Monday, October 16, 2006

What's So Appealing About the Mega Church?

I read this with a good deal of interest the other day, and commented there:


The ChaliceBlog: A mega-church like community of liberals.

I also commented at great length at Peter Bowden's blog Live at UU Planet:
http://www.blog.uuplanet.com/2006/10/if-we-cant-build-liberal-mega-churches.html

My salient points to Peter's blog were,
1. I'm one of the many UU leaders who isn't convinced that Small Group Ministries is the salvific force in liberal religion that some folks think it is;
2. I do not see how Unitarian Universalist leadership could (or should) market the Small Group Experience to seekers and expect a huge response;
3. Unitarian Universalists do religion so differently than mainline Christians, we're being more than naive in thinking we can translate that model to the way we do church and "do" theology and expect anything like the same results;
4. I genuinely wonder why UUs lust after the Christian mega-church model, yet we never hear mention of a mega-mosque or mega-sangha. I propose that it isn't just numbers we're after, but the political power, clout and money that comes with the Christian version of mega-church.

Check it out, if you like.

5 Comments:

Blogger LaReinaCobre said...

No, I never have heard of a mega-mosque either.

04:39  
Blogger Chalicechick said...

(((I propose that it isn't just numbers we're after, but the political power, clout and money that comes with the Christian version of mega-church.))

Exactly.

CC

07:42  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

What I mean by "mega-mosque" is a mosque with thousands of worshipers praying together at the same time. You never hear UUs saying how much they'd like to have THAT. For all our proclamations of respect for all world religions, when it comes to casting our eye about for ideas, it's almost exclusively the prosperous, big Christian churches we look to.

Instead of allying ourselves ecumenically with the liberal Church -- which would require that we stop turning beet red anytime someone says "Christ" or opens the Bible -- and realizing that the liberal Church ARE OUR PEOPLE despite the fact that they too are challenged by the realities of the 21st century and may not know any better than we do how to grow our faith numerically and spiritually -- we look to the megachurch model for wisdom. It doesn't matter to us that the megachurch leaders very often have opposing aims for society or offensive theologies -- it's big, it's shiny, it's growing, it's modern, so WE WANT THAT!!

09:20  
Blogger Nathan DeMay said...

I've experienced something like a mega-church umpteen million years ago, and it was just so vapid and "entertainy" that nothing sacred took place. I'm sorry, but for me church is still a place that is special and different from, say, a home theatre or a circus.

20:40  
Blogger Chelle said...

hey PB......

Just like you can't interchange "evangelical" with "fundamentalist", not all mega-churches can be interchanged either. There are a few liberal ones out there....most people just haven't heard of them.

My favorite church (UU or non-UU) is Trinity UCC on the south side of Chicago. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 members, it is one of the best social action (notice I said social action and not social justice) churches around. And if it's anything remotely like the TV mega-churches, then I'm a size 8 with straight black hair that I don't have to perm.
If you're interested, their website is http://www.tucc.org

Maybe we can talk som'more about this at Revival.

01:34  

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