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Saddleback, Willowcreek, Fellowship Church & Lifechurch.tv

I was talking to a future church planter via email and mentioned several of the US’ largest and most influential churches that I’ve been able to visit and he asked about the pros/cons of each.

I thought it would be good to post this out and see if anyone else would share the same opinions or have any others about these churches.

Saddleback:
Pros |

  • Great atmosphere that encourages community (tables everywhere, open air seating with view of stage and video outside, wireless inet everywhere on campus)
  • Was greeted at least 8 times before entering the building.
  • Solid worship, great preaching.
  • Built on purpose, not personality
  • great small group structure

Cons | can’t think of any right now.

Willowcreek:
Pros |

  • The most creative place I’ve been to
  • Engages every sense (including smell)
  • Every weekend is an event
  • Use venues as a way to provide various worship experiences.

Cons |

  • didn’t give an opportunity for salvation every service (however, they rely upon their congregation to do this.

Fellowship Church:
Pros |

  • Creative atmosphere
  • Trendiest church I’ve been to
  • Very visual
  • great music and videos
  • Allows anonymity
  • Great bookstore and cafe
  • Great marketing strategy (place website on everything and promote events creatively)

Cons |

  • Seemed to be built on Ed’s personality
  • By allowing anonymity, it appeared harder to connect

Lifechurch.tv
Pros |

  • This was my favorite place
  • best balance of creativity and the gospel
  • Compelling invitation at each service.
  • Uses video venue on a multi-campus level
  • Allowed anonymity, however there were several people who were very cordial and helped with any questions.
  • They had McCallisters sweet tea and other snacks for everyone before service

Cons |

  • can’t think of any other than the tea wasn’t that sweet, oh and Craig wasn’t there… I really wanted to just shake his hand, but the campus pastor that spoke did a great job.