I have been attending Grace Family Church in Tampa, FL for the last couple of weeks. I first learned of them by seeing their billboards which were really creative, and captured your curiosity. I knew they had the reputation of a church that was really ‘getting it done’, so I decided to check them out last month. I have been to three of their services since and have come away with really positive observations – one of them being the fact that they offer various options in worship styles in their church services.
Now, this isn’t a new idea – for years churches have been offering various styles typically: Traditional, Blended, Contemporary are the ‘styles’ churches offer.
Grace Family is different in the sense that they offer different worship styles that do NOT target various types of church members. MOST churches develop music styles that will make their CHURCH MEMBERS feel most comfortable, while GFC develops it’s music styles to to reach UNCHURCHED people. This is significant because they claim to be a church that is intentionally “Outward Focused” instead of being “Inward Focused”. In other words they give more attention to who they are REACHING versus who they are KEEPING.
Instead of the usual Traditional, Blended(which usually means Blanded), or Contemporary their music description reads like this: “In the Main Sanctuary: Saturday @ 7:00 pm has modern rock praise & worship, while Sunday at 9:30 am and 11:45 am has high energy worship with urban, gospel and Latin influences.
In the GFC Gym: If the other services don’t fit your musical tastes, perhaps you would enjoy our 9:30 am service with a broad range of contemporary praise & worship at the Blend.”
The Saturday Night service, which I have been attending most, is designed to reach the average person in our modern culture, while the two main Sunday services have a distinct Urban and Latin flavor which targets the very strong Spanish ethnic mix that is prevalent in Tampa, Florida.
The point: Jesus called us to be fishers of men, right? Fishermen always fish according to the culture, habitat, and thinking of they particular fish they are trying to catch. The method for hooking a Bass is different than the method for hooking a Trout.
Good fishermen fish at the time that is best to catch fish – they conform to the fish – the fish never conform to the fishermen. If you want to stay in bed till noon – you’ll never catch anything!
Isn’t it funny how so many churches lose sight of the fish they are supposed to reach. The fact is simple: The longer you are a Believer, the less you remember what it is like to be and think like and unbeliever.
We must be intentional about designing our church environments to reach they culture God has called us to reach. To ignore this is to compromise the Word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
P.S. I just received Outreach Magazines list for the “Fastest Growing Churches in America”. Grace Family Church is # 39. You can see the full list HERE.