Question about "mega" churches

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by HeDied4U, Sep 29, 2002.

  1. HeDied4U

    HeDied4U
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    I got into an interesting discussion this morning with a friend concerning 'mega' churches. Basically our conversation boiled down to this, "Are 'mega' churches a good thing?"

    My position is no. I don't mean to say that they aren't "good," because if they're leading people to Christ then they're doing a good work. My thought is that the bigger the church the easier it is for someone to get "lost" there. With a congregation in the thousands, it would be so easy for someone with a serious problem to be overlooked. This is just my personal opinion, but the few "mega" churches I've visited have seemed impersonal.

    On the other hand, my friend's position is that a 'mega' church is a good thing. His contention is that the larger the church the more ministries they can offer; the larger the church, the more money that comes in that can be used for the good of the church and the community.

    In a way I can see his points, but to me a smaller church is more personable. I'd like to hear your thoughts on this subject, both pro and con.

    Thanks, and God Bless!!

    Adam :cool: [​IMG]
     
  2. HeDied4U

    HeDied4U
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    p.s. Just for the record, I attend a "small" church. We average probably around 150 on any given Sunday morning, and in my opinion, we have plenty of ministries to serve the needs of the congregation.

    God Bless!!!

    Adam :cool: [​IMG]
     
  3. SaggyWoman

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    Please define a mega church?

    I think I would prefer a mega church if I had a choice.
     
  4. HeDied4U

    HeDied4U
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    I would define a mega church as a church with an active membership over 1000, although it is my personal opinion (my favorite phrase tonight lol) that anything over 500 is too big. Once a church gets that big, it should be planting other churches.

    God Bless!!

    Adam :cool: [​IMG]
     
  5. SaggyWoman

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    Over a thousand? You are kidding, right?

    I am in a mega church now, but I wouldn't call it that myself.
     
  6. HeDied4U

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    Okay then, what would you consider to be a mega church? Membership over 2000? Over 5000? 10,000?

    God Bless!!

    Adam :cool: [​IMG]
     
  7. SaggyWoman

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    Personally, I think a mega church is anything bigger than I am attending now. LOLOL [​IMG] :rolleyes:

    Actually, I understand that the average size of churches are around 100 regular attenders. I guess I haven't ever attended a church that small--or it wasn't that small when I was attending it.

    I have attended :

    Bethel: 300 + regular attenders
    Temple: 200 + regular attenders
    FBC, Benbrook: 400 + regular attenders
    Oakview: 200+ regular attenders
    Calvary: 275 regular attenders
    Catawba Heights 400-500 regular attenders

    Mega? Regular attenders in the thousands or more than 500, at least.
     
  8. Johnv

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    Is my area, it's not unusual to have a church with over 5000 members. I wouldn't call them megachurches, necesserily. So I guess the label megachurch is relative. Unfortunately, it's also got a bad-rap stereotype.

    Seems we often don't like megachurches, but whose fault is it that we have them? You get a preacher to come to a church, and his preaching attracts more and more people every day, eventually creating a megachurch. Should we tell people, sorry, we're not accepting any more members? I think Jesus would scoff at that. If someone's preaching is drawing more people to Christ than others, who cares if it's a megachurch or not? Maybe the problem isn't the megachurch, but our envy of them.
     
  9. tlange

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    I have been the member of three mega churches and I think that one of the drawbacks is that someone can get lost in the crowd so to speak.... That happens all the time... but it all depends on each church's situation

    The church I am a member of now is a great church and the membership has been very helpful in getting me connected and involved.

    There are pros and cons on both sides of the issue of the mega church. I have never been a member of a non-mega church.. I have preached in a few of them though!
     
  10. go2church

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    Mega churches should be measured to the relative population that the church exists within. In a community of 500 people, a church of 100 is a mega church.
    Most of the time mega churches grow in areas where people are used to being in large crowds, say a corporate enviroment. Now to the question, are mega churches a good thing? Yes, any church of any size actively pursuing God's will is a good thing.
     
  11. Ben W

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    The church I used to attend had a regular membership of approximatley 25. I have been in churches of over 300 or so. I think that if a church has grown to over 300 people they should consider plantin another fellowship of that denomination from that church group. Small churches do lack rescorces. quite often if you are looking for friendship a small fellowship can be better. The problem that I see with a 5000 strong fellowship is the discipling of converts. Within that 5000 are going to a number who are gifted in preachng behind the pulpit. By planting fellowships we can ensure that each Brother and SIster are growing in the gifts God has given them. Lets face it, church is about evangalising and discipling.
     
  12. hrhema

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    I have known people who attended mega churches to get lost in the crowd. They didn't want to do anything but attend services. Not interested in
    being part of anything.

    To me you do get lost in the shuffle. You cannot get the personal attention you might need from the ministry. You really can go for years and not know half of the people attending the church.

    It is my choice and preference not to attend another large church.
     
  13. lizajane

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    Our old church had about 20 people on a busy day! I loved it! We all knew each other, and fellowshipped often. It closed down a few years ago.

    The church we attend now has about 600 to 700 people most Sundays. They work very hard at getting people introduced, connected,and belonging. It does not feel like a large church, really. We have Bible studies in peoples' home every other week, probably 10 to 15 people in each group. This really helps to have a place where you are known and cared for.
     
