Founding and Lead Pastors
Founding and Lead Pastors, Matt and Sarah Keller had it in their hearts, as high school sweethearts, that they wanted to be local church pastors. They also knew that “planting” a church somewhere was a great way to do that. God has used them to lead Next Level Church from 30 people, at its grand opening in 2002, to now over 3,400 people in three locations.
A piece of the Next Level Church vision has always been to be a multi-site church, with locations stretching across Southwest Florida, so that no one will have to drive more than thirty minutes to attend and be involved. The vision to become a multi-site church came to pass as our locations extended beyond our Fort Myers Location and into our East Location in March of 2014, and the Cape Coral Location in February 2021!
What You Can Expect
Stepping into an unfamiliar church for the first time can be a little intimidating and maybe even uncomfortable for some people. When you visit one of our locations, you can expect to feel welcomed and accepted — just as you are. NLC is a relevant, friendly and casual church that is filled with singles, families, children, teenagers, babies, and adults of every age.
Whoever you are, you will be encouraged by our passionate, full-band worship team and relevant and creative messages. You will notice that NLC is modern, fresh, and simply put, fun. But more importantly, Next Level revolves around Jesus and strives to take a life (no matter where you are) “to the next level.” We invite you to come join us!
To learn more about What We Believe, click the link below
At all of our locations, you’ll find a relaxed and friendly atmosphere with exciting and fresh worship music. There are message notes in every bulletin, and there is a large auditorium screen that displays the Bible verses that will help you make the most of the practical and relevant message. The pastor speaking will either appear on stage in person or through video message. Children are cared for in loving, quality classes and fun-filled Next Level Kids services & small groups. We also have online services for those adults or children who cannot attend in person!
If you are visiting, we will not embarrass you, have you stand up, or ask you to give money. We know that many people want to check out the church and “be anonymous” for a while—and that’s fine with us! Come in, enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, and see if Next Level Church is for you.
You’ll find everything from shorts and flip flops to dress shirts and skirts. Come in what is comfortable for you, because Next Level is not about what you look like or what you wear.
At Next Level Church, your children are a top priority. Our facilities are clean, safe, and staffed with loving volunteers. We offer a dynamic children’s ministry called Next Level Kids. In addition to our Weekend Services, we offer a life-changing ministry to students from junior high through high school.
Video teaching is a tool that expands what we are capable of. In the last 50 years, video has changed the way Americans and the world receive information. With the invention of the television, people suddenly began receiving the majority of their information through a "virtual" person in their living room. We all grew up watching our parents and grandparents huddle around the TV to watch a news anchor bring us the day's stories on the Evening News.
Today, with the advent of the Internet, computers and smart phones, receiving information and content through video is an expected norm. In fact, we prefer it. Video gives us the ability to see angles on things we otherwise couldn't see (think watching a football game from the stands or from your couch...) and be closer to communicators then we otherwise could be.
Of course the logic makes sense as it relates to our TV's or Videos on our computers, but what about "God's Spirit?" "Can God work through a video in the same way He does when the speaker up front is in-person?" This is a great question, and for the answer, consider this: Every time we give an opportunity to receive salvation in our weekend services, we have several hands raised in our video services.
Thankfully, because our world is so video savvy, our minds have become accustomed to receiving from someone on a video screen. And to our spirit, there is no difference. Video is simply a medium of communication, just like paper and ink are, or an audio CD is. It's merely a platform for communication, and therefore a non-factor for the Spirit of God to flow through. God's Spirit is at work regardless of the medium, be it written, spoken, in-person, or by video. The Word of God is faithful, regardless of the medium!
We have heard it said that preaching a 40 minute message exudes the same amount of energy as a working an 8 hour day. Preaching on the weekend is the physical equivalent of running hard on a treadmill for 40 straight minutes, taking a 30 minute break and then getting back on again for another 40 minutes of hard running. Having to do that 4 or 5 times in a 20 hour period of time over a weekend exacts a physical and emotional toll that takes more than just Sunday evening to recover from.
We believe there is a way to communicate messages at Next Level Church without our pastors paying such a high price. And we do that by leveraging technology and video teaching. By utilizing our 21' HD Screen in 1 or 2 of our weekend services, we are creating a near identical NLC Experience for attenders while honoring our value of health for our pastors.