Monday, March 12, 2012

What the Leading Churches in America are Doing...a Little Perspective

If we’re not careful, most of us can get very comfortable with the manner in which we do things.  We can get so wrapped-up in our own little “church worlds” that we develop tunnel vision, thinking the way we're doing things is the only approach out there.  Just as dangerous, when we have a limited perspective of what’s going on around us it can give us an incorrect perception of what’s taking place within our own churches.  Church members are notorious for this (case and point…the people who think First Baptist Jackson is contemporary!), but worship leaders can be just as guilty.  Sometimes we think we’re on the cutting edge, when in reality we're hung up in the 1990s (or earlier!).

Over the years I’ve intentionally made the effort to visit other churches to get a first-hand impression of their approaches.  While this was and is beneficial, the internet now gives us the opportunity to “visit” hundreds of churches to get a little perspective on what’s taking place.  Below are several categories of churches that I’ve asked my classes at Liberty to explore, but I thought it might be of interest to some of you.  Take some time and view some of these services…you’ll like some and hate others.  Regardless, a little perspective never hurts!

(The full list of churches and categories was compiled by Kent Shaffer at www.churchrelevance.com)

GROUP 1:  TOP 10 U.S. CHURCHES to learn from about CHURCH GROWTH
These are the top churches to learn from about how to consistently experience high level growth.
  1. Church of the Highlands (Birmingham, AL) :: Chris Hodges
  2. Crossroads Community Church (Cincinnati, OH) :: Brian Tome
  3. Seacoast Church (Mt. Pleasant, SC) :: Greg Surratt
  4. Lancaster County Bible Church (Manheim, PA) :: David Ashcraft
  5. Mars Hill Church (Seattle, WA) :: Mark Driscoll
  6. Central Christian Church (Las Vegas, NV) :: Jud Wilhite
  7. Woodlands Church (Woodlands, TX) :: Kerry Shook
  8. Christ’s Church of the Valley (Peoria, AZ) :: Don Wilson
  9. Community Bible Church (San Antonio, TX) :: Robert Emmitt
  10. NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) :: Perry Noble
GROUP 2:  TOP 10 U.S. CHURCHES to learn from about CHURCH INNOVATION
These are the top churches to learn from about innovative methods.
  1. LifeChurch.tv (Edmond, OK) :: Craig Groeschel
  2. Granger Community Church (Granger, IN) :: Mark Beeson
  3. Mars Hill Church (Seattle, WA) :: Mark Driscoll
  4. Seacoast Church (Mt. Pleasant, SC) :: Greg Surratt
  5. Fellowship Church (Grapevine, TX) :: Ed Young, Jr.
  6. Mosaic Church (Los Angeles, CA) :: Erwin McManus
  7. North Point Community Church (Alpharetta, GA) :: Andy Stanley
  8. National Community Church (Washington, DC) :: Mark Batterson
  9. Community Christian Church (Naperville, IL) :: Dave Ferguson
  10. Saddleback Church (Lake Forest, CA) :: Rick Warren
GROUP 3:  TOP 10 U.S. CHURCHES to learn from about CHURCH PLANTING
These are the top churches to learn from about planting multiple churches.
  1. Redeemer Presbyterian Church (New York, NY) :: Tim Keller
  2. Mars Hill Church (Seattle, WA) :: Mark Driscoll
  3. Northwood Church (Keller, TX) :: Bob Roberts
  4. Perimeter Church (Duluth, GA) :: Randy Pope
  5. Spanish River Church (Boca Raton, FL) :: David Nicholas
  6. East 91st Street Christian Center (Indianapolis, IN) :: Derek Duncan
  7. Community Christian Church (Naperville, IL) :: Dave Ferguson
  8. Fellowship Bible Church (Little Rock, AR) :: Bill Wellons
  9. Kensington Community Church (Troy, MI) :: Steve Andrews
  10. Church at the Springs (Ocala, FL) :: Ron Sylvia
GROUP 4:  TOP 10 U.S. CHURCHES to learn from about CHURCH SIZE
These are the top churches to learn from about running a large church.
  1. Lakewood Church (Houston, TX) :: Joel Osteen
  2. Willow Creek Community Church (South Barrington, IL) :: Bill Hybels
  3. Second Baptist Church (Houston, TX) :: Ed Young, Sr.
  4. North Point Community Church (Alpharetta, GA) :: Andy Stanley
  5. LifeChurch.tv (Edmond, OK) :: Craig Groeschel
  6. Saddleback Church (Lake Forest, CA) :: Rick Warren
  7. Southeast Christian Church (Louisville, KY) :: Dave Stone
  8. Phoenix First Assembly (Phoenix, AZ) :: Tommy Barnett
  9. Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) :: Bob Coy
  10. Fellowship Church (Grapevine, TX) :: Ed Young, Jr.  (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
GROUP 5:  TOP 10 U.S. CHURCHES to learn from that are INFLUENCING OTHER CHURCHES
These are the top churches that are influencing how other churches do ministry.
  1. Willow Creek Community Church (South Barrington, IL) :: Bill Hybels
  2. Saddleback Church (Lake Forest, CA) :: Rick Warren
  3. North Point Community Church (Alpharetta, GA) :: Andy Stanley
  4. Fellowship Church (Grapevine, TX) :: Ed Young, Jr.
  5. Lakewood Church (Houston, TX) :: Joel Osteen
  6. The Potter’s House (Dallas, TX) :: T.D. Jakes
  7. LifeChurch.tv (Edmond, OK) :: Craig Groeschel
  8. The Brooklyn Tabernacle (Brooklyn, NY) :: Jim Cymbala
  9. The Church of the Resurrection UMC (Leawood, KS) :: Adam Hamilton
  10.  North Coast Church (Vista, CA) :: Larry Osborne

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