The megachurch network is set to open its 40th satellite campus next week in Kansas.
Pastor Craig Groeschel's Life.Church, a multi-site megachurch, is set to open the doors of its 40th satellite campus next week in the state of Kansas. Life.Church Derby, which is about 12 miles away from the state's largest city of Wichita, will officially open on Sunday, establishing the site as the third Life.Church campus for the Wichita metropolitan area. Pastor Zach Hurley said that the other two local campuses serve different communities within Wichita.
"We recognize how important it is for people to be able to attend a church that is located in and invested in the community where they live," Hurley told the Christian Post. "So, in addition to our West Wichita and East Wichita locations, we wanted to open a location to serve the people of Derby and the surrounding communities."
Hurley added that churchgoers who will attend the Derby location are "excited" for it to "open and have a new way to reach their community." He remarked how there were "so many people who need the love and hope of Christ," which is why Life.Church continues to be "passionate about opening new locations."
Ahead of the much anticipated opening of Life.Church's 40th campus next week, the megachurch sent out personal invitations from volunteers and staff and also promoted the launch via social media.
Life.Church began in 1996 with a small group of people gathering in Edmond, Oklahoma. Since then, it has grown into a multi-site megachurch with campuses in several states. By 2018, Life.Church opened its 30th campus in Rogers, Arkansas. The megachurch has about 85,000 weekly worship attendees across all of its locations.
"We see a lot of people coming to Christ through the ministry, which is a big emphasis for us, but it's an exciting time for sure," Life.Church innovation leader and YouVersion Bible App creator Bobby Gruenewald told CP in 2018.
The upcoming 40th campus of Life.Church will have its own pastor and staff but will still feature Groeschel's preaching via livestream. Hurley explained that there will be "opportunities throughout the year for our local pastors to preach live" but also "weekend messages" from the megachurch's senior pastor Groeschel.
"Every experience begins with high-energy worship led by our own worship pastor and a live band," Hurley explained. "And I also get to lead a team of incredible pastors who are excited about pastoring our neighbors in Derby."
Groeschel's Life.Church is also looking to open another campus in Amarillo, Texas later this year. Life.Church is one of a few megachurches that have embraced technology in its ministry. In December 2021, it announced that it would be adding virtual reality church services to several of its satellite locations, the Christian Headlines reported.
On December 12, 2021, Life.Church held its first worship service inside Microsoft's AltspaceVR virtual reality platform with 100 attendees and three professions of faith. It then held its second virtual reality service, which was attended by more than 200 people from all over the world.
But this is not the first time Life.Church has used technology to reach more followers. Back in 2007, it used virtual reality after launching the ministry Second Life, where people could interact with each other using avatars. Spokeswoman Rachel Feuerbor explained that some people are "often more willing to let their guard down and have deep, meaningful conversations" when interactions are anonymous and that the church's VR endeavor would help reach people "who might not otherwise set foot in a physical church."