One of our interns from a few years ago somehow ended up on a mailing list for “Outreach” magazine. She has moved on, but the magazines keep coming. I suppose I should contact the publisher and put a stop to it all, but that requires me to be intentional. I’m not all that great at being intentional.
The target audience for this publication is the American Pastor. In addition to some interesting articles, it’s full of ads for Christian books, audio and video technology, and courses promising “Your socially-driven church management solution!” or “Double your Church Member’s Engagement!” While I have a tendency to snicker at the ads, I can imagine that some of these resources are truly a God-send to an overworked pastor who sincerely aspires to be a good shepherd.
So… the current issue just arrived. Picking it out of the mail stack, I read the cover: “100 Largest and Fastest-growing Churches in America: What Can We Learn From the Nation’s Top Churches?”
What do you think when you read that?
“Given our culture’s growing sensitivity to economic injustice, including among younger evangelicals, how would you respond to accusations of hypocrisy against megachurches with costly facilities?” That was the question Skye Jethani posed in his recent post, “Do Megachurches Hurt the Poor?” I started to write a reply which quickly grew into this response. If you haven’t already read his article, I strongly encourage you to do so now. As usual, he makes some very thought-provoking points.
As I’ve mentioned in the past, Pete and I go to a megachurch. Last I heard, our regular attendees number in the 10,000 range. Our “living room” (as our auditorium is affectionately called) is one of the largest venues in Colorado Springs, with full stage lighting, huge screens, and an elaborate sound system. While the basic building design was an economic one, it cost millions of dollars to build, and we’re still paying off a mountain of debt on it (incurred by our previous pastor).