How Cars Created the Megachurch

And put churchgoers in the driver's seat
How Cars Created the Megachurch

Friends, enjoy this provocative take on the relationships of the parking lot and the pew from PARSE friend Adam Graber. - Paul

Of the 150 or so acres making up Willow Creek Community Church’s main campus, a full 8 acres are devoted to buildings. Parking lots cover more than 28. That ratio demonstrates just how important cars are to most churches today.

Though Willow Creek is now a multi-site church, it still calls South Barrington, Illinois, home. Population? 4,656, Each weekend, most of the church’s 20,000 attendees drive on to the main campus using three major entrances, swelling the suburban village’s population for a few hours on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings. People arrive by car from all over Chicagoland. The fact is undeniable: for megachurches, cars are essential.

It’s probably more accurate to say that cars created the megachurch. Without them, these churches simply couldn’t exist in the form they do today. There have certainly been large ...

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