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What can the Adventists  Learn from the Mega Churches  while Avoiding the Pitfalls?
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What can the Adventists Learn from the Mega Churches while Avoiding the Pitfalls?


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  • 1. God on a Grand Scale,
  • 2. A megachurch is congregation with a sustained average weekly attendance of 2000+
  • 3. Found throughout the United States 14%
  • 4. Phenomenal Growth of Mega Churches
  • 5.
    • Largest number of megachurches are nondenom-inational (34%),
    • They are followed by:
    • Southern Baptist,
    • United Methodist,
    • Assemblies of God.
    • 20% of megachurches, and 9% in the last 5 years, dropped their denominational label. 
    Nondenominational and becoming Nondenominational
  • 6. Great and Beautifully Maintained Facilities Austin
  • 7. Great and Beautifully Maintained Facilities Attendance over 40,000
  • 8. Saddleback Church Mission Viejo, California Great and Beautifully Maintained Facilities
  • 9. Great and Beautifully Maintained Facilities
  • 10. Plano Commons, Food Court Great and Beautifully Maintained Facilities
  • 11. Kids Town Perimeter Church, Duluth, Georgia Great and Beautifully Maintained Facilities
  • 12. Crystal Cathedral Commercial Looking Facilities                                                           
  • 13. Austin
  • 14.  
  • 15.
    • Influential
    • Best Selling
    • Authors
    Robert A. & Robert A.Schuller , Crystal Cathedral Outstanding Leaders best-selling hardcover non-fiction book in U.S. history Bill Hybels, Willow Creek Community Church Rick Warren, Saddleback Community Church Joel Osteen, Lakewood Church
  • 16. Large Resources, Large Staff & many Volunteers Church Size Average Income FT Ministerial & Admin Staff Volunteers 5hr+ 5yr Growth Rate 1,800 – 1,999 3.17 million 21 126 38% 2,000 – 4,999 5.20 million 36 236 44% 5,000 – 9,999 9.14 million 64 533 56% 10,000 or more 24.80 million 131 904 74%
  • 17. Grow through Evangelization and Recruitment Nearly all megachurches emphasis evangelism and recruitment activities Members involved in recruiting new members
  • 18. They have a strategy for getting people in the door BUT excel at using intentional efforts to keep them in.
    • They contact visitors:
    • by mail 66%
    • by phone 52%
    • by e-mail 19%
    • by personal visit 49%
    Intentional Efforts to Keep them in.
  • 19.
    • In the 2000 study:
    • 96% strongly encourage new members to
    • volunteer in the congregation’s ministries
    • 76% require an informational class
    • 32% assign a “mentor” to help incorporate
    • new persons into the church
    • 88% Encourage fellowship in small group
    They Try to Incorporate New Persons Into The Church
  • 20. On average 19% of persons in the congregations were of the non-majority racial group.  36% of churches reported having a 20% or more minority presence. 10 % of congregations claimed to have no majority racial group. Intentionally Becoming More Multi-Ethnic
  • 21. The megachurches with the highest rate of growth are the most likely to consistently use contemporary forms of worship.     Percent Saying Always Or Often Contemporary Forms of Worship.    always often
  • 22. The megachurches with the highest rate of growth are the most likely to consistently use contemporary forms of worship.     Contemporary Forms of Worship.   
  • 23. The megachurches exhibit great adaptation to cultural changes Growing Willingness to Change Worship Style 2000 2005 No Change 22% 15% Changed a little 37% 26% Changed some 21% 36% Changed a lot 21% 23%
  • 24. Mega Church attendees responses Worship Services That Helps Attendees With Everyday Life
  • 25.
    • food assistance (a food pantry or soup
    • kitchen) 99%
    • programs for youth and teens 99%
    • counseling services or support groups 95%
    • prison ministries 91%
    • substance abuse & 12 step programs 85%
    • senior citizen programs 84%
    • hospitals & nursing homes 80%
    • temporary or permanent housing/shelter 78%
    Active Social Ministry Among Megachurches
  • 26. Some Dangers to Consider
  • 27.
    • tremendous emphasis on what the audience THINKS as relevant, “the audience, not the message is sovereign”
    • (George Barna, Marketing The Church )
    • Willow Creek set out explicitly to research what people did and didn't like about going to church, and tailored their services accordingly.
      • “ In fact, it is possible to be so relevant that one becomes irrelevant because you are merely telling people what they already know, and not what they need to hear” (Kirk Wellum, An Evaluation of the Church Growth Movement)
    Some Dangers to Consider
  • 28.
    • whatever works - do it
    • success is not always measured in numbers (i.e., Noah, 1 Pet. 3:20; 2 Pet. 2:5)
    • “ growth for growth’s sake” is not a good idea
    • a technique may work, but that doesn’t mean it is right
    Some Dangers to Consider
  • 29.
    • be a “user-friendly” church
      • regardless of how the Word of God rubs people, it is what they need to hear
      • was the early church “user-friendly” (Acts 5:1-11)?
        • “ So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things” (v. 11)
    Some Dangers to Consider
  • 30.
    • Distraction from the FULL MESSAGE though secondary activities
      • “ contemporary Christian concerts,
      • creative presentations that utilize drama,
      • multimedia,
      • the arts
      • men’s breakfasts,
      • women’s luncheons,…”
    Some Dangers to Consider “ The list of activities can sound like the offerings at a Club Med or a small liberal arts college: poetry workshops, creative writing, singles groups, job fairs, vocational training, musical lessons, and even auto repair clinics.” “ Mega-churches also often have a virtually complete social environment, featuring sports and recreation facilities such as basketball courts, pools, or roller-skating rinks. ( God on a Grand Scale, Mega-Churches Grow Bigger and Bigger , Oliver Libaw,
  • 31.
    • Evangelize in every way you can
      • Challenge members to invite others
    • Follow up on those who come
    • Incorporate new people into the life of the church
      • Empower all members to develop their gifts and to use them not as members but participants
      • Preach sermons of substance and
      • relevance to everyday life
    • Offer lively contemporary worship
    Mega-Church Lessons
    • Whatever is done should be of quality
  • 32. “ To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” Isaiah 8:20 In the End: The TEST
  • 33.