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why the megachurch is criticized

Why The Megachurch is Criticized

The Risk of Disengagement

Despite these efforts, the megachurch has been constantly criticized for the sheer number of attendees per service would mean that there will be people who won’t get engaged or given enough attention.

Additionally, the setup of the worship service with a high stage and a large number of congregants can give off the impression of a concert.

Consequently, the attendees are mere spectators and faces in a crowd. Thousands more choose to attend for the thousands of people who choose to commit to the megachurch and get involved. They do so simply because they get to live in some anonymity. They cannot do that if they join a smaller church.

A large number of attendees attend each service. Therefore, some locations can host more than 5,000 people at a time. The multiple services run each weekend.

The majority of the people are scrambling out of the venue even before the service has ended. There isn’t really time to talk with friends afterward, nor can people loiter inside the hall because everyone has to be cleared out, and the room must be re-done completely within 15 minutes.

 Some consider megachurches’ worship time as mere experiential performances. Similar to rock concerts, the music team leads worship with fog machines and synchronized lights.

We are guilty of pointing a lot of fingers in the way of megachurches for their strict programs. The traditional churches would claim that these megachurches leave no room for the Holy Spirit.

Moreover,  they would accuse the megachurch of the “specularization” of something that is supposed to be sacred.

Is it too personality-driven?

A harsher criticism is that megachurches follow a largely questionable ideology. 

For instance,  megachurches are largely leader-driven, with one specific point person that most churches look up to.

This can be the senior pastor or the president of an organization of ministries. But while this leader is almost certainly of ministerial position, this leader is a minister who cannot attend to everything. Most attendees have probably never met the leader in person.

The purpose then of the leader is to embody a vision and get the members to act on this. The criticism for Christian celebrities is present. It adds to the seemingly impersonal setup of megachurch services. 

Opening Doors for More People

At the end of the day, megachurches have done their part in making ministries and discipleship available for all who attend. To balance out the distance between the senior minister and the general attendee, they have employed small groups, also known as Bible studies, care groups, or fellowship groups.

As a solution to the increasing number of attendees, the megachurch has chosen to empower its leaders and allow them the authority to shepherd and disciple their communities within these groups. In this context, they really get to build relationships with each other and discuss their personal problems, along with Biblical truths. Those who attend small groups are active members. Most megachurches make it a foundational requirement for volunteers and leaders. In this scenario, the small group leader then takes on the role of being a minister to his or her members.  

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The Problem with Megachurches

The Megachurch

What is it? A megachurch is a congregation with more than 2,000 attendees. The existence of megachurches has long been debated and argued over throughout modern church history.  It’s not just the ballooning number of church attendees. A megachurch has other elements such as contemporary worship and programmatic ministries. It also has charismatic leadership, membership relations, and integration of all the latest technological advancements.

 This kind of structure has seen a rise in modern Christianity. However, it goes against what traditional churches looked like in previous centuries. There may have been congregations with large numbers before, but never this much, all simultaneously. The megachurch completely took over the American Christian scene in the 1970s, and the numbers have since grown and multiplied.

In 1990, there were 300 megachurches in the United States, and by 2010, this number has grown to 1,600.

This unprecedented growth rate implies that the megachurch has, in fact, become a new organizational norm in Christianity as it supplies the needs of the modern culture and society. 

Is it just a trend?

The trend brought celebrities and notable influencers into the fold of Christianity. Nevertheless, others would digress that this is simply because being part of certain megachurches has been viewed as trendy. The sheer size alone would intrigue people. The megachurches are dabbling into television and social media. The church members would eventually become self-generating. Studies attest to this. Large gatherings of people create a social vortex. It can draw the interest of others. Interestingly enough, even the controversy surrounding megachurches causes people to attend and look at the cause of such social strain.  

Is it just the numbers?

For instance, the World Changers Ministries undertook an 800-seat dome in the 1990s for its Atlanta congregation. This drew much attention and concern from the local neighborhood associations. Eventually, the criticism ended up featured in newspapers and TV reports. This, in turn, qualified as free publicity for the ministry, and an increase in attendance was observed thereafter. However, while an 8000-attendee congregation appears controversial to some traditional churches and critics. There are plenty of other churches with larger numbers. America’s largest megachurch is that of Joel Osteen, with over 52,000 members. This may seem large, but it has nothing in number compared to South Korea’s Yoido Full Gospel Church, with over 800,000 members.

