Mega Churches

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Taylor42, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. Taylor42

    Taylor42
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    I have been noticing a disturbing trend in many churches these days. Many churches seem to want to expand. Bigger buildings, fancier equipment, and more members per church.

    I can understand the argument from their point of view, however I am of the opinion that the church is your family, and I believe in being intimately involved in my family's life. I believe in being there in their time of need, and supporting them when the backslide or have attacks on their faith. I do not see how you could have that level of intimacy with a 25,000 member church. Why not have several smaller churches instead?

    And Couldn't the money they spend on more land, fancier audio/visual equipment, bigger buildings, and recreational facilities be more wisely spent on, say, helping the widowed and orphaned as the Bible instructs us to do?

    Civil replies are always welcomed.
     
  2. blackbird

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    I really don't think I would be able to "improve" on your comment there, Taylor!

    Just a note here though---the Jerusalem church--in the book of Acts---there in the first couple of chapters---you know??--Where 3000 were added on that first invitation---then the Lord was adding daily after that?? You remember that story??

    Well---there isn't a building standing today over there in Jerusalem that can point where that church had "church"

    My point is this---slick budgets and buildings have to be physically maintained---I guess what I'm saying is this----probably in less than 150 years from now(if the Lord Jesus tarries---and I think He's getting tired of being called that name--Tarries)---when you drive up in the parking lot of your church this coming Sunday---tell yourself---

    In less than 2 generations---the building I'm looking at now---ain't gonna be here!

    What then???
     
  3. Deacon

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    For a larger church to be successful they need to develop ways to encourage community relationships.

    Larger churches usually have cell-groups that have the same "family" feelings that smaller churches have during their services.

    Regarding all that wasted money... couldn't the money spent on multiple staff and land and buildings (that are unused during 5 or 6 days of the week in smaller churches) be better spent by using it on one large multi-purpose building with a single staff?

    Some candles burn brighter.
    Choose the church that fits you best and support it.

    Rob
     
  4. Seth&Mattsmom

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    A small church that stays small...are they reaching out to the lost lambs, or are they only interested in themself?

    I wouldn't want to be lukewarm and spat out of the Lord's mouth!

    My church is small- about 100 members attend each week, and we are feeling the pain of not growing. Are we reaching out as we should? Do we love? Welcoming others? Are we on fire? We are going through a learning time right now in efforts to get us moving ahead. I love my church and I have grown so much there, learned a lot, made some really great loving friends and I do not understand why it is not packed every Sunday.
     
  5. GLC

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    Deacon: Good points. I'm a member of a very small church in a region that has dozens of other small Baptist churches. I frankly think that all these small churches maintaining separate buildings, staffs, vehicles, etc. is more costly than for a larger church. Although it would be really tough to accomplish, I have felt for years that our particular area needed some church "mergers" so that some of the small struggling churches could get a shot in the arm and maybe begin to really reach out and minister.

    As to the mega churches, that raises lots of other issues. Most of those are running the "seeker sensitive" model which invovles some issues that have been discussed at length on this board. I don't think size is a bad thing as long as that size/growth was obtained with sound methods and doctrine.
     
  6. JGrubbs

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    These churches become event-based organizations that measure their success based on their ability to draw larger and larger crowds. Christians who are part of these kinds of churches tend to approach their faith as very compartmentalized. They attend events at their church just like they attend other events in their life. The design of these events often makes Christians feel good about their faith, but they rarely produce life-change. They walk away with warm feelings about themselves or God, but they do not mature into disciple-making followers of Jesus Christ.

    Read More
     
  7. JRG39402

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    Not all of them do. We have a large Southern Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, MS and it is good for our area. I wouldn't go there, I have my own church, and I like the feel of my smaller (but not small) size. Different people will need different churches. They just have to stay on track. I would also recommend church planting when needed to start smaller churches.
     
  8. Psalm 100

    Psalm 100
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    I'm a member of a large SBC Church (about 4500 members). We have one building, plus a few houses that the church owns to help with missionaries on deputation, emergency shelter for natural disasters, etc. Last September, we pledged $500,000 of our budget (not special collections) to go straight to communities on the Gulf Coast. We have at least three baptisms every Sunday, with a majority being youth, who are involved in our youth ministries.

