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Though often defined as a church with more than 2,000 in worship attendance, the "megachurch" is more than that. It's that more that attracts so much controversy.

Another study of the megachurch has emerged this summer—"Not Who You Think They Are: ...

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Graham UK

August 19, 2009  4:08am

'Come to me in spirit and in truth' - these words resonated when I was called from a very dark place into The Light. If our experience, discernment and response lead us forward in total surrender to God then so be it. God bless us all.

Selva Prabhakar

August 16, 2009  3:34pm

'Megachurches' do not function as a 'church' but as a 'club' when people just flock to get some 'experience.' In megachurches there is no real Sheep-Shepherd relationship taking place. If Church is defined as an 'assembly' of Christians, then the numerical volume cannot be set. If, on the other hand, Church is defined as the 'Flock' of God, then the Sheep-Shepherd relationship is inevitable. In megachurches pastors themselves may not 'know' the believers. The irony is that the Chief Shepherd says, "He knows His sheep and calls them by name." (John 10).

Anna

August 13, 2009  1:50pm

Myrna, God is not concerned with the style of the music but whether the congregation is worshiping in spirit and in truth. If the words of the songs are true and the people are really worshiping God, then it does not matter the style. Unless you are suggesting that we should only sing exactly the songs and styles that were sung in the Bible, I don't think we can complain about the styles.

Dana

August 12, 2009  7:46am

I'm 26 attend a "mega-church". It used to be small, but grew. I've volunteered in some capacity since I became a believer 9 yrs ago. Our pastor teaches sound biblical truths. Yeah, there are people there who are consumer christians, but false believer-ism has been going on for centuries. And about "rock band" music... it's my style, so why judge how I worship God? Many hymn tunes came from songs that were sung in bars- can God not redeem anything? Why is the guitar evil? What about jeans? I have visited a strict denomination where dress was of the utmost importance- I wore black slacks and a blouse- and I got the evil eye and a talking to because I was not wearing a floor length skirt. Really? Did Jesus put those kind of restrictions on people coming to him? Was not the demon possessed man, um, naked? And the lepers he healed surely couldn't have been dressed to the nines. Jesus thought outside the box of "religiousity" of the Pharisees and if Jesus did, shouldn't we?

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Myrna

August 11, 2009  11:43pm

My experience is that most megachurches attract the young people because they cater to their generation's music - first and foremost. The praise and worship is like a rock concert. The Bible says "and be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed . . ." Secular style music has it's place but not in the church. I see people go to church dressed up like they're going to the beach or to a barbeque party. When a man is going to see a girl for a visit or on a date, he dresses up real nice for her. When we go to the office, we're all dressed up like professionals we are. But why can't these people dress up for God? Isn't God important enough to get dressed up for? I was born and raised in a small church of 300. The services are all invitiations to nonbelievers to come to Christ. In the mega churches today, there are no invitations after the preaching. If there is one worthy of solemnn praise and worship, fervent prayer, dressing up for, it is Jesus.

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andy tuckerjesus1 READ THIS

August 11, 2009  3:01pm

First I just thank God for another day.Evil torments me evryday.Not even my thoughts happen.Let us hope that the church officials is not just for money making.It is very noticable.Lets hope the most righteous helpful attendee controls the church.Sinning tired pentecostals,Aristocratic church,God still loves you.He still wants you to be his.Even if, thousnds still hate Jesus.Keep the fire inside you. Things are or maybe purgatorish.Think on righteousness and righteous solutions.Sanctified could be so poor not a vehicle to get to the righteous church.Thousands of anti christians are outthere.Please telll your friends of Gods righteousness. If you want to.Invite God in your heart today.Amen!! Praise his precious names. Romans 3:23-God will work with us.Gal 3:3, col 3:11- a lot of minsters do not preach it. God likes or loves his likers. Lovers not sinners is what we want to be.Rev 12: evil angels set out to destroy.Torment us.And fool us.God wants us to be like angel not just entertainm

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Aris Metaxakis

August 10, 2009  5:18pm

The Christian Church in the West today is concerned more with optics than substance. The mega church trend will die when people realize these shepherds are not given them the truth about the Christian life. There may be a a few exceptions. The Christ of Golgotha is not popular today. Most elders in churches today are aware of the skin deep Christianity but are not willing to speak up out of fear: the fear of man or of the pastor; the pastor is afraid to say like it is because his paycheque is in the balance and so is the mortgage. Programs, one after the other, keep the congregation from getting bored but there is no real leadership or vision. It is sad and I am afraid God is going to have to pull the plug on us. He is in fact began the process by unplugging the economy and raising up a reman who are weeping in private over the state of affairs in God's house. May our kind and gracious Lord be merciful to us and send a revival of sincerity before judgment comes.

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Jack Graham

August 10, 2009  10:26am

Another excellent article that can be used to bring Christ's Church to maturity.

