We now have a budding mega church in our town and it is all the buzz. Fills the seats of a very large auditorium and sends video of the services to several other large mega branches of the church. The basis of the church appears to be a fundamental approach to Christianity where you are free to discern for yourself the meaning of the Bible as long as you believe these “fundamental” concepts. The services are major productions with mini plays, dynamic in-your-face sermons and lots and lots of music (a lot of it good I might add). The ministers of the this church are doing major evangelical pushes in the area and it is working! They have wooed away many Catholics in the area. Is this happening in your area? How do we combat this new style of feel-goodism? What are your thoughts about this approach? Is this type of worship what Jesus intended? :shrug:
FYI, what you speak of is private interpretation. While it is a common tenant of many protestant groups, it is not the sole defining characteristic of fundamentalism. Most mega churches are moving away from being true fundamentalist churches and into more of a happy-clappy, I’m okay-you’re okay song and dance review. Catholicism is looking more and more “fundamentalist” by the day. That is, if you truly define it as the faith of the first Christians. Sadly, these same “mega church fundamentalists” are the ones who proudly tell us that it took Luther and Calvin, 1,500 years after the fact, to explain what Jesus really meant.
I mean, really…the megachurch my brother attends in the Peoria area has a coffee bar! Why not just add a Borders? I say, don’t do anything except be a faithful, humble Catholic. Worship is about God, not man. If you have a Catholic friend who’s thinking of leaving for one of these churches, remind them of this. Give them a tract or book. I just loaned out “Catholicism for Dummies” and the “US Catholic Catechism for Adults” to a friend of mine contemplating leaving the Church for Max Lucado’s church in San Antonio.
Coffee bar? is that all? there is one close to me that has 4 different restaurants INSIDE the Church! Take your pick of fast food, buffet, chinese, mexican all there folks! Its got a bookstore upstairs and that bookstore is BIGGER than the bookstore in the strip mall here!!!
Traffic cops direct cars since its a bumper to bumper and you cant believe how big the parking lots are yes LOTS. Its got a lake too! A man made lake for yearly dunking baptisms, although they do baptisms year round, its the BIG EVENT and covered in the papers each year.
I could not worship there. I could not even attempt it.
I think this style of worship is becoming more and more popular throughout Protestant denominations. The local Methodist Church has a “bridge” service which is a mini version of what they do at the mega church. Several of the larger Baptist churches also have this type of ministry with the “traditional” services becoming more the exception than the rule. Worship leader is the new title for ministers in this type of service whose role it is to essentially “MC” the event. To me it is a way of feel-goodism that runs counter to genuine worship.
When you go to a service because it is what ‘you like’ you are no longer worshiping god… Not because of what is taught in that particuar church, catholic or other wise, but because the focus is no longer on God, but on You. You make God serve you
It’s more than just worship styles. When we go to a service because ‘thats the type that talks to me’ we are putting our own wants and desires ahead of God. Many of the services i’ve seen are 90% singing 5% announcements, and a 15 minute sermon on john 3:16
It’s not about the service style, or being entertained, its about serving God, not your own personal wants and needs…
A local ‘mini’ mega church has billboards all over town… "Bored with Church?"
When did our being entertained become a crucial point to worship
I got into a sort-of mega-church because a) there were a lot of very kind people there who helped me in a crisis,
b) the outreach was what I was looking for: they stood outdoors preaching the Gospel to passersby and being pretty successful at rousing interest,
c) Large congregation means the pick of a lot of people for choir and other jobs, so the quality was pretty high, and
d) I want to serve God and a program with a lot of people and some cash can help me find a way to do so.
I started to be disappointed because a) I don’t find prosperity doctrine in my Bible,
b) Anti-intellectual culture upsets me; knowing what we’re talking about and being able to prove it is a good thing, everyone; we have a left brain for a good reason,
c) I don’t always feel like jumping and dancing when I want to worship. Sometimes to me worship must take a quiet and peaceful, even meek form,
d) It was hard to tell who had what authority and why, and who had the power to grant that authority, and
e) other miscellaneous things made it seem as if God might want me somewhere else.
I went to our local Mega Church last Saturday for a fundraiser…anyway…I really got to thinking…where is the cross? I mean, I knew that there wouldn’t be a crucifix. I didn’t see one…we were in the eating area (Yep, they have a serving line area for breakfast on Sunday mornings)
Later on in the week I was talking to someone that I go to church with and she said "The only cross I found was in the Santuary and it was small, I asked “where’s Jesus?”
I was wearing more crosses then there was in that church. She laughed. And then, of course we asked God to forgive us for saying that…but…
Nothing like this immediately around me–although we do have a VERY large Methodist church right up the street. Where my in-laws live, about an hour away, they have 2 HUGE non-denominational churches on the same street–and in between their huge ‘complexes’ is another large worship space–the local Muslim center! It’s quite a sight–basically 3 city bocks of church buildings in the middle of a semi-rural area!
Yes, the bad thing about many, if not most, Evangelical churches these days is that the pastor can take them in any doctrinal direction he feels like. As long as it doesn’t affect the singing and dancing and “Amens.”
Find two other faithful Catholics, go to confession, pray the rosary together, and recieve communion worthily.
Pray, pray, pray. Jesus wants to meet them in the Eucharist. Your prayers don’t just float off into the air and disappear like smoke. Pray. They will be heard, they will be answered.
All the angels and saints are attendant at the Eucharist. There are NO empty Churches at Mass. They may look empty. But that is an illusion. At daily Mass - which is fairly well attended where I go, I know that the pew between me and the next guy are full. I always ask St. Joseph St. Gianna Beretta Molla and Bl Theodore Romzha, Bl. Margaret Castillo and Bl. Kateri Tekawitha to come sit next to me. And there they are.
EVERY Catholic Mass is a mega-church event.
I repeat, EVERY Catholic Mass is a mega-church event. If we could see the supernatural mystery of it, we would die of ecstasy right there.
Megachurches apply the principles of American capitalism to religion; from the sounds of it, this is basically a sort of ‘shopping centre’ for Christian religion, where you (the consumer of religion) consume the ‘product’ offered cheaply, quickly and effectively by the ‘mega-super church store.’ Alister McGrath wrote this was the ‘McDonalds Model’ of Christian evangelisation.
Of course if one looks at the history of Christianity and religion in the U.S., the entrepreneurial model has been used by most religions there in various forms (it has also been used recently in Buddhist and Hindu evangelisation) so it is just another case of society influencing religion and religious practice, which is nothing new.