “When this happens” or “when I accomplish such and such” “then” I serve the Lord or chase the dream He gave me. This line of thinking can even be applied to salvation. And the pastor made that application.
Most churches experience an attendance drop in the summer. They use this movie series to combat that. He announced that last weekend the combined campus attendance was over 40,000 and there were over 400 people who accepted Christ.
I am still undecided about multi-site. I think there are some questions I have not been able to answer yet. That said, I really like this church. I like their community involvement. I like their dedication to evangelism. I like their dedication to life change.
While I have tried to cover most of my observations about my experience at Lifechurch, I realize this is not a comprehensive report. If you have specific questions to ask or information you are looking for, just leave it in the comments and I will try to comment on those things. Thanks.