October 20, 2013

Megachruch Megasurprise

My church back at home ha a congregation of about 50. More or less come week to week depending on their busy schedules, and if they are even in the country. At home, my bible group is about 6 people. And when I was in sunday school, there were never any more than a dozen kids.

So imagine the culture shock for me to enter a so called "mega" church of 2,000 families this sunday morning. When the "youth" (teens) church had over a hundred teenagers in attendance. It was overwhelming, even terrifying. It was huge. I didn't know what to expect.

My biggest problem with Megachurches is how lavish they are. In the 15th/16th century, the church was regarded as being, well, greedy, taking gold from its practitioners and building ornate decorations in the church. Gold trinkets supposedly in god's honor. In these modern day churches, the gold is replaced by more expensive lights, by the number of projectors, the number of expensive gadgets for sound and music. Offerings go into the church... why isn't it going back into the community?
This is why I get annoyed every time a guest to our church complains that we have no cushions on our pews. Or that we only have one screen. or that our band is... well, two people, an acoustic guitar, and a piano, sometimes.  Because, the truth is, we don't need that to worship. We're here to praise our lord, not throw a dance party. Solomon danced for the Lord without a band to follow him up. I don't think God cares how much money we're spending on the place we are worshiping. He cares about how much we're working to spread his love in the world. Money is irrelevant.

So I expected a  community that resembled the church they had built. A community of people that were all flash but no bang. Boy, did I learn a lesson on judgement.

They had lights. They had a cinematic sound system. A band of about 10 people. And they had passion. They were singing full pelt not for themselves, but for God. They were sobbing and praying and loving. They were a community: they were a church.
Man, I'm ashamed to have had so many stereotypes. Sure they had money. But they are christian. Who am I to judge my brothers and sisters in Christ before even meeting them, just because they have large and expensive buildings. They care. They are Christian. They don't have a big church, they are a big church.

I'm sorry I thought so poorly of them before. Don't judge a megachurch by its prefix.


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