Great Piece: The First Mega Church

1st_mega_church

Nope. I didn’t write it. But I wish I had. Because I say it all the time. And when you find someone else saying it, too, you start jumping up and down. So I’m very happy to make this post a simple link to Stephen Altrogge’s piece on the interweb.

  • Sam

    Yikes,

    This is a toughy, I am still stumped. Alas I shall continue!

    Endure to victory.

  • Seth

    lol Sam, I don’t think this one had anything to do with the ARG, of course I may be wrong though.

  • Sam

    I am quite sure it did lol. If you look close at what he says, I think you shall agree 🙂 Just trying to give ye a shoulder to stand on. For I am quite stumped! Unless what i have tried works…

    Thanks man 🙂
    Sam

  • Sam

    Darn Doc apt have me away from the cpu for quite awhile now. Farewell all!

  • Seth

    I don’t see what you mean, but whatev

  • Sam

    😛 That was a bit embarrassing, they knew nothing.

  • Neato post CH. I hadn’t thought of it that way lol. But yeah, I do suppose it’s true. Cool! lol

  • I have to say, I do not think there need be any sacrifice as to the size of the Church. I do not think we need to lose that “campfire feeling.”
    I do house church. We meet in homes of believers. We have a closeness felt through Christ. When and if our group grows too large to meet in one place, we will branch into smaller, local groups, still keeping contact with each other, of course.
    I do not mean to imply that house church is right for everyone, just saying that my solution to the lack of intimacy is smaller groups.
    One last note; the author of the post talked about how the Church is growing. He failed to mention how many people are leaving the Church because it is not addressing their personal needs. The only way you can help someone is if you actually know what they need, and you cannot know their needs just sitting beside them in the pew each week.

    • Storyteller: Thanks for your comments. I think the point he was making about sacrifice is not the method of church (as he sounds as much of a proponent of cell ministry as you are–house church or small group), but in the sacrifice of the individual to help accommodate growth. For example, in your structure, let’s say 1,000 new Believers are added to your house church tomorrow. As you said, more house churches would be started. By whom? Presumably, if you are of age, you would be enthusiastic about training up leaders and multiplying the Body of Believers. But your sacrifice is that your house church wouldn’t look the same, as the people you used to be fellowshiping with are no longer in your group. Granted, the semantics might be over the fact that you’re not of age to lead one, or you have others designated to run new home churches, but the fact remains somewhere, someone will being doing something new, and this “small thing” is the sacrifice. Change always equals sacrifice. And in the church world, breaking old or comfortable patterns is uncomfortable.

      As for people leaving the church over needs being met, I do not think he was posting to compare those leaving verses not leaving. If he was, the growth rate of Christianity and church size world-wide is staggeringly exciting! Like you, I believe that the needs of the individual are addressed on a local level, but met on a corporate one: strength of resources in numbers.

      • Ah, I see. My apologies for misunderstanding, Sir Hopper.
        I agree that when people wish to do things differently than we would, we must show grace toward each other, and that often requires a sacrifice on someone’s part.
        Thank you for clarifying.

  • Sam

    Hey Ch,

    Am I right in thinking this last part is something we find then give to you? I am thinking perhaps I have,
    WABELBFA
    WYWOEFGS
    Thanks in hopes tis over 😀
    Sam

  • Jason Clement

    let the numbers talk…

    Big Church (1000+) vs. Small Church (1-100) Faith

    * The Bible is totally accurate in all the principles it teaches.
    75% big church
    60% small church
    * I have personal responsibility to tell others my beliefs.
    61% big church
    41% small church
    * My religious faith is very important in my life.
    90% big church
    82% small church
    * Satan/devil is a living being not just a symbol of evil.
    51% big church
    30% small church
    * A good person cannot earn a place in Heaven.
    55% big church
    33% small church
    * On earth Jesus Christ did not commit sins, like other people.
    74% big church
    49% small church
    * God is the omnipotent, omniscient creator who rules all.
    90% big church
    81% small church

    some of these numbers are puzzling regardless of the size of the church…

    Check out more here…
    http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/12-faithspirituality/289-how-faith-varies-by-church-size

    • Thanks for the stats. Barna (who is actually a dude, come to find out!), does good research. Surprising, actually, as you’d think “smaller” would breed more foundational theology.

  • Sam

    Jason,

    I believe the survey to be inaccurate, but besides that. These numbers would differ widely from state to state. Say, Florida and the bible belt, or all the liberals in Oregon.

    • Sam: Barna is usually known for being very accurate. As far as state to state, if there is any state discrepancy, my travels usually find that people “raised” in a Christian culture, especially the south, often lack the foundational beliefs that their predecessors had.

  • Sam

    Aye I shall take your word for Barna,

    I have been to many churches, and it does not mesh with my knowledge. Yet*smiles* I am not all knowing so I shall believe ye. One thing though I disagree on, is the state differences. Tis what I think to be commonsense that a more liberal state would give more “liberal” answers to the polls. But, I shall keep me mouth shut :|.:)

    What about me post with the letters??

    Thanks
    Sam

    • But remember Sam, a more liberal state may have a converse affect on a Christian church. For instances, I live in NY State, one of THE most liberal states in the nation, as well as one of the highest taxed, rivaled by MA and CA. Secondly, we are a northern State…far from the Bible belt region. Yet our churches are FILLED with extremely conservative, doctrinally sound believers BECAUSE of the fact that our surroundings are so leftist. The socially adverse conditions of our environments MAKE US hold to core concepts, much like anti-Christian nations breed strong Believers. In contrast, I pastor many people, specifically from southern states, whose family has been in the church “for generations,” and yet they are finally making core decisions themselves as twenty-somethings. Granted, this is not intended to be a sweeping generalization, just what I have personally perceived on my many trips abroad.