Alright, I’ve been a bit harsh. That’s not necessarily the feedback I received last week in my reader survey (many genuine thanks to everyone who participated!), though I do think at times I’ve been a little unfair around here.
I’m not a mega-church fan. That’s not headline news. I attended the largest in my hometown for a few years, and I’ve written about some of the serious dangers they create.
If you care here’s a sampling:
- the service becomes entertainment because they’re trying to keep thousands of people interested and engaged
- huge amounts of money and resources go simply into infrastructure
- the service is centered around a sermon delivered by one person which doesn’t foster community
- big emphasis on being hip [via atmospheric stages, sweet websites and cool videos]
- focus on increasing numbers takes away from maturing disciples
I’m not retracting those critiques (and please stay tuned as the post is about something entirely different, though feel free to analyze my critiques), though I made the mistake of thinking those flaws condemn the whole system of mega-churches – as if no good could come from them. It doesn’t mean God is limited and cannot move or transform people in a mega-church.
So I apologize for such a sweeping condemnation.
One of the reasons I pick on mega-churches is because I think they take our emphasis on the Sunday morning church service to the natural extreme. I’ve said this before – if I’m going to go to a church service with singing and preaching I mightaswell go to the one with the best production (why go to the one with gut wrenching music and disjointed preaching?). Hopefully this goes without saying – but church is far more than a sermon and some worship tunes.
I don’t need to write a paragraph explaining how 2 or 3 gathered in Jesus’ name is church – I trust you get the idea.
To me the main problem with calling what we do Sunday mornings “church” is that we can easily not view other times as church – for instance the rest of the week. It seems like a silly point to make but we do it. Do I think of having my best friend over for dinner as church? Almost never. But it is!
And here’s the even more stunning realization: we don’t have to be doing overt religious things for it to be “church.” Pastors get scared about the other six days a week so they load you up with religious activities like volunteering and bible studies and so on, but even if I just meet up with a friend for coffee God can move and encourage or convict.
My point is – Sunday mornings are fine, even mega-churches (though not ideal for me). But don’t miss all the ways God’s body on earth is moving and happening around you. You just may find you’re see God more and more in things you’ve overlooked before.
Sorry the post is ending with a rhyme in the previous line.