Check this out from the Charlotte Observer. It’s a great story of a dying church finding new life:
Five years ago, Living Word Church had dwindled to 40 members. It had lost its founding pastor, could get no more than 80 people into its 280-seat sanctuary and was unsure of the future.
Now, it’s part of one of the nation’s largest megachurches – and could serve as a model for the thousands of small churches that close every year.
“The story’s pretty amazing,” said the Rev. Layne Schranz, associate pastor at Church of the Highlands, a Birmingham megachurch that attracts an average of more than 13,500 across its six campuses.
After the merger, teams from Church of the Highlands spent six weeks renovating Living Word, expanding parking and adding technology for its heavy emphasis on video feeds. Highlands then sent a worship team to lead weekly services at what was now the megachurch’s Riverchase campus.
Video feeds of Pastor Chris Hodges’ sermons were beamed in while a worship team led songs and prayers live.
“The only thing on video is the message itself,” Schranz said. “The campus pastor leads prayer for the altar call. Everything is live with the exception of the message.”
Attendance at the Riverchase branch now exceeds 1,300 weekly.
I don’t really want the comment section to go wild with ‘anti-megachurch’ comments. That’s not cool.
What is cool is that a church that was dying… 40 people… has been transformed into a vibrant community of believers that now numbers 1,300!
Say what you want, but that’s pretty stinkin’ dramatic growth.
And, in the end, more people are being reached with the good news of Jesus.
So… my question… is this a trend we’ll see more and more of?
And… is it a trend you would support in YOUR community (either by your church partnering with a dying church or another larger, thriving church partnering with another church in YOUR community)?