What’s Better? The Mega-Church or Small Community Church?

Having read Dr. Michael Svigel’s essays, 7 Church Ministry Models from Ideal to Awful and Rise of the Anti-Church: Online Virtual Church, I have first put myself in the role of defending the last three ministry models (Models 5-7) against Svigel’s criticism in one paragraph. Then, in the second paragraph, I put myself in the role of defending the first three ministry models (Models 1-3). In the final analysis, I reveal whether I agree or disagree with Svigel’s assessments and why.

In Favor of Mega-Church, Multi-Site Church, and Online Church         

The Mega-Church and Multi-Site Church models are clearly the superior church ministry models. The “If we build it, they will come” mantra is an easy decision. People are attracted to nice, big buildings regardless of the quality of what is happening on the inside. The Dallas Cowboys are a perfect example of this. Jerry Jones wants butts in seats to make money, but the Mega-Churches and Multi-Site Churches want butts in seats so the most people possible can hear about Jesus. And if the building reaches capacity, the church can build bigger or go Multi-Site. The solution is obvious. Furthermore, they have the resources (funds, staff, etc.) to invest in specific aspects of the church that make them better than the competing models (i.e., youth, singles, marrieds, discipleship, worship, extraordinary programs, modern ambiance, etc.) Think about Watermark for example. It is not my church, but I have been to their young adults’ program, The Porch, and I do not know of one that can compete. I know Watermark also has a stellar reputation for their discipleship program, recovery program, pre-marital program, and married program, and they were the only church I know who has an apologetics ministry until recently (fellow Mega-Church Prestonwood Baptist also has one now). Mega-Churches additionally supply exceptional prospects for admittance and assimilation. They certainly keep an enthusiastic environment enticing to citizens of each age group as well. Even The Remote or Online Church offers what none of the other models offer: extreme cost-efficiency and convenience. There are no building or facilities costs. The costs of staff are highly reduced. All you need is a website, a preacher, and a camera. What greater investment can you make in a church ministry that could also potentially reach anyone with the internet? Furthermore, this model ends the hassles of trying to figure out what the appropriate dress attire is and actually leaving your home. If we have learned anything from COVID, we know how unnecessary leaving your home is.

In Favor of Small Community, Mother-Daughter Network, and Medium Congregation

On the other hand, Small Community, Mother-Daughter Network, and Medium Congregation models are far better. The models are more conducive to preserving warmth and manageableness. The pastoral leadership tries to preserve immediate interactions with church members. The pastor and elders know their herd properly, recognize their assets and flaws and are accustomed to their needs. This incarnational aura with the community makes discipleship further natural and organic instead of robotic and programmatic. Responsibility is a normal element of a covenanted life collectively. Pulpit proclamation can be further deeply and efficiently created for a littler unit known directly by the preaching pastor. A rich, effective Lord’s Supper is greatest observed in a tinier population (1 Cor 11:17-21, 33-34). Such a warm observance can effortlessly comprise altogether the rudiments that must focus the Table—the confession of sins to one another (Jas 5:16), prayer for one another (Acts 4:34), physical and spiritual provision for one another (Heb 10:25), individual and corporate sanctification, covenant restitution (1 Cor 5:4), corporate correction, and an earnest public sharing in the bread and wine as a mark of agreement and resources of spiritual consecration.

Conclusion: My Actual View

Although I have limited church experience, I agree with Dr. Svigel’s proposals that Small Community, Mother-Daughter Network, and Medium Congregation models give the ability to personify further carefully the best without needing to beat fantastic functional and administrative challenges.

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