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Karen

August 09, 2009  10:59pm

I do not think Mega churches are bad if preaching the whole counsel of God is their primiary focus. Unfortuantely, when a chuch gets big, it usally needs a higher revenue stream to function, and when that happens their is a greater risk of preaching a feel good message to keep the members happy and bring others in the door. Moreover, their is typically a lot of buzz surrounding mega-churches that can feed into egos and desires to be known as prominent in the community. When this happens, there is also a tendnecy "not to offend" lest anything bad be said about the church.

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Leah

August 09, 2009  6:10pm

I've attended both mega and mini churches. When you move to a new area you want a church with a good social group and the larger churches tend to have that better than the smaller ones. What I love in a small church is the sense of community and how everyone tends to know everyone. You don't get that as much in a megachurch. But, what you get in a megachurch is the larger social group and I do need that. Both sizes can have the right focus on Jesus and the Bible and they can also have the wrong focus. You think because a church is a mega they must be doing something right, but that doesn't mean the small church is doing something wrong.

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James Morgan

August 09, 2009  4:27pm

I see no harm in a megachurch as long as it is what the Lord would have it to be. After all 3000 were added to the Lord's church on the day of pentacost 33ad (Acts 2). However, megachurches as well as smaller churches must be guided by the scripture in all matters. Let us not forget it is the Lord's church not ours. (Matt 16) Let us always strive to keep the church pure as the bride of christ no matter how big or small it is.

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Nevada Wally

August 09, 2009  8:06am

Unfortunately, the mega-church I was involved with spent more time on commercialism rather than address the needs of the congregation. It was bigger productions, more events, and show rather than proclaiming the gospel. It was a feel good church with little foundation. The pastor refused to visit with people and rarely performed the duties of the pastor. He hide behind the Senior Pastor title, stays home, prepares presentations and worked on his book. Many have left because there is no substance and God's Word is not being taught.

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Ken

August 08, 2009  11:16am

I think this article isn't necessarily about large churches vs. smaller churches; it's about making sure we have our priority of discipleship in order. It's easy for any church- of any size- to get its focus off of the goal of making disciples. Our church, The Well (a group of home churches), is getting ready to do an internal survey to make sure we are doing an appropriate job of teaching and training our attendees. We want to make sure that folks who attend The Well understand the Scriptures and know how to take what they learn in church and apply to it their daily lives. In ten years, we don't want to look back and wish we would have been more diligent to be intentional with teaching Biblical doctrine. I invite you to be part of our journey at www.LeaveTheBuildingBlog.com.

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Joe

August 07, 2009  11:05pm

You know the last two statements about falling short could apply to every local church in every decade during the almost 2000 years of the history of Christianity. It's like saying the grass is green. We all know the grass is green. And, if you're Reformed, there will never, ever be a time at any moment in the history of any Christian life, let alone local church, when this statement will not be true. So heck why not just put it on the mast head of this magazine. Christianity Today: A magazine whose contributors fall short of the glory of God. Worm theology at its best.

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James Wesly Smith

August 07, 2009  8:36pm

Mega-Church or not-it really doesn't matter. For the Church is really "the people of God", and doesn't need a building to exist. If memory serves, Yeshua gave sermons in two mega-churches--when He fed the 4000, and again when He fed the 5000.

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In Theatres Soon

August 07, 2009  4:37pm

It's attack of the 7000 member monsterchurch! No amount of criticism could stop it! It came from the suburbs swallowing helpless victims of smaller churches by the dozens. No one could contain the roar of its multiple decibel sound system or the blinding rays from its glowing jumbtron eyes! It came to spawn satellite congregations in your neighborhood. Whatever you do don't leave your homes! Lock your doors! Hide! It's coming for you!

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John Holecek

August 07, 2009  4:03pm

Sweet, Lord Jesus Christ. Pour out a spirit of wisdom on the Protestant world so that its members might see that their endless search for strategies, modes of worship, etc. are a search for you in the most holy Eucharist. Protestants shall forever be restless until they find their rest in you in the Eucharist. How my heart yearns for one faith, one baptism, one God over us all.

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MP

August 07, 2009  2:14pm

Hi Sheila, All the best to you and your friends at Saddleback. Your comments are helpful, since what some of the posts are trying to say is that - contrary to the mega church approach which teaches abstract principles and motivates you to "infuse" faith into the rest of life - classical, Trinitarian Christiainty, which is grounded in the Person of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of the Father, infuses faith, hope, and love in US by means of our liturgical participation in the life of God through the presence of the Word and Spirit who constitute and indwell the Church as Christ's Body. There is a huge difference in the two visions of reality. The mega church was born within the sacred/secular split that defines modernity.

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Michael (Spain)

August 07, 2009  11:37am

mega church has nothing to do with true biblical christianity only american christianity just gimmicks to keep them there. thats why the church in amerika is more like the world and not separated from it. how many times do you hear preaching on SIN ??? Persecution ??? alot of doctrine that is in amerikas churchs would not get converts in thrid world countries.

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wiseabove.blogspot.com

August 07, 2009  11:22am

God bless you.

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