Answering Your Letters

Shortly after the previous post, this arrived:

Dear Jim,

First, let me thank you for your blog. I love it. I do have a question. What is your definition of a mega church?

Thank You,
Duane

Hi Duane,

That’s actually an easy question to answer- a mega-church is any church which is so large that the Pastor doesn’t know the names of every person who regularly attends.  Such Pastors aren’t truly pastors – they are merely functionaries, public speakers.  Pastors know their flock just as shepherds know their sheep.  It is no accident at all that the early Church seized on the analogy of the Pastor as shepherd.

For that reason a church which is so big that the Pastor can’t or doesn’t know those who come is no longer a Church as such but a group, an ‘audience’, nothing more.

With all best wishes,

Jim

7 responses to “Answering Your Letters

  1. Pingback: WEST defines a Mega Church finally! « A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®

  2. What would we call a shepherd who watches over such a large flock of sheep that he doesn’t know them individually? Most large chuches (megachurches) that I’ve been to have numerous pastors and other leaders to “delegate the task of watching the flock”, so to speak. Kind of like a large group of sheep being watched over by multiple shepherds.

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    • shepherds don’t watch over flocks they can’t manage. those sheep are placed in another flock. look, let’s face it, larger churches are more about egos than christianity. why must large churches have multiple ‘campuses’ (i loath that terminology)? what theological justification is there for it? why don’t these large churches plant churches in other areas, other neighborhoods. why, in short, don’t they divide and multiply rather than simply just add.

      go to your church board and ask them- ‘hey, why, instead of collecting all of these resources and people, don’t we send half the members to small house church plants and let them begin new work in new areas where they live’. see what excuses they make for not.

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      • Our church has actually planted 5-6 smaller churches in the surrounding area, just in the last few years…yet our congregation continues to grow as people are drawn to what they see happening here. What theological justification do we have for turning them away?

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        • i’m glad you asked- Mark 5- 18 And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. 19 However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.” 20 And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled. (Mar 5:18-20 NKJ)

          tell them that if they’ve passed 15 churches on the way to yours or 20 miles, and really want to work for the kingdom, find a church in their own neighborhood and work there.

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  3. I guess you could make a case for that viewpoint if the prospective church member is *already* a believer, as that man was. What about those who come out of a curiosity about Christianity? Jesus frequently spoke to crowds of thousands of people. He didn’t send people away when the numbers became too large, or when it became impossible for his disciples to know everyone on a first-name basis. Shouldn’t our goal be to reach as many people as possible? On what grounds can we say that a church becomes illegitimate once it reaches X number of members?

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    • how large a church is before it becomes too large is based purely on the capacities and capabilities of the pastor to minister to those in his charge. as to the lost who come looking- they should be welcomed- and then urged to worship locally if they are really interested in worship.

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