Consequently, this large number would make it difficult for the churches to keep track of all the members. Nearly all megachurches have organizational structures that aim to provide support and services to everyone involved. They employ what is known as the “seeker-sensitive approach,” that is, the practice of being deliberately welcoming to newcomers through informal set-ups and active engagements. Parking lot assistants begin the experience by courteously assisting everyone who comes along, and ushers take it a step further by heartily smiling and pouring attention to the people who walk into the sanctuary. More volunteers would accompany them to their seats and get to know them as they wait for the service to start. 

Is it effective to get people in the church?

Critics would say that this is a futile attempt and that the church is trying too hard to be welcoming. To a degree, they claim that such techniques together with the program prove to be an enchantment of sorts and the attendees go to chase an emotional high; however, reviewing its impact will show that even those who are normally uncomfortable with regular church settings will find themselves warming up and open because of these efforts.  

The merging of professional marketing strategies and the sacred word of God comes across as profanity for some, but against popular belief, most megachurches maintain a conservative theology. In a sense, the megachurch is simply employing what the apostle Paul modeled, which was to reach those who were lost,  

20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law) so that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some. (1 Corinthians 9:20-22) 

Reaching the Youth

The intention is to do something new for a new generation.  This may be why megachurches appeal largely to professionals under the age of 45, with more than half of the attendees surveyed to at least be college graduates. If we place this information in economic tiers, it should come as no surprise that middle-class, well-educated families have been drawn to megachurches in hoards. The distinctive effort put in by megachurches to appeal to the current generation and the way they seamlessly utilize smart business practices and sound theology appeal have proven to bear fruit based on the continuous growth they reap.  

Several traditional churches do not like megachurches because they view them as threats. A common misconception is that megachurches steal the members of other churches with their modernity, but statistics show that this is not the case.vi Megachurches grow because they are encouraged to invite others as they have been invited. The overall experience they are given makes it easier for new church attendees to stay. 

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Free Prophecy for Everyone

 

SACRIFICE

SACRIFICE

SACRIFICE: 

Restitution or reformation does not cancel out sin. It is only a substation sacrifice that can atone for our sins for us to be reconciled to God. Our submission to the Lord in confession and restitution must flow from the acceptability of the sacrifice. At the end of the day, Jesus was our substitute.

Our response to His sacrifice must be complete obedience.

The sinner must render acceptable obedience which is the evidence of a saving relationship with the Lord. Authentic faith is backed up by action. People who do not bring in their tithes and offering cannot back up their faith that God is the Source of everything, because they are not generous with whatever material wealth they have.

Suppose we say that we share life with God  but still walk in the darkness. Then we are lying. We are not living out the truth. 

But suppose we walk in the light, just as he is in the light. Then we share life with one another. And the blood of Jesus, his Son, makes us pure from all sin. (1 John 6-7)

 

Your weekly dose of prophetic wisdom and anointing awaits you. Join our LIVE Conference Call!

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The-Tarumah-and-The-Protection-of-God

The Tărūmāh and The Protection of God

The Tărūmāh and The Protection of God: 

“With time you can learn where to go for nourishment, where to hide for protection, where to turn for guidance. Just as your earthly house is a place of refuge, so God’s house is a place of peace.”

– Max Lucado

No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing, he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13 NRSV

Exodus 30 shows us another interesting purpose for the offering and how it is made for atonement. It is an offering that is used to save people’s lives. First, let’s examine the passage below:

11 Then the Lord spoke to Moses. He said, 12 “Make a list of the Israelites and count them. When you do, each one must pay the Lord for his life at the time he is counted. Then a plague will not come on them when you count them.

13 Each one counted must pay a fifth of an ounce of silver. It must be weighed out in keeping with the standard weights that are used in the sacred tent. The payment is an offering to the Lord.

14 Each one counted must be 20 years old or more. He must give an offering to the Lord.

15 When you make the offering, rich people must not give more than a fifth of an ounce of silver. And poor people must not give less. The offering you give to the Lord will pay for your lives.

16 Receive the money from the people of Israel. Use it for any purpose in the tent of meeting. It will remind the people that they are paying me for their lives.” (Exodus 30:11-16)

The context of the passage above took place at the numbering of people for the purpose of enrolling them in the arm of Jehovah (Num. 1:3, Exo. 7:4, 12:41). Everyone who passed over to those that were numbered was to pay half a shekel to the sanctuary as atonement money. Both the rich and the poor paid the same amount 1/5 of an ounce of silver.

