In the mid-'90s, mainstream publications began taking notice. Megachurches celebrate comfort, ease and the very idea of contemporary suburban life. If megachurches, sprawling structures that often resemble arenas or community centers, evoke any sense of wonder, it is over the notion that they are churches at all. He goes on to describe Willow Creek Community Church; at the time, the church was a single sprawling , square-foot structure located on acres in South Barrington, Ill.
Help Me Stop a Megachurch from Ruining My Small Town | David G. McAfee
Today, it averages 24, attendees each weekend at seven locations. Goldberger pointed out that from the road, it could double as a corporate headquarters or a prosperous junior college. Within the church, there was a gym, fast-food counters and a spacious seating area. Paul's Cathedral. The idea being that non-denominational evangelicalism was not something that was separate from daily life, which is reflected in their architectural choices.
This continues today, as captured by California-based photographer Lisa Anne Auerbach. So…are you multilingual? If not…. Get out and meet Christians who speak the language and will assist you in ministering to them. Are you equipped and prepared to deal with this? They each set out into the world to minister to these different cultures in very unique ways. Get to know as many pastors in your area as you can! Communicate with your area ministers on a regular basis, and serve your community as a strategic group front.
If you find a Hispanic family that needs a Christian ministry…. If there are no churches in the area that can minister in Spanish, then it makes rock solid sense to push your own to start building programs for them. Set the example, show some success, gradually introduce the new culture to your old church and THEN start asking for more support. If there are already 3 churches in your county that are well equipped to minister in Spanish, then it makes the most sense to call one of those pastors and send the family to him. In short…. There are many different sizes and types of Church models for a reason.
Each one serves a purpose in an ever changing fabric of humanity.
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God wants it that way. Churches do change every single day as the balance and makeup of the population shifts. Stop asking old churches full of members who have already raised their kids to try to act like what they are NOT…a church full of 30 somethings raising kids. Understand your community, and use its currents to your advantage. The sad truth is that the older people controlling out of balance churches generational balance eventually will pass on, and their homes will be sold to a younger generation and in many cases even a radically different CULTURE.
At that point…. Take your time…because it took generations for them to build it all…. Instead of over-fighting it…look at the tools they have for very different, but equally important types of missions. You can drive yourself crazy trying to fight the Cycles of God…. You seem to be arguing for 1 for reasons that quite simply I disagree with vehemently and saying that the only other option is 2.
Our church is multi-generational and we have seen over two hundred people go from having nothing to do with God or church to responding to the Gospel and trusting in Christ for salvation and new life over the past 6 years For His glory, not ours. Why is this happening? Because our leadership made the decision to stop catering to comfort and challenge our people to get on board with the mission of the Church. Sadly, we lost quite a few people. We are called to go and make disciples.
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You said at the end that not every church is geared to be an evangelical power house….. Again, not certain what you mean.
Every church should foundationally be about the Gospel and making that Gospel known to as many as possible in their community. Just to play out an extreme: If every person in that community is reached which i would venture to say happens extremely rarely , then begin brainstorming other ways to reach even farther small church plant etc… , but never get off the boat of our mission. What do you think a church is supposed to look and act like? Because I believe a church is a community of people tied together in the Gospel on mission to make that Gospel known to any and everyone.
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Make changes necessary to be a part of that mission. A dying church is simply that: dying. How is that a radical change that requires board approval and strong arming changes in congregational leadership? I still maintain that just because a church has fewer than does NOT mean it is dieing. I know of quite a few that have NEVER had more than memebers, but have been going strong for nearly years.
I can think of a pocket of about 12 of them in Texas that have put air bus hospitals in every international disaster zone with missionaries since Built dozens of home for people in need. They simply do a different kind of outreach and mission……. Some of us are NOT cut out to witness face to face, and do far more damage than good when sharing our walks with Christ with others. Some of us are much better equipped to play supporting roles.
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Some of us are better at quietly providing Bibles, homes, and refuges for worship. Very long deflection and refusal to own a simple problem. I simply refuse to agree with you that a church should sit and get stagnant. This will be my last response as it seems you have dug your feet pretty deep into your defense and it is not a good use of my time to continue the conversation. Every Christian is called to be a minister and an evangelist…. Not sure why you disagree with that either. I never disagreed to your PS.
I just happen to believe that there are many missions and styles that contribute to that purpose. A youth group 4 from a 50 member church can pass out 4, Bibles in Guatemala and not grow a single member back home. Some churches have big programs to help the elderly and infirmed, as well as the incarcerated. The goal is to foster and create opportunities for people to know about the Word of God and come to know Christ.
Pushing a church to grow past is not really superior to doing ecumenical missions that have a very high probability of helping different churches grow by 2. What I have thought over the years is a lack of strategic planning when it comes to hiring the next person. I believe it needs to be a generalist.
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Someone who can work in several areas at once. Back in the day the second position would be a youth pastor. The church would grow by another 75 people, but not enough to add a third staff member and continue to grow. It couls be just that simple as well.
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Yours are all noteworthy and true Carey. Just throwing in another factor in my opinion. Blessings, Dave. Great question. I think it often has to do with the entire community the church serves.
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