Christian Unity
What About Those Sheep-Stealing Megachurches?
Megachurches keep getting bigger while small churches seem to struggle more than they used to. It's easy to think one is causing the other.

No Excuses Means No Excuses

As I’ve written on many occasions, including in Small Church Essentials, and in a recent blog post about our visit to Holy Trinity Brompton, every church needs to be a “no excuses” zone.

Over the years, I’ve had to come to this realization myself. No matter how many great programs the nearby megachurch offers, no matter how many people seem to drift away from us toward them, each church has to stand on the ministry God gave them and do it in the best way we can.

Our church may be small, but we know who we are. And we do it really well. Those who want and need the kind of ministry we offer will be drawn here. Those who want and need the kind of ministry the nearby megachurch offers will be drawn there.

And sometimes, people’s needs will change and they’ll leave one church for another. In both directions. For instance, over the last 25 years, Rick Warren and I have traded dozens of church members. They go from Cornerstone to Saddleback and from Saddleback to Cornerstone.

Shift Our Focus To The Real Need

Instead of worrying about which church is attracting or losing existing members, we need to get busy reaching people who attend no church and have no relationship with Jesus.

Instead of worrying about which church is attracting or losing existing members, we need to get busy reaching people who attend no church and have no relationship with Jesus.

There are more unchurched people in our communities than all our current churches combined could ever hold. That's where we need to focus our attention.

We’ll never reach the world or our neighborhood for Jesus if we’re keeping track of which church is winning at Christian Musical Chairs. We need to pay attention to how well – or how poorly – the congregation God has placed us in is reaching the lost, the hurting, the lonely, the outcast and the sinner.

There are people the megachurch can reach that our small church can’t reach. Which is why I celebrate big churches.

And there are people small churches like ours can reach that big churches can’t reach. Which is why I celebrate small churches.

If any megachurch is actually stealing people from small churches, God will deal with them. If I’m spending more time worrying about who’s leaving my small church for other churches than reaching people who don’t know Jesus, God will deal with me.

Let’s ditch the excuses, open our doors and our arms, and head out into our neighborhoods.

There’s more than enough need to keep us all busy.

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April 04, 2018 at 2:00 AM

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