“Everything’s bigger in Texas.”

Who hasn’t heard that adage? Evidently, megachurch pastors in the Lone Star state as they have spawned the trend of bigger churches, just in smaller and several locations.

Rather than make their [megachurch pastors] voluminous auditoriums even bigger, they are creating smaller, community-based congregations. These offshoots help relieve crowded sanctuaries, shorten members’ commutes and spread church ministries into untapped territories.

megachurch_poster_seats“Offshoots”?! Try more like adorned buildings with a big TV screen. I don’t get the “satellite church,” people. Am I missing something? Going to church… to watch TV? Is TBN so bad that you have to decorate a media room with crushed velvet, high back chairs, offering boxes and the choir?!

But, like the croup and the flu, this stuff is catching.

The trend from mega to mini has gained momentum nationwide. An estimated 22 percent of U.S. megachurches — those with 2,000 or more at weekly services — started or were considering satellites in 2000, according to a megachurch study by the Hartford Institute for Religion Research and Leadership Network. Last year, that percentage grew to 59 percent.

So, here’s a thought: is this being responsible to the needs of the environment or just a clash between vanity run-a-muck and multiple personality disorder?

Sure, these multiple “churches” are saving time on traffic, but it’s still all going to the same trafficker. Listen, if you have a following and the throng just has to see you in the moment, I’m not mad at ya’. Good on ya’. But what happens if pastor isn’t on his game? Or there’s a guest speaker?

What, does the on-location host pastor change the channel? Maybe they plug in the XBOX 360 and play “Halo,” you know, to keep it heavenly minded.

Unfortunately, it seems there is no happy medium with these bustling churches – either they go “big box” and become Wal-Mart’s inner court or they cash iner, reach out to its multitudes and create more geographically centric “minichurch” locations. What’s a pastor to do?

God is omnipresent and churches are becoming very savvy at marketing, public relations and technology. Praise the Lord for that, but what are they doing that the other churches on the corner not doing?

Maybe instead of holding $400 per ticket conferences to teach monkey-see-monkey-do, these innovative, jean-wearing preachers should leave their plush, tuck-and-roll office chairs once in a while to teach the lesser-thans how to earn enough money to buy a TV, much less broadcast from it. Just a thought.

  1. […] For the past couple weeks, we have plastered on the Wall a few ruminations about “Big Box” megachurches and even its progeny, “minichurches”. […]

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