In the United States, a megachurch (or mega-church) is usually defined as any Protestant church whose weekly attendance averages 2,000 or more people. While the number of megachurches has rapidly grown in the past generation, many still question the pros and cons of attending these larger churches.
Should I attend a megachurch? What are the pros and cons of going to a megachurch (mega-church)?
First, as with any church, a person considering involvement in a megachurch should look at its beliefs. Is the church's statement of faith consistent with the Bible's teachings? This can also include discovering the church's denominational affiliation. Though many megachurches do not have a denomination in their name, they still have an official connection with a Protestant denomination.
Second, it is important to consider the quality of the church. A church is like a body; it can be big and strong or it can be big and unhealthy. A look at the content of sermons, interactions with church leaders, and discussions with those who attend can help provide insight into the strength and quality of the church.
Third, consider the worship environment of the church. Megachurches usually either offer one or more large contemporary worship services or multiple services that include a variety of formats to reach different groups of people. If you prefer traditional worship music, for example, joining a service featuring the latest modern worship songs and technology will likely be distracting for you in worship. This is not necessarily a biblical issue, but an important topic to consider related to where you choose as a church home for you and your family.
Fourth, consider the ministries of the church. For example, if you have teenagers, the youth ministry will be very important to your family. If you are single, you will want to know what opportunities exist for singles. If you have family members with special needs, you will want to know what ministries exist for that. If you are a musician, you will want to know about opportunities that exist for musicians, etc. One of the benefits of a megachurch is that it tends to offer more options for those interested in specialized ministries.
Fifth, understand the social dynamics of the church. In other words, if you are nervous in a room full of people, then joining a worship service with 1,000 or more people at a time on a weekly basis may be a concern for you. However, if you are the kind of person who enjoys large gatherings or are used to such dynamics, then a megachurch may be a good fit for you, assuming its teachings are biblical.
Finally, it is important to know the leadership of the church you plan to attend or join. In worst-case scenarios, some megachurches have completely fallen apart due to a problem with its founding or senior pastor. If there is a senior pastor celebrated or heralded like a celebrity, this could also cause the focus of the church to be unhealthy. There is no perfect church, but a healthy larger church will likely have a team of leadership that is focused on the biblical aspects of building disciples and loving people.
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