Now I admit, my title may be a little over the top, but I want to ask a serious question. Who’s idea is the megachurch? I admit the megachurch has done some great things, but is the price that we paid worth the work? I think I need to back up and start from the beginning of my train of thought, and then you can decide if I am off the track.
Where I live in Iowa, they have decided that it’s better to remove the community schools and build big monstrous schools and bus kids in. It looks like in a few years my kids will be bussed to one of these big schools. I am not crazy about the idea, and I am not sure why buying a fleet of buses, hiring drivers, doing maintenance and repairs, having insurance and the occasional law suit is cheaper than just having 3 small schools. Then again, no one asked me. The mega school just seems to be the latest fad in America that started with the one stop shop.
Maybe Walmart gets a bad rap, and maybe Walmart is also a tool of Satan, but one thing is clear, it’s put a lot of small businesses out of business. The Super Center is now the staple, you can find them everywhere. They have everything one family can need under one roof, and boast the lowest prices around. In exchange, we have “self-checkout” and customer service that is only rivaled by rabid wolves who haven’t eaten in weeks.
The community store is gone, having given way to the super store. The community school is gone, given way to the giant, bus driven school. The last great vestige of community is the church. If stores and schools go big, why not the church. After all, we have the technology, we can just video stream the preaching to the entire building, lets just set it up stadium style. Get some hawkers selling bread and wine and we can turn some profit.
Ok, perhaps that is a little over the top as well, but in all seriousness, here is my concern. The idea of neighborhood, of community is gone. We don’t know our neighbors anymore, we don’t know the name of the guy who runs the corner market or talk to our kids teacher or principal anymore. We live in a society that is full of anonymity, and we are suppose to share the gospel. We have made it so easy to hide that people today are lonely and hurting and don’t know how to connect. Part of the reason is, we have taken away the venues in which they connected.
I do understand there are solutions in the megachurch. Sunday School and Small Groups, but how many will slip through the cracks, how many will we miss in our churches of ten thousand? I would be interested in seeing the percentage of those who attend a megachurch to those involved in small group. I know Rick Warren has done a good job with small groups, but at what cost?
I don’t blame the megachurch pastor. I don’t blame the megachurch members. To be honest, I don’t even blame Satan. I blame you and me. We have created a country where we want it bigger, better and faster. We want the giant cooperation, many like the idea of big government, we shop at the big store and sent our kids to the big school. We have been taken with the idolatry of the American society, we have built a giant tower to make a name for ourselves. We are a consumer based, capitalist society, and we just got what we asked for. My concern now is, what will the cost be for this monster we have created?