Well, I should say the issue I 'HAD' with mega-churches... because I'm in the process of building a bridge so I can get over it.
Whether you're a christian or not, eventually you will hear the term 'mega-church' ...I know many have different reasons for cringing at this term, but MY biggest issue has always been:
"How can they have the money to afford that huge building, with all the bells & whistles included, when there are so many homeless & starving in this world?"
** My new take on my 1st issue is that God is their judge, not me. I don't know how they work their money. I don't know what percentage is sent out or what percentage stays in. I have absolutely no idea what it takes to attract that kind of a crowd and get them coming back week after week... and I have no idea if the reason for their growth is godly or not apart from what I DO know, which is that GOD knows the hearts of the leaders and His Word says that they will be known by their 'fruit' (which is in direct reference to false prophets). Every good tree bears good fruit and every bad tree bears bad fruit. Just something to consider... (Matthew 7:15-17)
I have also heard (in defense of majestically built/expensive-looking churches) that God is worth the honor of beautiful places of worship... which at first bothered me, but then I got to thinking about the woman who poured the expensive bottle of perfume onto Jesus' feet... people were shocked and horrified and said she had wasted over a year's worth of wages and they could've sold it and used the money to help the poor, but Jesus knew her heart & silenced them saying you will always have the poor, but you will not always have Me. (Mark 14:3-9)
Now I know He was literally walking the earth at that time and that He perceived this act as her preparing for His burial soon, but it was just something that came to my mind while writing this that I think we should consider... He is with us all through the Holy Spirit today...
After attending some crazy-large church services, I discovered my 2nd 'issue' with mega-churches:
"It must be impossible to have a sense of community in a church with so many people! You'd get lost in the crowd and never get to know people!"
** Now, for some reason the obvious answer to this issue eluded me at the time but I now know that most large congregations are offered the option to be a part of 'small-groups' which generally meet on a weekly or at least monthly basis to get to know each other within a smaller group of people from their church. Many times they'll group people together in a way that makes it more likely for them to find something in common with the others in attendance. like putting older women together or young couples or something like that...
I often think about what Jesus' ministry may have looked like as He traveled the land wearing humble clothing & worn-out sandals, eating whatever was offered by whoever hosted Him, sharing about His Father constantly & always being prepared for the opportunity to teach or heal or bless or drive out demons... I'm sure it was very different from our version of what 'church' is, regardless of the size. Our 'ideal' is always Jesus, and we ALL fall short.
It's SO easy to judge...
It is so much easier to judge what others may or may not be doing right than to ask God how WE can make changes to OUR OWN lives.
It is so much easier to look for things that build me up or give to me personally than to look for ways I can serve others...
It is so much easier to condemn others for their wealth & supposed lack of giving than notice the closet full of clothes or countless trinkets lying around my own home... 'stealing' from those in need.
Ever heard that verse about pointing out the speck of sawdust in your neighbor's eye while there's an entire PLANK in your own??? (Matthew 7:3)
Only those without sin should throw stones at others for theirs. (John 8:7)
It's so easy to judge...
I would like to challenge you (as well as myself) to, instead of thinking the worst about a person or situation or ministry, just put your 'God-goggles' on for His holy perspective & respond to others with love. Pray often & ask Him for guidance if you feel you need to confront anyone that's being led astray.
Do what's possible (minus the grumbling) & God will take care of what's IMpossible <3
(Jesus taught thousands)
(Looks a little different, but that many Jesus-followers
under one roof? Incredible...)
"Lord help us keep Your perspective on everything happening around us & what part we might play in making changes to ourselves, others, & the world. Perhaps just as important, let us know when the action we must take is to simply keep silent. In Your name... amen."