I was recently quoted in an article on LifeChurch.tv in the latest issue of Christian Century. Jason Byassee was doing an introduction to the church for a mainline audience, who might not understand what LifeChurch is or why it is important. It was a really good article.
My quote is toward the end, which, admittedly, borrows a lot from a friend who I will not name because he may wish to remain nameless:
Jonathan Bartlett, a seminary student with a background in the Vineyard movement, says he sees little place in LifeChurch for strong lay leaders. "Their whole pitch for leaders of LifeGroups is 'It's easy.' LifeChurch is made up of people who liked youth group in high school, but then grew up and found nothing like it—until this."
While I was at LifeChurch, that is what I found - there simply isn't much of a place for a strong lay leadership. It is antithetical to the way they operate. I think they like the idea of a strong lay leadership in theory, but they simply don't provide any meaningful mode of expression. Their LifeGroups, which presumably might feed that purpose, are promoted to leaders, not with the idea that this is something that requires something of you, but rather that all that is required is for you to insert a DVD and press play.
And, not suprisingly, most LifeGroups conform to the low expectations that the Church puts on them.