Seeker-sensitive strategy for reaching the next generation:
Mr. Warren preaches in sandals and a Hawaiian shirt, and he encourages ministers to banish church traditions such as hymns, choirs, and pews. He and his followers use “praise team” singers, backed by rock bands playing contemporary Christian songs. His sermons rarely linger on self-denial and fighting sin, instead focusing on healing modern American angst, such as troubled marriages and stress… He figured they might find God if they could sit in theater-style auditorium and listen to live pop music and sermons that could help them with ennui and personal problems.
A Popular Strategy for Church Growth Splits Congregants; The Wall Street Journal, Tues. 09/05/2006, A1.
9Marks‘ strategy for reaching the next generation:
I visited Capitol Hill Baptist in January. The church kicked off with Sunday school, which really should have been called Sunday seminary. Class options included a survey of New Testament and a systematic theology lesson on theories of the Atonement.
Such rigor can be expected from a church led by Dever, who earned a Ph.D. from Cambridge studying the Puritans. He embodies the pastoral theologians who are leading young people toward Reformed theology. He has cultivated a church community in the Puritan mold – unquestionably demanding and disciplined. And the church attracts a very young crowd. Its 525 members average 29 years old. Dever mockingly rejected my suggestion that they aim to attract an under-30 crowd. “Yes, that’s why we sing those hymns and have a [55-minute] sermon.” Dever smiled. “We’re seriously calibrated for the 18th century.”
Young, Restless, Reformed; Christianity Today, Sept. 2006, p. 38.