Rick Warren’s Saddleback megachurch opened a new campus in time for Easter–in a gated community where you can only get in if you’re a resident or escorted by a resident. A gated community church?
The move has raised all kinds of questions, forcing Saddleback to issue an apology and retract a previous statement that the general public would be able to attend services at the new campus in the Laguna Woods retirement community.
Saddleback defends the move by noting the number of current members and small groups in the community who wanted the new campus. With an average age of 78 in Laguna Woods, this could be seen as an attempt to bring church to the people.
What do you think? Should churches ever be in a position to allow exclusive membership, or is this a good way to reach an exclusive community?