Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Megachurch Revival Reignites Discipleship vs. Evangelism Debate

What's more important? Reaching the lost or growing the reached? Over the past two weeks, the ongoing debate between discipleship and evangelism took center stage during one megachurch's Code Orange Revival.

Elevation Church, a seeker-friendly church in Charlotte, N.C., hosted a 12-night "old-school revival," that ended Sunday night, featuring presentations from well-known pastors like Ed Young, Perry Noble and T.D. Jakes. The event drew thousands of attendees but it also attracted critics, who raised important questions for the evangelical church.

Steven Furtick, lead pastor of Elevation, has made it clear that his church's main goal is about reaching out to unbelievers. In fact, his church's list of core values called "The Code" states: "We Need Your Seat. We are more concerned with the people we are trying to reach than the people we are trying to keep."

He told those attending the Code Orange Revival on night seven, "We're all about the numbers." Elevation has grown to six campuses in just six years and claims to have more than 10,000 people attending their services on any given Sunday.

Many pastors, including Craig Groeschel and Ed Young, have taken note of the rapid growth. Young, pastor of Texas-based Fellowship Church and author of the new book Sexperiment, highlighted on night five of the revival that Elevation has "baptized about a 'squillion' people. That's growth."

However, a wide variety of theologians and watchdog organizations have a different view. To read more, click here.

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