CHARLOTTE (AP) -- To get people to attend his new church campus, Robbie McLaughlin is sending his message out to where the people are. Next Friday, staffers from Next Level Church of Matthews will go to bars in the Ballantyne area of Charlotte to hand out shot glasses which ask patrons to "give us a shot" and bear the slogan, "Real church for real people." The idea is to draw people to the Ballantyne campus, which opens next month. McLaughlin is the pastor, and said he is confident that it will be controversial, but he said the goal is not necessarily to impress people who already go to church. He said it's to impress people who don't. Next Level is a nontraditional church that encourages members to dress casually and snack on coffee and doughnuts during services. McLaughlin said the idea has caught on, and in two years, the church has grown from a handful of members to more than 700. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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