Questions about Mega Churches

I’ve always been skeptical of mega churches. It was built into me growing up: the idea that things get unwieldy when they get too big, that the head can no longer know what the whole body is doing. Without really thinking about it, it became a truistic concept, an unquestioned axiom that flavored a great deal of my thinking.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that there are many “truism’s” that are unscriptural, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, all’s well that ends well, etc… And so I’ve reexamined a lot of things that I thought I had down pat. But mega churches still bother me. I think it’s verses like Hebrews 13:17

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

The word used for account there is logos. It suggests that the question posed will be, something like, “Tell me, how did the church come to be in this state. Give me an account for the state of this man’s soul.” Not the pastor will be held accountable for the faults of the people, but he will be asked what he did to prevent them and then to deal with them when they occurred. With that sort of responsibility, I guess I don’t see how someone can give an account for the souls of 1000+ people. So, I’m asking it as a question. What do you think about mega-churches? What do you think about the responsibilities of an elder? Am I putting too much responsibility there?

10 thoughts on “Questions about Mega Churches”

  1. I think this is an interesting point that you raise, and seeing where you’re coming from, I’d probably agree with your skepticism. I don’t like the idea of 20,000 people being at a church…I may be wrong but it doesn’t appear possible to monitor and minister to such a number of people.

  2. I think this is an interesting point that you raise, and seeing where you’re coming from, I’d probably agree with your skepticism. I don’t like the idea of 20,000 people being at a church…I may be wrong but it doesn’t appear possible to monitor and minister to such a number of people.

  3. Hi Armen,
    Thanks for stopping by. This is something I’m still thinking about. Clearly each elder will have specific gifts and abilities, and a really gifted elder may be able to minister to twice as many people say, a not-so-gifted elder, and having multiple elders also helps, but I think there comes a point where the infrastructure just becomes too big, and no one know anyone else, fellowship and accountability because almost impossible and the important things that the church is supposed to be doing, just stop happening. But I don’t know where that number is. I do think most churches don’t have a plan to begin splitting up the church when it reaches a certain size. In fact, most churches are lucky if the man behind the pulpit is qualified to preach; almost no churches have people in attendance who could step out and start a sister church in the area. But that leads me back to discipleship, which I believe is one of the primary roles of evangelism and therefore. the church. But that’s a whole ‘nother thing altogether.

    Anyway, again, thanks for stopping by,
    Also, thanks for pointing me to your blog. I signed up for updates,

    Charles Churchill

  4. Hi Armen,
    Thanks for stopping by. This is something I’m still thinking about. Clearly each elder will have specific gifts and abilities, and a really gifted elder may be able to minister to twice as many people say, a not-so-gifted elder, and having multiple elders also helps, but I think there comes a point where the infrastructure just becomes too big, and no one know anyone else, fellowship and accountability because almost impossible and the important things that the church is supposed to be doing, just stop happening. But I don’t know where that number is. I do think most churches don’t have a plan to begin splitting up the church when it reaches a certain size. In fact, most churches are lucky if the man behind the pulpit is qualified to preach; almost no churches have people in attendance who could step out and start a sister church in the area. But that leads me back to discipleship, which I believe is one of the primary roles of evangelism and therefore. the church. But that’s a whole ‘nother thing altogether.

    Anyway, again, thanks for stopping by,
    Also, thanks for pointing me to your blog. I signed up for updates,

    Charles Churchill

  5. Regarding mega churches, doesn’t the book of Acts basically give an outline for a mega church since thousands were being added daily and then they also would meet in small groups in their own homes? What do you think?

  6. Regarding mega churches, doesn’t the book of Acts basically give an outline for a mega church since thousands were being added daily and then they also would meet in small groups in their own homes? What do you think?

  7. It’s always seemed to me that these types of churches were so much more about the “mega” and not so much about the “church.” Not saying that I’ve not been challenged by some great preaching while attending…but there are so many other externals there to focus on that people seem to get lost in the shuffle.

  8. It’s always seemed to me that these types of churches were so much more about the “mega” and not so much about the “church.” Not saying that I’ve not been challenged by some great preaching while attending…but there are so many other externals there to focus on that people seem to get lost in the shuffle.

  9. Brian,
    I agree completely, both about the loss of focus and also about the great preaching. Through all my criticism, it’s worth remembering that Spurgeon pastored a mega church. It’s also worth remembering though that Spurgeon was primarily an evangelist and in many ways, his church functioned as a platform for his public preaching (I believe at some point, so many people tried to attend his sermons that tickets – free, of course – were issued and required for admittance to each service.

    Anyway, thanks for the comment.
    Charles

  10. Brian,
    I agree completely, both about the loss of focus and also about the great preaching. Through all my criticism, it’s worth remembering that Spurgeon pastored a mega church. It’s also worth remembering though that Spurgeon was primarily an evangelist and in many ways, his church functioned as a platform for his public preaching (I believe at some point, so many people tried to attend his sermons that tickets – free, of course – were issued and required for admittance to each service.

    Anyway, thanks for the comment.
    Charles

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