Mega online church- is it helpful or harmful?
Written by Lydia D’Ross, Ordained Minister and Outreach Chaplain for Renewal at Brookhaven Hospital
We have a great church- it is called the “Body of Christ.” Whether Jesus ministered to a handful of folks or thousands of people on Temple Mount- Jesus’ ministry touched each life in personal way.
According to the Barna Group, 15 percent of the Los Angeles Christian population attend a megachurch — 5 percent higher than the national average.
I wondered if the church has grown so big, sometimes seating 10, 000 people, that the church becomes unsustainable and unhealthy to its members. Maybe even in terms of pressure on the pastor making it difficult to concentrate on growing their relationship with God due to the magnitude of their responsibilities.
According to a Mega Church statistics report from Statistic Brain Research Institute, the number one church in the nation of church goers, is Lakewood Church in Houston Texas. Pastor Joel Osteen has an average of 435,000 members in their weekly attendance. Pastor Craig Groeschel of Life Church in Edmond Oklahoma has an average of 26,776 weekly church goers, and this doesn’t not include live stream ministry.
According to the Hartford Institute of Religion Research, more than 40 percent of Americans “say” they go to church weekly. However, more and more churches are closing yearly and moving to online streaming services.
Is the church dying or going to a new era of technology due to competition of Mega churches?
What people miss about online churches, is the presence of being connected with their fellow members. Children miss the opportunity to be with other children and learn Bible stories. Young people miss hanging out with their Christian friends and getting the chance to receive support from their youth pastor. Elderly folks miss out on the traditional values of going to church and the afternoon potluck fellowship.
Sometimes I think people attend online church because they don’t feel entirely welcome when they come through the church doors.
I really think the church needs to explore options and face the fact that the world is changing much faster then we realize. How we influence our society and culture through the eyes of the “body of Christ” can make a difference in someones life.
Brookhaven Hospital’s Renewal Christian Care program is here to serve you. Our next Pastoral Seminar will be on Thursday, October 15th when Chaplain Steve Sullivan will present, “Healing the Invisible Injuries of War.” Please call 918-438-4257, and ask to speak with Lydia D’Ross to register to attend this free event open to pastors and church personnel.