Some Dying Churches Are Finding New Life by becoming a Part of Megachurches

coth.jpgFive years ago, Living Word Church had dwindled to 40 members, had lost its founding pastor and was unable to pack more than about 80 people into its 280-seat sanctuary and 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 U.S. churches that are closed 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 the building, 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 from the main campus 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.
“Every campus has a personality,” said Blake Lindsey, campus pastor at the Riverchase branch. “People find a campus that connects. We’re all one big family.”
Source: Ethics Daily | Greg Garrison

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