MEGA-CHURCHES by M L Floyd

megachurch

“And He called the twelve to Himself, and bean to send them out two by two and gave them power over unclean spirits.” Mark 6:7

I have seen churches grow very big, greater than 500 members, I once thought it was wonderful that so many people were learning about Jesus. After becoming part of the leadership of one of these mega-churches serving as a Bible Teacher and leading a Helps Ministry I got to know more about the people associated with the church. One of the most disturbing things I discovered were people who had been a part of the church for more than a year and did not believe in heaven and hell. There were also incidents of individuals who had attended the church for months and were no closer to making Jesus Lord of their life as they were the first day. It is a sad testimony to Senior Pastors who take great pride in revealing the number of attendees they have on any given Sunday.

Today there are many ways a person can learn about God without attending a church. Because on any given day one can watch: Les Feldick, Andrew Wommack, or ______ (just to name a few television Bible study ministries)fellowship becomes a very important component in church attendance. What I noticed is the cliquish nature of Small Groups, people get to know the leader and the regular attendees a new person may be welcomed and still not feel like part of the group.

Communication is done via email, text messages and social media. It was a loosing battle for me to constantly remind leadership that not everyone utilizes technology AND it is important for someone to make sure the traditional senior members of the community were acknowledge in a way they can appreciate: telephone calls and home visits. Yes, some churches do this; an advantage of a smaller church is the Pastor takes it upon himself to personally visit contact the body whenever possible.

Pastors who believe a growing church is a sign that there needs to be a bigger building are under the assumption that they are the only ones who can share the gospel with the people. Assuming mega churches have on hand Children’s Pastor, a Young adult Pastor and other associate Pastors it is the Senior Pastor’s responsibility to shepherd the people. I believe it is better to have twenty churches with 100 members than to have one church with 2000, even ten churches with 200 members.

Jesus chose and trained twelve individuals to do what He did. Jesus is the Chief Shepherd and if the Son of God felt it necessary to have leaders go out and minister to people instead creating a centralized location then why are so many Church Leaders doing so? The first time Jesus sent the disciples out it was two by two then He gave them the command to go (Matthew 28:16-20)into the world as individuals.

I considered the book of Acts that mentions the “church” growing. When the Bible speaks of the church it is not referring to a building but the group of Believers.

“And I also say to you, that you are Peter, and on this Rock I will build My church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18 NKJV

Jesus said He would build His church a group of people. Today we refer to the building as a church and the people as Believers. Our focus should be on building Believers, a.k.a. the Church.

People in mega-churches are neglected. Many supporters of mega-churches suggest that people do not have their needs met because they do not speak up; this is true. Like sheep number 100, some people will go astray and it is the shepherds job to go after him (Matthew 18:12). That one sheep that has gone astray could serve as a testimony the world sees as evidence of why churches are not good or simply give up because no one saw his need.

The advantage of a mega-church? There are usually multiple services that accommodate busy schedules. There are lots of G-rated activities for young people and many churches have missions programs and community outreaches. Mega-churches have lots of busy things to do.

For me the bottom line is the commission Jesus gave his Disciples:
“And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”” Mark 16:15 NKJV

There is no “great commission” to build mega-churches for people to come to you, quite the opposite! Jesus says we should go into the world. If there were lots of little churches with leaders who preached the gospel it would be easier to shepherd the sheep.

Why do Senior Pastors believe that they are the only ones who can lead a body of believers? Why do successful Pastors believe they cannot teach someone to do what they do? Jesus said:

John 14:12

IT’S JUST CHURCH

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I remember grabbing a cup of coffee and a donut walking down the aisle to a front row seat. Wearing jeans and a nice top I position my Bible in the seat next to me ready to pull it out when the Pastor begins to preach.
During those same services, in the seats behind me there are hundreds of people. The women are dressed nicely fully made up and the men equally adorned. Instead of Bibles they have the latest smart phone in hand, this makes it easier to switch from the YouVersion Bible app to Facebook, Instagram, Pintrest or Twitter. There was a time when I did not like sitting in the back because people talked so much, now conversations are held via text message thus not disturbing the service.
What’s my point? The fact that I sat on the front row of a church did not allow me to learn anymore than those people who were in the back text messaging, or glancing at Social Media sites. Drinking coffee and eating donuts in a big room that some call an auditorium and others call a sanctuary does not stop you from hearing God’s word nor does what you wear.

The Bible is what is important, it does not matter if you read it from your cell-phone your tablet, your computer or if you have a tangible copy. I personally believe having a goal to read the Bible in a year is useless IF all you do is read and not meditate on what you have read. Depending on the church to show you Bible verses on a television screen once a week is not the same as reading the verse yourself. Church attendance is not the basis of faith.

The place many people go to once a week is just church with an opportunity to see people they did not see last week. The messages may be great, even motivational, and the words coming from the pulpits are not anti-Christ but this does not mean a person is growing spiritually. Being a come-as-you-are non-denominational bilingual church may give you bragging rights in the community but it does not establish a personal relationship with Jesus.

This is what I was thinking the other day when I attended a political meeting the other day at a church and people stared at me because I sat in the front row. Though I was dressed in business attire and I drank my coffee before I entered the sanctuary I forgot that some people think the front row of a church is sacred. I like to think: I am the church.

FAITH IS MORE THAN A SHOUT by M L Floyd

As I watched Baltimore deteriorate Monday April 27, 2015 my soul grieved. As my heart grew heavier by the hour I saw such uncontrolled anger and hate that I knew the demons had succeeded in doing what they wanted to do. In the morning, this morning, I woke up and saw a show of force from the law and more frustration and hate from the people.

“Wisdom is the principal thing;therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7 NKJV

I am familiar with some parts of Baltimore and like many cities there are churches everywhere and so I asked: Where are the church leaders? And then I saw them. These church leaders were crying out for peace.

The response of these riotous children was symbolic of what they thought of the church: they burned down the Senior Center that the church was building.

“All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.” Isaiah 54:13 NKJV

No Jesus no peace. Despite a generation of men and women in the Baltimore area working hard Monday through Friday and praising God on Sunday; with fish fries, and chicken dinners to raise money to build bigger buildings; giving tithes and offerings and then some to make the building a better place the young people reject the faith of their elders. The church has been a place to dress nice and shout loud all in the name of the Lord for generations but faith is more than a shout. Know Jesus know peace.

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” Hosea 4:6 NKJV

Faith is more than a shout it is the things hoped for the evidence not seen. Faith is stepping out on water not because the government created a platform for you to walk on or Hollywood wrote a script in which you could do it using optical illusions but because the Jesus you know personally said you could. Our young people don’t have a personal relationship with God they don’t know Him and they are dying.

Jesus kicked the professional grievers out of the house (Mark 5:35-43). He got rid of the church folk, the protesters, the boycotters, the traditions of man; Jesus spoke to the child- get up! There is to much shouting going on no one can hear the words of Jesus and so our young people perish.

“The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shatteredthe rocks before the Lord, but theLord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire,but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.” 1 Kings 19:11-12 NIV