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Discussion Forum : General Topics : megachurches

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moreofHim
Member



Joined: 2003/10/15
Posts: 1632


 megachurches

I was heart broken to read about these types of Churches and the message they are sending out.


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Welcome to the megabusiness of megachurches, where pastors often act as chief executives and use business tactics to grow their congregations. This entrepreneurial approach has contributed to the explosive growth of megachurches--defined as non-Catholic churches with at least 2,000 members--



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Helping churches grow is a business in itself. There is even a publicly traded company, Kingdom Ventures (otc: KDMV - news - people ), whose sole mission is to help faith-based organizations get bigger



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If that doesn't help, they may steer folks to a new book they are about to publish: PastorPreneur, which is hitting Christian book stores this month. The book teaches pastors to think like entrepreneurs; for instance, encouraging them to set up strategic partnerships with nonchurch groups and to use event marketing to draw in new members.



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For a lesson in marketing, religious leaders would do well to study the success of Bill Hybels and his Great Barrington, Ill.-based Willow Creek Community Church. In 1975, he and members of his student ministry went door to door asking residents what kept them away from church. Hybels then crafted his services to address their concerns, becoming one of the first pastors to use video, drama and contemporary music in church and encouraging a more casual dress code. "Hybels really showed that churches can use marketing principles and still be authentic," says Michael Emerson, a Rice University sociology professor who has studied megachurches. Willow Creek, which has a staff of 500 full and part-time employees, is renowned for its conferences and seminars that teach other churches how to market themselves as well as for its "buzz" events, featuring well-known personalities such as country singer Randy Travis, NASCAR Champion owner and former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs and Lisa Beamer, widow of Sept. 11, 2001, hero Todd Beamer--all intended to attract nonchurch goers.



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As for the services themselves, Lakewood makes sure to put on a grand show. It has a 12-piece stage band, a lighting designer to set the mood and three large projection screens. The technology will be even more spectacular when it moves into its new home in the former Houston Rockets' stadium "We really want it to feel like a concert," says Duncan Dodds, Lakewood's executive director. Something is working: Church attendance has grown from 6,000 in 1999 when Osteen became pastor to 25,060 today.



The main theme of one of these mentioned megachurches is "Find the champion in you" and "you were born to win". It is exactly like going to a motivational speaker, reading Zig Ziglar or Tony Robbins- except God is thrown in there too.

I am alarmed at how deceiving this all is. It sounds so good and looks so good. This is what makes it so greiving. Thousands of people flocking to hear what's good about themselves and how to be a winner- what about repentance, what about the sovereignty of God?

I can only pray that the Lord will allow good seeds to be planted in non believers at these places and then will continue to grow them somewhere else.

Look at these numbers:

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Church Attendance* City, State Pastor Lakewood Church 25,060 Houston, Tex. Joel Osteen World Changers 23,093 College Park, Ga. Rev. Creflo Dollar Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa 20,000 Santa Ana, Calif. Pastor Chuck Smith The Potter's House 18,500 Dallas, Tex. Bishop T.D. Jakes Second Baptist Church 18,000 Houston, Tex. Dr. H. Edwin Young Southeast Christian Church 17,863 Louisville, Ky. Bob Russell First Assembly of God 17,532 Phoenix, Ariz. Dr. Tommy J. Barnett Willow Creek Community Church 17,115 S. Barrington, Ill. Bill Hybels Calvary Chapel of Ft. Lauderdale 17,000 Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Pastor Bob Coy Saddleback Valley Community Church 15,030 Lake Forest, Calif. Dr. Rick Warren


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Chanin

 2004/1/11 10:26Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: megachurches

Quote:
As for the services themselves, Lakewood makes sure to put on a grand show. It has a 12-piece stage band, a lighting designer to set the mood and three large projection screens. The technology will be even more spectacular when it moves into its new home in the former Houston Rockets' stadium "We really want it to feel like a concert," says Duncan Dodds, Lakewood's executive director. Something is working: Church attendance has grown from 6,000 in 1999 when Osteen became pastor to 25,060 today.



Happened across the grand opening of this a couple of weeks back (on t.v)...How do I put this?
One of us was rejoicing and one of us just died inside.
Please pray for eye's to be opened.


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Mike Balog

 2004/1/11 10:51Profile
InTheLight
Member



Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2730
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re: megachurches

So much of the world in the church today. It makes me very sad, I can only imagine how much it grieves the Lord. Lord please rebuild the walls, for your name's sake.

Be careful though about lumping all churches into this group just because they are big; for example, Times Square Church would fit into this mega-church catagory.

We need to seek Gods heart for His church in America. There is so much of this "purpose driven" stuff in our churches. Indeed, we should seek to know Gods purpose for His church but what is forgotten by so many is that the purpose can only be reached when we act in accordance with Gods plan and in His will, not mans.

In Christ,

Ron


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Ron Halverson

 2004/1/11 11:00Profile
sermonindex
Moderator



Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37044
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

Online!
 Re:

Quote:
Be careful though about lumping all churches into this group just because they are big; for example, Times Square Church would fit into this mega-church catagory.


Yes also Jim Cymbala's Church, The Brooklyn Tabernacle, which I visited and the Holy Spirit blessed me tremoundsly. What a great experience!

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we should seek to know Gods purpose for His church


Yes, He wants us to come to Him, Himself, do we come to church to meet with God and experience Him and worship Him, or do we come to just talk about Him.

Also on the MegaChurch topic, its quality not quantity, 1 cor 3 is a great model for this.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/1/11 17:19Profile
moreofHim
Member



Joined: 2003/10/15
Posts: 1632


 Re:

I really shouldn't have called this thread "megachurches" because numbers do not matter. It is the message that some churches are sending out, that I'm worried about. It just happens to be that many of the mega churches preach this feel-good gospel.

I know Wilkerson's church does not preach a false gospel, and a few similar.

I was very grieved when I went on to Lakewood's site and saw "Find the champion in you". I felt like saying "Look Up, There's the CHAMPION!"

It is very hard to not to feel defeated when you see how wide spread this type of "Me, me, me" gospel is. It was very obvious by much of what I saw that we are supposed to give- to get. Give so you can get blessed, give so you can have peace, give so you can get your healing.

I'm sure i will get over this short bit of a downer. I just need to hand it over to the Lord. I can't do anything about it by myself.

I thank God for the believers on this site and a few others I know who know the Truth. Thank goodness for Canada! I say this because I have another dear friend who has been my encourager, support and friend since the summer and she is from canada too! :-D Hi Lois!

In his perfect love, Chanin


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Chanin

 2004/1/11 21:01Profile





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