More Thoughts on “Megachurch”

I just finished Scott Thumma and Dave Travis’ Beyond Megachurch Myths.  I posted several days ago about some initial observations and thoughts I had and won’t rehash anything I said (well, hopefully).

What I Liked About the Book

  • Fair and balanced.  Unlike FOX, Thumma and Travis actually live up to the expections I had after reading the introduction.  They don’t take sides and constantly point to the numbers.  Yes, crybabies who still want to nickpick will question how the surveys were taken but numbers are numbers.
  • Practicality.  Is that a word?  Hope so.  I appreciated the “Applying What You Have Read” and the chapter-ending questions.  It is so easy to read a book like this and gloss over all of the key information it provides but the authors  helped me ask questions about the kind of church I am a part of and the kind of church I’d want to lead.
  • Realistic assessments.  Let’s be real: there is nothing perfect about any church irrespective of its size.  The authors don’t paints megachurch pastors as heroes anymore than they paint pastors of small churches as disgruntled weasels.  There are no bad guys or gals here.  This approach undergirds the kingdom agenda that every pastor must have if he or she is going to influence and impact their communities with Jesus Christ.  The body of Christ has but one adversary, the devil, and we need not forget that.

Questions the Book Raises for Me

  1. Are some worship “experiences” overproduced? (see p. 149)
  2. How has television and the internet impacted the perception that some inexperienced younger pastors longing for the “numbers” have to wrestle with?
  3. As an African-American woman, what are the implications for ethnic megachurches?

Personal Implications for Future Ministry

  • I am committed to training and sending God-called pastors to plant and pastor churches.
  • I am NOT committed to becoming somebody’s sanctified clergy idol.  Pastors, understand that God has not called you to create a circle of yes-people who build up your ego.  Large numbers in the pew won’t mend a broken heart.
  • I would like to see a roundtable discussion/panel with a mix of pastors and leaders from different church models (megachurch, small church, house church, cell church, etc.)

I hope my comments made sense for anyone who reads them, lol.

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