The other day I ran into an acquaintance – who was also in Christ, a “brother.” During the course of our conversation, this man begin to recite propaganda on the latest giga-churches he knew about. (For clarification, megachurch refers to congregations with an average of 2,000 or more worshipers every weekend, gigachurch refers to those with 10,000 or more . . . I just learned that too). This person seemed to have honest and sincere admiration for these incredible minsters, as he recited conversion rates and attendance numbers like they were passing yards and interceptions.
I do not have issue with this particular man, but I do have issue with the growing fascination Christians have with the “Christian pop culture.” We have created preachers who are “Christian Rock Stars.” Move over Michael W. Smith of the 90’s, this decade we have Andy Stanley and Rob Bell.
Yes, i believe that we should strive to be around excellence and learn from the best. However, there is a growing number of Christians that are so enamored with church-growth that they evaluate their own church family only by small criteria – mass and flash. In order to fulfill an inner need for earthly significance, these Christians align themselves with a church to make themselves feel significant, not because of Spirit leadership. It reminds me of the kid who ran out and bought a Chicago Cubs hat when they were the best baseball team in August, but replace it with a Dodgers cap as soon as the Cubs were swept by them in the playoffs (if you didnt’ get that, don’t bother to read that line twice). Christians are bragging more about “their church” more than “their God.”
Now, I actually want to hear great stories about what our mega-churches and giga-churches are doing. To be completely honest, I want to pastor one of those churches (along as it is CIL). But at the same time we brag on our largest churches, let us appreciate and respect the simple pastor who for years has prepared the Scripture, counseled the misdirected, sat with families during surgeries and endured unfair expectations. Our pastors in rural areas, inner-cities and foreign countries deserve more respect than those of us who can put on a polished service for the suburban-elite in the Bible-belt. Have you ever noticed that most of our booming churches are in the South, and in rich, affluent areas? Coincidence? I am so happy for the growth of these churches, and I want The Church at Indian Lake to experience that same type of success. But let us succeed with humility, and with great appreciate for our fellow churches who are laboring in difficult fields.