A revisit to NextLevel Church

A little while back, I reprinted an article about a local church that described itself as “rock ‘n’ roll-style,” and had spent large parts of its Easter service Twittering about members’ love for the Lord. The Next Level Church includes a number of creative twenty- and thirty-somethings who aren’t interested in evangelical churches that focus on what they call “the me-God relationship, with services full of prom songs to Jesus.” Instead, they wish to be with-it hepcats, as we fity- and sixty-somethings used to call them.

Today, I’m going to look a little closer at the Next Level Church through the blog they maintain on their website, nextlevelchurch.org. Here are some highlights:

–In an economy like this, it flat out doesn’t make sense to give things away for free. I went to lunch yesterday at SubStation 2, which is AMAZING by the way, and they charged me 10 cents for water and 10 cents for ice. And that totally makes sense to me. (The name SubStation 2, however, does not make sense to me. Was there a SubStation 1? Is the sequel better than the original, which RARELY is the case? If history proves correct, there is a SubStation 1 out there that is the Mecca of sub shops. And I’m sure if I simply googled SubStation this mystery and my ignorance would be erased. I choose, however, to savor the unknown). My point is this: giving away free stuff just doesn’t make sense. Everyone is hurting financially and people should charge money for whatever people will pay for. Uh-oh. We have a problem. Next Level Church is an organization that exists to help people take their next step in their relationship with God, whatever that step is. Our teaching on the weekend is specifically geared towards helping people connect with God. We record these teachings every week on CD. Dilemma! To sell or not to sell?!

The week after Easter is traditionally one of the most “dead” weeks of the year at church. Well yesterday, you never would’ve known it was the week after church. Our volunteers were sharp and energized. The worship team did an incredible job with a tough Rascal Flatts tune – even being guys who don’t like country. The new high school service was borderline insane. (Actually, it WAS insane. As part of a game I drank an entire McDonald’s Happy Meal that had been blended up into a shake. It tasted like puke long before any of it came back up. Needless to say, the students LOVED it.) You guys rock!

–We continue to get notes and emails from around the country as media attention to our Easter Twitter experiment has spread. I love the unintended consequences of this sort of thing. Go God!

–The whole Twitter experiment hit hard (in a good way) this week! What’s that? You demand evidence?! Fine. Exhibit A: Check out the front page of the Charlotte Observer, fools!! Exhibit B: Check the local news, suckers!! Exhibit C: We were on CNN, what now!! Exhibit D: And Creative Loafing, woot woot!! (I’m not linking to their website because it can be a wee bit inappropriate). Your participation in the Twitter experiment allowed thousands of people disconnected from God and His Church to hear about Next Level. And on top of that everyone in people’s twitter-spheres (I just made that word up) heard about the amazing things God is doing.

–Easter Sunday was pretty fantastic. Pastor Todd kicked butt, and the band flat-out rocked. Here’s some background on how the service was planned: Harrison picks out music for the Easter service. His original choice, “Circus” by Britney Spears, is chided by the rest of the staff. Instead we decide to play “Come Alive” by the Foo Fighters and “Magnificent” by U2. Decision is made to film the Schweigers for a FamReality promo video. Orders pre-teen brothers to fight each other on film for a truly churchy moment. Band practice irons out all the kinks in Easter songs. Drummer threw down some hot beats. We are mad impressed and ready for Sunday.

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2 Responses to “A revisit to NextLevel Church”

  1. wrjones Says:

    Makes me want to go to church.

  2. determinednspoken Says:

    love U2. awesomeness! 😀

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