Christmas Eve Services... consumer or a provider? are you going to give in worship or get?
Recent article on "The LarkNews" regarding a NC church downsizing spurred a great commentary thread on Facebook. I don't know Kevin Ryan Cartwright personally.. but he wrote a brilliant commentary on the mega-church phenomena today... The only real question is.. What sort of services are YOU seeking in YOUR church. My bottom line: Worship is about giving, not getting... Church leaders should be about helping their members to see and listen more directly to God's work in their lives...
The failure of the modern church is rooted in the desire to seek numbers, influence... and power. "Blessings and resources turned inward on themselves to further the institution or the person, are an abomination before God" Bert Browning
Mega-churches are capitalist business enterprises and therefore are profit-driven rather than Gospel-driven. To the board of directors and the owner of the enterprise and property contained therein (commonly called the "pastor"), the members (or customers) are a financial burden through administration and postage costs, per capita cost of staffing requirements, facility wear and maintenance, etc. Members, therefore, should not expect to be treated as if they were members of a traditional parish where the pastor knows their name or can actually be seen face-to-face for personal guidance. Members should rather view their mega-church as a provider of services such as religious rock music entertainment, sports programs, counselling services, fitness services, coffee and snack vendor, and religious-based continued education. If you do not contribute toward the funding of these services, you, like a dead-beat bank customer, will be eliminated as a financial responsibility to the owners or a negative impact against profit for the owner and shareholders. I can cite an Atlanta mega-church who is recently enthralled in scandal over the issue of "closing for Christmas."
"The Bottom Line:" If you want to belong to a church, go join one; join a church with a priest and parishioners who know your name, who has an organist and a choir who will let you sing with them no matter how badly you might sing, and a place where the spirit of God is present. None of these experiences can be had at a mega-church type enterprise. -- Kevin Ryan Cartwright