I’ve got a confession to make: I’m a Presbyterian pastor, and I attend a Mega Church.
Yes, I know you may be disappointed. I’m sure you have a few questions as to my motives. But first hear me out.
I’ve been attending a ‘young adult’ service off and on (when I am here and free) for a couple of months now. The main reason I go is not a good one: I just like to be around other young adults who I know are Christians. The worship is good, but to be completely honest, that’s not why I go…it’s sort of a side item.
Now, I’m not serving as a pastor at a mega church for a few different reasons. I actually like the church I serve. But I rather actually talk about what I’ve observed since my attending this church service.
I started attending these ‘young adult’ services while in college in Ohio. They’ve always been in addition to my regular involvement at my home congregation. It’s a nice change from the mainstream Protestant worship experience.
I see people who genuinely enjoy being there. Sure, a lot of young adults go as another social venue (much like I do…and much like many of our seniors at my church), but they enjoy what they’re there for.
I hear music that is contemporary, and professional sounding. Do you know how bad it is to hear bad music on Sundays? I’m not talking about style or genre, but just poorly performed, or sung by the whole congregation. Mega Churches do music very well (despite the lack of inclusive language, but that’s for another discussion).
I listen to preaching/teaching that is informative, entertaining, engaging, and relevant. Now, this is a sensitive issue, because I’m also a preacher, but I will give credit where it is do. Sure, I don’t share in many of their theological perspectives. Sure, I feel like the format that they use is often meandering and shallow. Sure, I approach the purpose of a sermon differently than they do. But in the end, what they do, which is a different goal than what I do, is GOOD.
I see this church growing, reaching out, and doing some great service to the community each day. Yes, many of the visitors there are ‘consuming’ the experience, rather than taking ownership and identity with the congregation, but again, it’s a different perspective on church. And the work that these programs can do in the secular world, with the resources they have, is amazing. I DREAM about having a mission budget like that…or the people who are interested in similar projects.
All in all, I’m consuming the mega church experience, much like many people who come in its doors any night of the week. But there are certainly parts of it that I would love to be part of as a pastor. And while the approach to church is different than what most mainline congregations deal with each day, the mega church does what they do very well. I give them credit for that.
I’m a Presbyterian pastor for a lot of reasons: tradition, worship, theology, culture to name a few. But it is good to see how God continues to move and ‘do a new thing’ in the midst of a constantly evolving world.