    I could go on, but I think I'll stop here to say that no, big doesn't equal bad. It's what you do with the resources God gives to you that matters.
     
  9. Ransom

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    I can understand the argument from their point of view, however I am of the opinion that the church is your family, and I believe in being intimately involved in my family's life.

    Although I tend to agree in principle that the megachurch is not the best, this is a very poor analogy. Do you break your family up when it gets too big? Or do you rent a bigger hall for the reunion?
     
  10. All about Grace

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    This is a joke right? You can't be serious with these words.

    I have been involved at the leadership level of both small and "mega" churches and I can tell you that lay leaders in small churches can be some of the most self-focused, immature Christians on the planet.

    Please do not suggest that "mega" churches are not about life transformation. Such a statement simply reflects upon your own lack of understanding.
     
  11. Johnv

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    If that's how they feel so called, then let them do so with blessings. If they're called to something else, then let them follow that calling with blessings.

    I don't know why some get so paranoid whenever a church is growing.

    IMO, the answer is small groups. Doesn't matter if you're in a 1000 member church, or 10,000 member church. I think everyone should be involved in a small group of, say 30 people or fewer. It could be a choir, a marriage fellowship, bible study, etc. I currently attend a large church and feel the intimacy you refer to. In the past, I've attended small churches of 200 or less and have lacked that same intimacy. So, I don't think that numbers alone are evidence to the lack or presence of the intimacy you refer to.

    Typically, the larger churches cost less per person to keep the lights on and doors open than the small churches, allowing more of the money to go to the very types of outreaches you refer to. That doesn't mean that a smaller church is bad at all, though.
     
  12. rbell

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    God can use both. And both big and small churches can miss the mark. Good words, Johnv.

    JGrubbs, I'm glad you have such a keen insight into ALL large church members' walks with God. I'm not sure how you had time to interview each and every one. :rolleyes:
     
  13. JGrubbs

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    If you will follow the link on my post you will find that it is a "copy and paste" from another source. I know that there are some large churches out there that are Biblical, I do however agree with the author of my "copy and paste" that most of these event-driven churches are producing few diciples but are instead very large Christian businesses/social clubs.
     
  14. Taylor42

    Taylor42
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    Originally posted by Johnv:
    "I don't know why some get so paranoid whenever a church is growing."

    I wouldn't say im paranoid about a church growing. I just worry about the quality of the learning and growth of each individual member.
     
  15. preachinjesus

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    I currently serve on staff at a mega-church. It is a great place to be for numerous reasons.

    Remember that all churches have problems, big ones to little ones.

    The church where I serve is continually producing disciples and winning literally thousands to Christ throughout the world because of the ministry here. Doesn't make us better than any other church...just makes us a church.

    Something I've learned over the last year or so is that different churches have different roles. It isn't about us versus them, rather it is about edifying each other and doing the Kingdom work together
     
  16. Taylor42

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    I can live with that.
     
  17. guitarpreacher

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    QUOTE: "It isn't about us versus them, rather it is about edifying each other and doing the Kingdom work together"

    But it's so much more entertaining to rip each other apart and nit pick what everyone else is saying.
     
  18. RandR

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    bird,

    The following comments are not intended to argue against your thought-provoking post.

    There aren't remains of a Jerusalem church "building" because they didn't have one. If all those thousands added in Acts two ever assembled together, it was likely in the synagogue since they were still a Jewish "sect." Other than that, they met in homes.

    So perhaps a better question might be, where are any first or second century remains of church buildngs in Corinth, Ephesus, Thessalonica, Philippi, etc.

    I'm not advocating house-churches as regulative. After all, I'm a product of mega-churches. And I fully understand that they can "do things" other smaller churches can't because they have certain means that smaller churches do not have. But I think you'd be pretty hard-pressed to make a biblical argument for the phenomenon that is the 20th (and 21st) century North American evangelical mega-church.
     
  19. JGrubbs

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    One of the early church fathers, Clement of Alexandria, speaks in his writings of a house being used as a place of worship. Likewise, a private house in Dura-Europos (near Baghdad) was excavated in the 1930’s and was found to be used as a Christian meeting place in AD 232, with one small room serving as the baptistery.

    Source: Wikipedia
     

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