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A Wired article on U.S. mega churches.

#1kts123Posted 7/26/2013 12:38:08 PM
I came across an article on Wired I thought might make for interesting discussion. Here's a snippet from the article and the URL:

Megachurches Use Elaborate Sets and Easy Parking to Amplify God’s Voice

[…]

Corporate management guru Peter Drucker once described the rise of the corporation and the emergence of the megachurch as “the most significant sociological phenomenons of the 20th century,” remarking that the megachurch is “the only organization that is actually working in our society.”


http://www.wired.com/rawfile/2013/07/megachurches-joe-johnson/

I live near a mega church, one that tends to take a lot of heat from smaller congregations. One of the most godly people I have ever met, though, grew up attending. Obviously you can't easily lump everyone together, and it would seem there is a large diversity among mega churches. Still, as an overall phenomenon it seems rather interesting.

A very experienced missionary I know mentioned how Europe once had a similar boom that later crashed. Now the former church buildings are being converted to other uses. He suspects the U.S. mega church boom may be on a similar path. In Europe, at least, many of their churches became nothing more than a glorified Country Club. I suppose the same may be happening in the U.S.

Thoughts?
#2Polish_CrusaderPosted 7/26/2013 12:57:57 PM
I go to a relatively new up and coming church. A few years ago we started out with literally about 5-6 people. Now we have over 300. Our pastor actually sat down with the wednesday congregation and explained to us the order of how a church is suppose to run. Now it all makes sense to me. To break it down in simple speech: When a church gets to a certain size or gets a certain amount of programs (day care, sunday school, mens group, womens group) it essentially is forced to operate like a corporation. What do corporations have? CEO (head pastor) CFO (church treasuerer), board members (board/church trustees), etc. The key difference is- a corporations exclusive goal is to make money, a church's main goal is to build gods kingdom through increasing membership, funding missions, funding charity drives (all of which my semi small church does).


On a personal note, ive been to well over 20 different churches in my time between 4 countries- USA, England (UK), Poland, and Nigeria. Ive been to Mega and small churches with less than 10 people. My opinion on mega churches is kinda mixed. On the one hand they are great for the presentation ability with the funding for big screens and all of that and a good choir and choir director. On the other hand mega churches seem to be very impersonal and not very welcoming to noobies like myself. Small groups are suppose to counter balance this. A church is suppose to be a community in of itself where people can go to for safety and help in times of need. And to learn about gods word and stuff. The bigger the church is the more complicated these tasks can get. But in the end mega churches most of the time are unavoidable if the service is so good that thousands upon thousands keep joining them. So i still think all churches are good as long as they preach the gospel of Jesus.
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Proverbs 14:12
#3kozlo100Posted 7/26/2013 1:03:18 PM
I live near the Crystal Cathedral, which pretty squarely qualifies as a mega-church. On the easy parking aspect, they have drive-in style speakers at some of the spaces in the parking lot, for if you can't, or I guess don't want, to get out of your car and come in for service. I thought that odd.

Anyway, in the boom and bust vein, the thing was built by a Protestant group which has recently gone bankrupt. They ended up selling the building and surrounding campus to the Catholic church, which I thought interesting on a couple of levels.
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Time flies like the wind,
and fruit flies like a banana.
#4ThuggernautzPosted 7/26/2013 1:03:32 PM
kts123 posted...

Thoughts?


I have found during my travels that actually a lot of churches are being used for more hedonistic pastimes like clubs and pubs. Must be satan. If so, I thank him. There are some seriously cool churchpubs to drink at in Europe now; that style of architecture just works so well for it.
#5Polish_CrusaderPosted 7/26/2013 1:05:28 PM
kts123 posted...
I came across an article on Wired I thought might make for interesting discussion. Here's a snippet from the article and the URL:



A very experienced missionary I know mentioned how Europe once had a similar boom that later crashed. Now the former church buildings are being converted to other uses. He suspects the U.S. mega church boom may be on a similar path. In Europe, at least, many of their churches became nothing more than a glorified Country Club. I suppose the same may be happening in the U.S.

Thoughts?


-I missed this part. This is very true. I was living in england for the summer of 2010 in manchester, i know this first hand. The only lively church i went to was an african church. They were full in the sanctuary and were growing. But it was almost all african though. England in general has soooo many immigrants of all kinds, like entire neighbor hoods of just one ethnicity, the biggest ones i saw were- kenyans, nigerians, pakistanis, jamaicans, indians. Im assuming its from the colonies. I went to 1 african church and 3 churchs of england. The CoE were very dull and had nobody near my age except for one couple. The england church is seriously dying, atleast the non evangelical ones. English people in general look at church as a social gathering, and although i had some interesting conversations over tea and biscuits (which are actually cookies not biscuits), there was no talk of evangelizing and building the church or gods kingdom. The U.S. is fairly the opposite. Churchs are fighting (figuratively) over new members. Most churches i know in texas are either growing or stable.

In the end every european church ive been to in england and poland was not that lively at all and not focused on growth.
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Proverbs 14:12
#6Polish_CrusaderPosted 7/26/2013 1:07:55 PM
kozlo100 posted...
I live near the Crystal Cathedral, which pretty squarely qualifies as a mega-church. On the easy parking aspect, they have drive-in style speakers at some of the spaces in the parking lot, for if you can't, or I guess don't want, to get out of your car and come in for service. I thought that odd.

Anyway, in the boom and bust vein, the thing was built by a Protestant group which has recently gone bankrupt. They ended up selling the building and surrounding campus to the Catholic church, which I thought interesting on a couple of levels.


ya i heard about that. The guys that had it before were always advertising on the sunday pulpit. Totally against scripture. Now the catholics took it over, right?
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Proverbs 14:12
#7kozlo100Posted 7/26/2013 1:30:42 PM
I haven't the faintest idea how they preached, even when I was still Christian, that wouldn't have been the place for me.

The Catholics own the place now, but the previous organization has a deal where they are continuing to operate there for the next couple of years while the Catholics draw up their renovation plans.
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Time flies like the wind,
and fruit flies like a banana.
#8EastsideslingerPosted 7/26/2013 2:26:31 PM
I posted this in 261 but, seeing as a topic on the subject is up and running, I figure this would be appropriate.

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2013/07/05/preachers-of-l-a-brings-the-prosperity-gospel-to-reality-tv/

The word of god with a touch of swag thrown in!
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"That's Mushy Snugglebites' badonkadonk. She's my main squeeze. Lady's got a gut fulla' dynamite and a booty like POOOW!" - Tiny Tina
#9Imperator420Posted 7/27/2013 1:24:46 PM
Polish_Crusader posted...
To break it down in simple speech: When a church gets to a certain size or gets a certain amount of programs (day care, sunday school, mens group, womens group) it essentially is forced to operate like a corporation. What do corporations have? CEO (head pastor) CFO (church treasuerer), board members (board/church trustees), etc.


Or it could operate in a manner that's remotely Christlike.
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I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast ... for it repenteth me that I have made them. - Genesis 7
#10Polish_CrusaderPosted 7/27/2013 6:31:49 PM
Imperator420 posted...
Polish_Crusader posted...
To break it down in simple speech: When a church gets to a certain size or gets a certain amount of programs (day care, sunday school, mens group, womens group) it essentially is forced to operate like a corporation. What do corporations have? CEO (head pastor) CFO (church treasuerer), board members (board/church trustees), etc.


Or it could operate in a manner that's remotely Christlike.


1.)You didnt explain how what i listed was not christ like.

2.)Wha do you define as christlike? To me, christ like means anything that points to christ to glorify him.
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Proverbs 14:12