I was grateful to be able to visit one of my friends who is starting a new work in Illinois. I was very excited to see what they were doing. Their atmosphere is very casual, but also extremely welcoming. The music was good and the invitation was not a traditional come forward type of invitation, but it was moving and called for committment.
I think some of these things may very well help them reach those that other churches are not connecting with. This church is already doing well and I expect great things of them in the months to come.
I was checking out the blog of Steven Furtick http://www.stevenfurtick.com/ and he had some pretty interesting things to say about growth. I guess one of the interesting things that I find as I listen to some of the church planters is that even though they are doing things in a different way they are still preaching the Bible. They are still putting Christ at the center. Perry Noble is even preaching a whole series on Hell. (He saw 110 people come to Christ after the first sermon by the way) I guess what I am saying is that all of the naysayers and critics (of which I am sometimes the latter) are concerned that with new methodologies the message will change. But what I am seeing is the message is still the same for most of the guys that I am following.
There are exceptions and some of them make me very angry. But for the most part the heart of these churches is the heartbeat of God. They desire to see lives changed by the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is my prayer that God will help them reach their goals and their desires.