"The next church . . . constitutes, its champions believe, a distinctly American reformation of church life, one that transcends denominations and the bounds of churchly behavior."
Listen to excerpts from a sermon and
clips of contemporary Christian music.
"The churches are remarkable chiefly for their size. Many of these (mostly Protestant) congregations count thousands of people in attendance on a weekend -- in some cases more than 10,000. For their hugeness they are known, and often chagrined to be known, as megachurches." Above right: Willow Creek Church's twentieth anniversary celebration at the United Center in Chicago
"IT is not accidental that the latest generation of large churches, with their huge auditoriums and balconied atriums, some with food courts and fountains, resemble secular gathering places. (Banks and colleges used to build their buildings to look like Gothic cathedrals). Walking into a church like Mariners, or Willow Creek, one can easily imagine oneself in a corporate headquarters or a convention hotel."
How does Willow Creek reconcile its basic spiritual goals with its emphasis on such worldly phenomena as marketing and multimedia display?
How will Willow Creek respond to the aging of its target audience, the Baby Boom generation?
How does Willow Creek approach such controversial social and political issues as abortion and homosexuality?
Pastor Bill Hybels addresses these and other questions in Commonly Asked Questions About Willow Creek Community Church.
This advertisement for an addiction recovery workshop at The Fellowship of Las Colinas reads, "If you struggle with issues of control or are affected by any challenging habit or condition, then you won't want to miss this biblical response to recovery."
Copyright © 1996 by The Atlantic Monthly.