Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Debunking Megachurch Myths

A study by the Leadership Network and the Hartford Institute for Religion Research debunks some of the most widely held beliefs about megachurches. I know I've bought into some of these myths.

MYTH #1: All megachurches are alike.
REALITY: They differ in growth rates, size and emphasis.

MYTH #2: All megachurches are equally good at being big.
REALITY: Some clearly understand how to function as a large institution, while others flounder.

MYTH #3:There is an over-emphasis on money in the megachurches.
REALITY: The data disputes this.

MYTH #4: Megachurches exist for spectator worship and are not serious about Christianity.
REALITY:Megachurches generally have high spiritual expectations and serious orthodox beliefs.

MYTH #5:Megachurches are not deeply involved in social ministry.
REALITY: Considerable ministry is taking place at and through these churches.

MYTH #6: All megachurches are pawns of or powerbrokers to George Bush and the Republican Party.
REALITY: The vast majority of megachurches are not politically active.

MYTH #7: All megachurches have huge sanctuaries and enormous campuses.
REALITY: Megachurches make widespread use of multiple worship services over several days, multiple venues and even multiple campuses.

MYTH #8: All megachurches are nondenominational.
REALITY: The vast majority belong to some denomination.

MYTH #9: All megachurches are homogeneous congregations with little diversity.
REALITY: A large and growing number are multi-ethnic and intentionally so.

MYTH #10:Megachurches grow primarily because of great programming.
REALITY: Megachurches grow because excited attendees tell their friends.

MYTH #11:The megachurch phenomenon is on the decline.
REALITY: The data suggests that many more megachurches are on the way.

(Whole article here)

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