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Seeker Churches: Promoting Traditional Religion in a Nontraditional Way Paperback – June 1, 2000


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From the Back Cover

America's religious landscape is in flux. New churches are springing up and many older churches are redefining themselves to survive. At the forefront of this denominational free-for-all are evangelical "seeker" churches.

These churches target "seekers"- individuals of any faith or denominational background who seek spiritual fulfillment but are currently unaffiliated. By focusing on this largely untapped group, seeker churches have become one of the fastest-growing religious movements in the country. Kimon Howland Sargeant provides a sociological context for the rise of these churches by exploring the rituals, messages, strategies, and denominational functions of this emergent form of American evangelical Protestantism.

Featuring live bands, professional lighting and sound systems, and multimedia presentations, seeker churches are attracting many people who had previously, "dropped out" of organized religious life. To broaden their appeal, the churches also offer counseling on everyday issues ranging from relationships to finance.

Sargeant takes the Wilow Creek Association, the seeker church association started by the Willow Creek Community Church near Chicago, as a prime example of this success story. With more than five thousand churches, the eight-year-old association has more members that 90 percent of all American denominations and is the leader of the seeker church movement. Through interviews and careful research, Sargeant reveals the "seeker" movement to be a major "re-information" of American Protestantism.

About the Author

Kimon Howland Sargeant is an officer in the religion program at The Pew Charitable Trusts in Philadelphia.

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