Thursday, March 16, 2006

Joe at Evangelical Outpost takes a field trip

I respect a lot of what Joe Carter writes at The Evangelical Outpost, and appreciated the spirit in which he wrote the following after visiting Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, IL (Suburban Chicago) this past weekend.


I’ve always been a bit skeptical of both megachurches and the seeker-sensitive movement. But after living in the Chicago area for over a year, I finally decided it was time to take a trip out to the epitome of seeker-sensitive megachurches: Willow Creek.

(a) Paradoxically, WC is both gargantuan and intimate. Although the architecture shares more in common with a small college campus than with the great cathedrals, the entire church is remarkably designed. The main auditorium, in particular, is designed to maximize the acoustic effect of the worship service. (b) WC is definitely not for everyone. If you find suburban evangelical culture distasteful, you’ll abhor WC. (c) Over the years I’ve visited literally hundreds of churches. Out of those, I can think of only a handful where I have heard the Gospel preached as clearly as I did at WC. Critics who denigrate WC because it appears to be too big, too loud, and too obnoxious (in other words, the embodiment of American evangelicalism) could probably learn a valuable lesson about how to do church.

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