Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Take on Mega-Churches

Out of respect for my friends who have a conviction against listening to contemporary music, I've decided not to link to the actual song, but I did want to post the words here. As someone who briefly attended a mega-church at a satellite location, I can totally relate to these lyrics.

Disclaimer: I realize that not everyone goes to a mega-church/satellite church for the reasons that I am listing below. I also realize that some (most?) mega-churches encourage, and even urge, their attendees/members to be involved in small groups during the week. And lastly, there is a well-known pastor whose teaching I respect and appreciate (James MacDonald of Walk in the Word) whose mega-church has satellite locations. However, none of this changes my view of mega-churches.

I began attending a satellite church when my small (now former) church had something devastating happen to us. I needed to be able to attend a church temporarily while trying to figure out whether to stay at or leave my small, broken church. I needed to be able to attend a church semi-anonymously during that time, due to the fact that I could not speak about what had happened without sobbing, and so I knew that visiting a smaller church would just not work. The satellite church fit the bill. Unfortunately, I attended it with someone who ended up LOVING the whole anonymous aspect of attending there. I have seen first hand how easy it is to "do church" rather than "be the church".

Want to attend church anonymously, where no one will know if you're attending faithfully or not? Want to sit in comfortable movie-theater seats, drink flavored coffee, and be entertained while you "get your sermon" for the week? Want to go to church to get something out of it, while giving nothing? A mega-church is for you!

"Happy" by Ross King
Fourteen thousand members and me,
Watch the preacher up on the screen,
I have never shaken his hand,
My two-dimensional pastor-man,
Welcome to America.

Doesn’t matter if I am here,
In this crowd I could disappear,
Pastor-man is all that we need,
Preachin via satellite feed.

I can watch it all from my pew,
Til the presentation is through.
You will have to pardon me,
But this cannot be all there is,
I can’t imagine God would be,
Happy about this.

Smiling people up on the stage,
Everyone prefers it that way.
Smiling people out in the crowd,
No questioning or doubting allowed,
This is our America.

Where everyone is pretty and clean;
Where everything’s rehearsed and routine.
You will have to pardon me,
But this cannot be all there is.
I can’t imagine God would be
Happy about this.

What if Jesus disagrees
With how you measure your success?
Would you find a way to still believe
He’s happy about this?
What if he’s not happy about this?

The church is now the body of Christ,
And every part is equally prized.
The eye can never say to the hand:
All we need is this preacher-man.

Would you notice if I was gone?
How easy would it be to move on?
You will have to pardon me,
But this cannot be all there is.
I can’t imagine God would be
Happy about this.

Cause crowds don’t necessarily
Mean that God is truly blessed.
I think there is a chance that he’s
Not happy about this.
What if he’s not happy about this?
What if he’s not happy about this?

2 comments:

BRIDGET said...

Having gone to a mega church briefly (my hubby called it a circus :-) I agree with you. I would never have been missed nor would anyone have held me accountable if I missed church or checked up on me to make sure everything was ok. So very thankful for a pastor who truly knows his flock and genuinely loves us.

Vikki said...

Amen, sista! :)