Friday, June 26, 2009

more churches, not bigger churches

Kinda choppy, but here goes:
Mega churches? Good or bad? 'Depends!' Really?
The importance of being connected to a local church, is the fulfilling of all that the scriptures point out in regards to our ministering to one another through the various giftings God has given us, it is a God ordained means of maturing His people. Yet for this to happen there needs to be intimacy, involvement, transparency, in otherwords there needs to be 'family-like' relationships being nurtured within the local church.
Of course as i have noted before there are not a lot of churches that seek or emphasize this, on the contrary they are very shallow and never intrude or facilitate real fellowship; they function more as community centers then Christ centered organisms.
Well one downfall of the mega church model (and yes I'm speaking of 'sound' churches) is that it's extremely easy to fall between the cracks. in otherwords a person who doesn't wish to ever be personally engaged will find a mega church VERY comfortable. If that were the only downfall, then that would be enough to avoid such a model.
There was an dialogue that I heard a while back in which at some point Piper and Dever arrived on the topic of revival. Well Piper spoke of being prepared for say 10000 people getting converted, Dever however pointed out that even in revival times such numbers were unheard of but more importantly Dever pointed out that rather then expect or desire 10000 people to be added to your church, you should wish that ALL the good churches in your area would be blessed with growth. Mark Dever wisely advised that the way you prepare for such a thing would be to disciple ministers who would be able to plant churches. AMEN!
A mega church or even worse satellite churches which function more like movie theaters (campuses where people watch a live video, rather than actual church plants with different pastors), is in my estimation a failure to recognize and shepherd godly ministers within your church.
Beyond that there is a REAL problem within a mega church when their super pastor dies and the 5000 thousand plus members can't imagine any one else 'filling' that mans' shoes.
The LACK of spiritual fathers is appalling, there are SOOOO many young guys WISHING they could get around older ministers who would pour themselves into them as Paul did to the elders he appointed.
Do you wish God to be glorified? Do you wish to be mightily used? Why? For the glory of God? Paul Washer says of his younger years that instead of praying Lord use me, he should have prayed Lord use that guy. Do you get it? I remember years and years ago when i was attending an Assemblies of God church and i would hear people speak of wanting the 'gift of healing' (to an extent very early on I wanted this too) yet for many there seemed to be a big problem. 'What could be wrong with such a good request?' Well I'm glad you asked, the problem was that these people weren't asking because of the person who needed healing and they weren't asking because they wanted to see God glorified, no they wanted to be the ONE who was used. Likewise in preaching I guess most go through this transition (i did), where you want revival right? Yet YOU want it to come through YOU, you pray in a sense 'Lord bring revival through my preaching' not 'Lord bring revival however you please and through whoever'.
Likewise do you want a mega church? Why? For souls, for discipleship, and for the glory of God? Yet why so much through you? Are you indispensable, is there something unique found in you that couldn't be passed on? Don't you desire with George Whitefield to have your name die with you and for people to only look upon Christ? Then share the blessing with others, search out qualified ministers and help them to grow in their callings and then send them out, don't just build bigger!
Another reason why I admire Voddie Baucham who's church is intentionally doing this, discipling and preparing ministers (i believe something of a 3 year plan) to be sent out, in the words of Bro. Voddie 'we are a church planting church plant' and this from a newer church.

2 comments:

Puritan

Amen. I'm not at all a fan of the mega-church. I think even the good ones are more akin to Wal-Mart than the Bible, and cause a lot more harm than good.

Like you say it's so easy for people to hide in those churches, and a little leaven leavens the whole lump.

It's impossible for Pastors to Shepherd and oversee the souls of people they don't know.

Julius Mickel

amen to that, a 'pastor' should not function as a 'guest speaker' but a touchable shepherd. We desperately need simplification which is simply the New Testament church model.

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