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The Megachurch and the Monastery

One large church is learning how to grow a core of disciples amid the crowd of attenders.

Is "megachurch discipleship" an oxymoron? I'm a pastor at a suburban megachurch where 3,000 attend weekly, and we've been asking that question recently. Does our large program-driven structure actually create more obstacles and distractions to spiritual growth than it removes?

Although megachurches are now becoming giga-churches, and large church pastors have achieved celebrity status in our culture, we're having a hard time programming people into Christian maturity.

We are starting to see a subtle meltdown in the megachurch model. Research shows that young people are leaving the church in increasing numbers and never returning. And the Willow Creek Association's REVEAL study uncovered the limited impact of programs on spiritual growth.

So, should we sell the suburban ranch and redistribute ourselves into smaller communities throughout the city? Or is there a way to be large and not lose our souls? Surprisingly, the answer for churches both large and ...

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