As it turns out, the megachurch is like a megaphone. It is not so much an aberrant form of church as a large, flashing icon of the American church. It's no secret that too many evangelical leaders are captivated more by business culture than biblical culture, spending more time absorbed in strategies and effectiveness and relatively little time in prayer. No, it doesn't have to be an either-or situation, but let's face it, it often is.
This is not the first time in history that a church has struggled with the insidious effects of culture. Maybe we should stop either cheerleading for the megachurch, as if it's the answer, or pointing fingers at it, as if it's the problem. Each American church in its own way has been co-opted and fallen short of the glory of God. Once we all admit that, the Spirit can start working with us to create a gospel culture in our churches.
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Previous Christianity Today articles about megachurches include:
The Other Side of Church Growth | Philip Jenkins says we need a theology of church extinction. (March 18, 2009)
Willow Creek's 'Huge Shift' | Influential megachurch moves away from seeker-sensitive services. (May 15, 2008)
What Reveal Reveals | Criticisms of Willow's latest self-study do not undermine its value. (February 27, 2008)
Am I Growing Yet? | What a disappointed "fully devoted follower of Jesus" should be looking for. (October 25, 2007)
High-Tech Circuit Riders | Satellite churches are discovering a new way to grow the body of Christ. (October 31, 2005)
More editorials are available on our site.