Why the Mega-Church Model Isn’t Working

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Bert Perry's picture

I think Olson misses the key issue here.  He's correct that there can be a lack of accountability, but it strikes me that this lack of accountability primarily comes from a view of discipleship which is more or less the same thing as those big lecture hall classes that freshmen at big universities despise for a good reason; they are about the worst way of passing on knowledge short of video classes.  You need small group or 1:1 interaction to really teach and enable the back & forth that engages minds and hearts.

And if you get that going, you have that accountability Olson desires.  The question regarding megachurches is whether they can generate that interaction on a consistent basis--and that is (as Larry would no doubt say if I didn't, ha!) of course the exact same question facing small churches.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Larry Nelson's picture

As a member of a large church and moreover as a regular, long-term volunteer in multiple roles of service, I am wondering at what "mega-churches" I would "never be asked to do anything."  (I can't picture such a situation---it sounds absurd).

Large churches have a need for volunteers in every area that smaller churches do, and in all probability more.  Plus, the numeric need is proportional to the size of a church.  For example, when I ushered at a small church for many years, the usher roster consisted of (drumroll).......me.  Now, at a large church with 1,700 seats and multiple service times, perhaps 100 ushers are on the roster & serve regularly (to greet & hand out bulletins, assist with seating, collect the offering, etc.).   Such a proportional need exists in every area of volunteer service that churches have, including teachers, nursery workers, greeters.......and on-and-on.

This weekend, we're having a ministry fair to recruit volunteers to help fill needed, open volunteer roles.  With an ongoing need to fill volunteer positions in a growing church, I doubt anyone would ever be able to say they are "never asked to do anything."  With an "every member in ministry" expectation, that would simply never happen at my church.   

ADDENDUM: I see Bert addressed the accountability aspect, something that large churches can readily achieve via ABF's, small groups, men's & women's groups, ministry groups, Bible studies, etc., etc.----all of which are in abundance at my church (for example).