Magazine Names LifeChurch ‘Most Innovative’ in U.S.

Post a Comment » Written on January 16th, 2007     
Filed under: News
EDMOND, OK (January 16, 2007) – LifeChurch has been named the most innovative church in the country by Outreach magazine.

The 10-year-old congregation is the largest in the Evangelical Covenant Church. Total weekly attendance averages more than 18,000 people at its nine campuses located in Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona and Tennessee – as well as an Internet site that broadcasts a live worship service each week.

In explaining its decision, the magazine states, “When began in 1996, forty members met in a two-car garage equipped with just a borrowed overhead projector and two construction lights purchased at Lowe’s for $19.99. Ten years later, the church has been named No. 1 on our list of America’s Most Innovative Churches, primarily for its ability to leverage the latest technology available for its nine multi-state campuses, 18,000 members and thousands of weekly visitors, many of whom are window shopping Christianity.”

Bobby Gruenewald, pastor and innovation leader for LifeChurch, tells the magazine, “LifeChurch never set out to be a tech-church. We were just passionate about reaching people, and God began to assemble a team who knew how to utilize video and technology.”

LifeChurch has endeavored to make all of its material available to churches of every size free of charge. All past and current creative support materials are available to any church that needs them and can be downloaded free of charge at LifeChurch. Available materials include message series promotional graphics, message outlines, layered graphic files, and broadcast-quality videos.

So far, more than 46,000 churches around the world have downloaded the free material, says Katie Moore, the church’s director of marketing.

Last August, following a sermon series entitled “My Secret,” the church developed, a website where people can confess their sins online. Since then, more than 1,500 confessions have been posted.

The church has received criticism for some of its approaches, but leaders say they will not stop trying new means to evangelize. “Without apology, I will do whatever it takes to grab people’s attention,” pastor Craig Groeschel tells Outreach.

Efrem Smith, pastor of The Sanctuary Covenant Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was one of 12 invited panelists who provided Outreach magazine their own lists of what they believe to be the most innovative churches. Each panelist provided 15 names. The panel selected a total of 73 churches, from with the top 25 were selected.

Last year, The Church Report magazine named LifeChurch as the seventh most influential church in the country, and Bayside Covenant Church in Granite Bay, California, as No. 20.

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