Old Mega-Churches Vs. New Mega-ChurchesNovember 20, 2012
There is a difference between the church that grew slowly over 60 years from a handful of followers of Christ, through various stages of rise and fall, and the group that became a phenomenon overnight.
1. Older Mega-Churches (MC) have diverse age groups. I attended an MC last weekend and noticed this 50 year old church had many people in every demographic. Attending an MC a month ago that is 10 years old, everyone was in the under 40 crowd.
2. Older MCs have more defined outreach programs. Older groups look at more diverse ways to reach their community through feeding and clothing programs, reading and educational outreaches and service-oriented approaches. Newer MCs do not have the visibility to achieve this yet./
3. The preaching in an older MC is usually more exegetical and leans less toward contemporary issues.
4. The worship/singing time in older MCs combines many different musical and age-related tastes. Last weekend, in the same service, we sang songs as new as today (10,000 reasons) and as old as Christianity (Holy, Holy, Holy) with Refiner’s Fire thrown in for good measure.
5. The staff of an older MC always includes children of the leadership team . Why? Because the older an MC, the more chance that children have grown up in the culture of that church and can articulate the values without having to think about them.. Who would you rather have leading your church than someone with that pedigree. It is like having a professional sports star coaching a team he used to play for.
6. The older MC has weathered many days of crisis and personal conflict and therefore is not easily thrown off path by the vagaries of personal failure. You aren’t going to see an older MC crash and burn easily.
7. The older MC has an influence in local politics, education, media, community arts, homeless programs, law enforcement etc. that the newer church is only at the beginning of trying to create. Because of this, the older MC has resources for those in need and in trouble that the newer MC can only dream of having.