Friday, August 12, 2005

Hooray for full churches? Or not...

Here is an article that is both provocative, and challenging. What if our churches are empty, but full? Hmmmm.
"In Europe, mass religious apostasy left its churches people-free, but the American megachurch could bring this irony: We, unlike the Europeans, have people in our big, empty churches."

The challenge of "empty churches"—even those that are packed with people—deserves attention.

Part of the problem is what sociologist and megachurch pastor Leith Anderson calls "generic Christianity." He points out that today, one can go into a church (especially a megachurch) of nearly any denomination—Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Wesleyan, Lutheran—and be unable to notice any difference among them. They all are likely to use the same praise songs and contemporary worship style. The sermons will tend to be about practical biblical tips for successful living, and go light on doctrine and sin. Also, all of these different denominations tend to use Sunday-school curriculum and other material from the same nondenominational publishers. These companies purposefully avoid all controversial issues and doctrinal distinctives, which would limit their market share.


At 2:39 PM, Anonymous micah said...

the big buildings, big budgets, big screens, big sound, are a big distraction from God's word. Isn't the message of the Gospel enough to attract those that that are looking for Him? I was thinking about this as I rode by the NAMB office in Alparetta, GA last week. It is built on prime real estate in one of the hottest real estate markets in the country. I think I would have felt better if it was located in a double wide in South Georgia.

At 6:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I agree wholeheartly!How my soul cries out for the untainted unwatered down truth to be proclaimed in America!

At 8:44 AM, Blogger Thinking in Ohio said...

My wife and I were recently on vacation in Easter PA, so we thought we'd experience something new in Sunday worship by attending a Mennonitte service. Surprise! The worship was contemporary, the pastor was Pentacostal and the congregation looked identical to any other evangelical church. I even asked a couple of the board members--What distinguishes the Mennonitte church from other congregations. "Old forgotten traditions" was the answer one them gave me. Of course, our holiness churches have followed the same path too, what can we say. Only our doctrines distinguish our churches. Good or Bad? I don't know--but it certainly is boring.

At 7:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My last response on Matt's site. Things can be seen in a dismal light or perspective, but what does that accomplish. I agree changes need to be made. I learned Asbury to have a more positive perspective at the feet of Dr. David Seamands, who I still respect because he admitted his sin. Have we????? Have you Matt???


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