It was just announced last week that the church we have been attending for the last year (LCBC) is on the Outreach Magazine’s “Fastest Growing Churches in America” list this year. (Link to List) They are also listed as the largest church in PA and one of the largest in the Northeast and are launching a new campus in Harrisburg today!
“Disclaimer”-First of all I am so thankful for the time we have spent at LCBC. Even though we can’t wait for actionchurch to launch, we will be genuinely sad to leave! Secondly I am in no way connected to LCBC (other than attending) so I do not speak for them…I have just had the privilege of “watching” them for the past year and I think I have discovered their “secret”. (I don’t think they will mind me blogging about it because if more churches had this “secret” there would be a whole lot more people in church on Sunday mornings)
What it’s NOT:
Great Music: Matt Goss and company are truly one of the best “worship bands” I have seen/heard- but in a world where I have 500 or my favorite songs on my phone, thousands more in my computer, and on demand live music channels on TV … I just don’t think a great worship band is enough to “draw” 7000+ people to church on Sunday morning.
Great Children’s Programming: LCBC has one of the best Children’s ministries I have ever witnessed. They are HUGE but still friendly and personal. In spite of how good they are they have to compete with Chuck E Cheese, Hands on House,Nickelodeon, and Playhouse Disney children’s programing every week.
Being “Big”: I have heard people say that LCBC is growing because it is already “big”… I think that kind of “defies logic” because at some point in the not too distant past they were “not big”… I think LCBC is growing in spite of being “big”…If you’ve ever waited to get out of the parking lot on Sunday morning you understand what I mean.
Great Preaching: Pastor David and team are truly great communicators! I am really sensitive to this area because I believe that the God who says we will give account someday for “every careless word” (link) does not exempt preachers! I think that Pastor David exemplifies loving God enough to hear from him each week, and loving his listeners enough to “translate” God’s word into a understandable and interesting message! In spite of the great job the teaching team does at LCBC I think that still does not account for 7000+ people showing up each week. Preaching at it’s finest is hard pressed to compete with sitting on the couch eating Cheetos’ in your underwear (try to get that picture out of your mind) and watching 75 channels of Nascar and the NFL…Sorry, as “entertainment” goes-It’s just never going to measure up….
and the “secret” is….
I think the “secret” of LCBC is in their name. Some time ago they changed what “LCBC” stood for from Lancaster County Bible Church to “Lives Changed by Christ”. That’s their Secret! Every message, every song, every volunteer, every visual, is designed to guide people to experience a Life changed by Christ! …It works…my life has been changed by Christ in the year we have attended…thousands of others have too! In the words of one of my favorite songs we sing on Sunday mornings-
That’s why LCBC continues to grow-They focus on offering the one thing everyone needs and is not “available” anywhere else in our culture- Redemption. I think there’s something for every church to learn from LCBC…I know we have!