Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Expression of the Body

Eugene Cho offers some encouraging thoughts on megachurches (churches with 2000 people in attendance on a weekly basis) in this enlightening post:

I really don’t have an issue with megachurches themselves per se. In some ways, it’s pretty amazing how so many people are able to gather in one space – to hopefully – takes steps deeper in the larger mission of both that church and the larger Missio Dei. If people are coming and growing in Christ, I’m encouraged and supportive.

While people may have various issues with megachurches, I think it’s best to simply see them for what they are: another expression of the body of Christ.

And while people have their opinions on them, one thing we should all acknowledge is that each and every single person is a consumer on some level.  Every one of us.  And the folks that deny that apparently struggle with lying.

I remember Craig Groeschel speaking to this at Catalyst West. He said (and I paraphrase), to "stop calling Lifechurch.tv a megachurch when there are millions of people around the world who still do not know Christ. We're not a megachurch. We're a church with a mega-vision." Bigger isn't necessarily better. Nor is smaller. People coming together follow Jesus in community and engaging in the mission of God trumps comparing church sizes. The megachurch, the home church, the multi-site church, the medium-sized traditional church, etc.; they are all another expression of the Body. A better question is, are they a truthful and beautiful expression of the Body of Christ?

This also applies to youth ministry. It's easy to get into the comparison game, asking "how big is your youth group?" or "how many volunteers do you have?" or "how big is your budget?" Perhaps the better questions are "how has your youth group matured in their faith this past school year?" or "how connected and unified is your volunteer team?" or "what are the best uses of a budget?" or "where do you see God at work in your own life as a leader?"

Maybe I'm thinking about all this because I'm preparing to lead a junior high summer camp of about 15 churches from all over Arizona. The churches are all shapes and sizes, from megachurches to tiny traditional churches and everything in between. Yet when we come together for camp, it's less about denominational differences or comparing sizes and more about junior highers growing closer to Jesus. I love talking with the leaders of each ministry; I love hearing their stories and learning from their experiences. We do something together that none of us could do alone; we create an environment where students can begin to experience glimpses of the kingdom of God. We each have different expressions of the Body, yet I believe that coming together for a week in June is one of the most beautiful expressions yet. We just want junior high students to know and experience Jesus.

No comments:

Post a Comment