  14. Jim1999

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    Quality rather than quantity. I don't mind a large church (500 and up). They tend to break down into smaller groups, almost churches within a church, but it can be very effective and a marvellous witness to God's greatness in a community.
    Most of my churches have been small...up to 500...and I was most comfortable when I knew everyone.
    Some churches are built for preaching. I don't like pa systems and love it when I can shut the microphone off and still be heard. Jarvis Street Baptist Church in Toronto could seat several thousands, but one could whisper from the pulpit and be heard in the balcony....and Dr. Shields often did just that. It was designed for preaching.
    The seminary was attached to the church, and the kitchen was used to feed the students. The various membership made available many services that benefitted the students. One member was a mortician, and was able to secure clothing and footwear. This became the students Eaton's or Simpson's, if you will. In the early days, Baptist minister's wore morning dress,,,striped trousers and tailcoat....this is where my first suit came from..and marvellous ties.
    Then I went out from Jarvis Street and ministered in a church of 14 or 15 people...the feeling was the same...oh what joy would fill my soul...the congregation was the choir and we all sang off tune, which made me feel quite at home.
    I really think the old saying has merit; wherever you are, be all there.

    Cheers in the Lord,

    Jim

    PS,,thanks for this opportunity to reminisce. Did my heart good.
     
  15. Jonathan

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    This is a debate in search of point.

    Folks who favor attending mega churches (whatever the definition) will say that they are good. Folks who favor attending small churches will say that mega churches are not good.

    The real indicator of a church's health should be its growth:

    1. Spiritual. Are the current members growing in the faith? Could one track this growth, say, from one year to the next? How are individuals held to account for this?

    2. Numerical. What impact is the church having on its immediate community, town, city? Are the people who are being baptized new converts or membership transfers? What is expected of each member regarding personal evangelism?

    In my experience, larger churches do a very good job in masking most problems by making sure that the front door is at least a bit larger than the back door while smaller churches do a good job making excuses for poor outreach results ("we're small", "we need to focus on taking care of our own", etc...).

    One items that seems to favor larger churches over smaller ones concerns the stability of leadership. Every small church that I have experienced has a core power group of familes that rule the church regardless of who the pastor is and nearly every large church that I have experienced has had pastors whose tenure exceeds 10 years or more.
     
  16. Pete

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    Let's tear down our Churches and build bigger ones? ;) The difference between a cemetery with 100 graves and one with 1000 graves is the space it takes up...Oh aren't I in a good mood tonight? ;)

    Put me down for a nay vote. An Aussie mega Church or two came to mind. I think most of them are carried along by their own hype and how many flashing lights they have more than the strength of their teaching. I think the bubble will burst shortly on a few of them.

    The fair dinkum ones would need to be sure they have a good small group system for members.

    Pete
     
  17. HeDied4U

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    Jonathan is quoted as saying,
    Although I liked what you had to say in your post, I must disagree with you on that one. At my church (and I realize that this is just one church out of thousands of "small" churches, so I'm not saying that it's the same way at all of them), there is not a "core power group of families" in control. We have an elder board that oversees things so that the pastor isn't in sole control.

    Also, our pastor has been there for almost 9 years now. As fas as I can tell, he is loved by everybody, even though sometimes he makes us a little uncomfortable. That's good though; keeps us on our toes spiritualy.

    God Bless!!!

    Adam :cool: [​IMG]
     
  18. HeDied4U

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    As a follow up thought to my last post, to the point of "power families;" I have been in a few churches where it seems like whoever (either individuals or families) had the most money had the most power, and if you were "poor" you were treated like dirt, and looked down upon. Needless to say, I didn't stay long at those churches (just a poor boy here hehehe).

    Kind of sad, isn't it? Maybe this could be another "hot" topic sometime, hmmmmm?

    God Bless!!!

    Adam :cool: [​IMG]
     
  19. Jonathan

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    Although I liked what you had to say in your post, I must disagree with you on that one. At my church (and I realize that this is just one church out of thousands of "small" churches, so I'm not saying that it's the same way at all of them), there is not a "core power group of families" in control. We have an elder board that oversees things so that the pastor isn't in sole control.

    Also, our pastor has been there for almost 9 years now. As fas as I can tell, he is loved by everybody, even though sometimes he makes us a little uncomfortable. That's good though; keeps us on our toes spiritualy.

    God Bless!!!

    Adam :cool: [​IMG]
    </font>[/QUOTE]Hmmm....your church has "elder rule" and the leadership structure has seen at least 9 years of stability. I like it. Tell me more.

    How are elders chosen in your church? What are their terms (years) of service?
     
  20. blackbird

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    If you notice--there is nothing any more "magical" about a mega church than any other one. In fact, a mega church only means one thing--mega absence--full of "Sunday Morning Bench Warmers!" How come they can jam a worship center full on Sunday Morning and in some cases have 2 or 3 services on the morning but only one on Sunday nite! "Mega church" does not mean mega spirituality!

    And here is another thing that mega church leaders need to realize--there is the 35 million dollar building that will need to be maintained over the course of the next 50 or so years! When the mega pastor leaves--what happens when the next preacher comes in and can't keep up and give the folks what they want!??

    On the other hand I've been to First Baptist, Jacksonville, Florida--one of my heroes, Dr. Jerry Vines pastors there--I've sat through the services--and in the words of J J Walker--"Its Dine-o-might!!" And I know that Dr. Vines eats no more spiritual "gunpowder" than I do! His is mega in Jacksonville with 10,000 folks--mine is mega in Wesson, MS with 155 folks!

    Mega is in the eyes of the beholder!
    Your friend,
    Blackbird
     

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