Friday, January 11, 2008

Body Count Churches

This interesting post is from quoting James White from his book "Pulpit Crimes":

"Mega churches--they are the fastest growing churches in America. If you want to be on the cover of Time, visit with Larry King, and have the spotlight, you need members, baptisms, and a sanctuary the size of a shopping mall. These are the keys to being truly "successful" in the ministry, are they not? That is what we are told, for surely, size means God is blessing!

Besides, anyone who wants to be able to pay-off their student loans from seminary needs to keep "moving up the ladder" to be able to afford those payments. Of course, those who have been through the "mega church" experience can tell you that most churches that advertise 20,000 members can rarely find 7,000 who are regular in their attendance, and only half that number are regulars in Bible Study. And only a thousand are involved in any kind of meaningful fashion in actually doing something in the church. In some of the new breed of mega churches, they've done away with membership completely, and you get the feeling you are entering a big, wide-open theater with a Sunday (or Saturday night) performance going on, though you only see a few folks with any regularity at all. The idea that this is a cohesive body where things like holiness or church disciples are practiced is foreign to the entire project. This is mass entertainment, mass "evangelism".

What is the result of pressing for numbers, numbers, numbers? Can it be done without sacrificing the very heart of worship? What if God actually wanted a small church in a specific location? Could he find a man who could be filled with joy in pastoring such a group? What kinds of pulpit crimes have resulted from just trying to increase the numbers you send into your denominational headquarters at the end of the church year? How high can we get the body count?"


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