Both the rich and the poor both paid the same amount 1/5 of an ounce of silver.

We are all equal in the sight of Jehovah. This payment was to be a târumah (Exo. 25:2) for Jehovah for the expiation of souls.

If we relate it to today’s context, the tithes are the same for both the rich and the poor, it is the first 10%. In terms of the târumah, it is 1/40th for the generous person.

The shekel of the sanctuary, which contained 20 s, can be considered as the original shekel of full weight. There was a lighter shekel which was currently in ordinary use. The sacred shekel, according to the present valuation is worth 26 groschens. One Euro is equivalent to 13.76 groschens. In dollar former, one sacred shekel is about $2.14.

During this time, it was a huge task to take a census. However, this is what Israel will undergo. If you have ever done an inventory, you know that the only one who can order this is the one in authority. Only the person who owns whatever is counted can order an inventory. We only have the authority to count things that are rightfully ours. We cannot put our numbers on other people’s stuff. The census declares that the Israelites who were numbered are God’s.

They were His people, and He alone had the authority to count them.

Who had the right to number the Israelites? It was only God who has the authority to do this. They were His people, and He alone had the authority to count them.  According to the commentary of A. W. Pink “When God numbers or orders anything to be numbered, taking the sum of them denotes that they belong to Him and that He has the sovereign right to do with them as He pleases. The action itself says of the things numbered, ‘These are Mine, and I assign them their place as I will.” The only way to properly count the Israelites was for God’s glory alone.

There is a risk that whenever the Israelites took a census, they are in danger of forgetting this. After all, they are the ones physically doing the counting. Thus, they would be tempted to think that their great numbers were a credit to them, rather than to God. They would be tempted to think that their great numbers were a credit to them, rather than to God. It’s not a sin to take a census, but it is a sin to rob God of His glory.

They would be tempted to think that their great numbers were a credit to them, rather than to God.

King David experienced this downfall. He started saying and feeling pride about how big his army was, without attributing its number to the Lord. David got caught up in the numbers game. This boasting can be a temptation for everyone, even a temptation for churches. Pastors always want to see the latest church attendance figures, especially based on the tithes and offering. This information is indeed useful since we want to measure if what we are doing is productive. However, we cannot use it to keep score and to compare our ministry with that of another senior pastor. We are not in a competition. We are on the same team, with the desire to advance God’s Kingdom.

In this context, to make sure the Israelites remembered that they did not belong to themselves but to God, God required a târumah. He required a ransom for every man in Israel. By paying half a shekel, they were acknowledging that they did not belong to themselves, but to God. In the same way, our tithes and offering declare that we belong to the Lord, and we (as well as our finances) are therefore protected.

In the same way, our tithes and offering declare that we belong to the Lord, and we (as well as our finances) are therefore protected.

 

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Prayer in the Spirit 


By prayer in the Spirit, i.e. glossolalia or praying in tongues, you can find prophecy flowing more naturally (Acts 19:6).

By Prayer in the Spirit, the prophet also experiences edification or being personally built up (1 Cor. 14; Jude 1:20). You are filled so that you can also be a blessing to others.

Moreover, prayer in the spirit allows you to get involved in spiritual warfare (Eph. 6:18).  Through this practice of glossolalia, you can also give control of your tongue to the Holy Spirit (Jas. 3:2-5), thus facilitating prophecy.

The apostle Paul was able to thank God for being able to speak in tongues, even more than the Corinthians (1 Cor 14:18), so he evidently thought it a powerful exercise.

Through this practice of glossolalia, you can also give control of your tongue to the Holy Spirit (Jas. 3:2-5), thus facilitating prophecy.

Prayer partners

Find a prayer partner in the church community to stand with you in prayer for the following:

  1. The desire to grow your prophetic gift.
  2. The wisdom to be good stewards of your gift.

Why Is it Important?

Prayer in the Spirit is vibrant to our blessings, evolution in elegance, facts of Christ, in our moral reply to God in all parts of our life). Moreover, it changes us from the inner and modification and organized us and enthusiastic to prepare God’s will.

Intermediate school of prophets meditation

Dear Lord,

Thank You for blessing me with this prophetic gift. I pray that I grow as a faithful steward of this gift. I pray for the grace to be excellent as I partner with the Holy Spirit to receive a greater anointing for Your glory.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Your weekly dose of prophetic wisdom and anointing awaits you. Join our LIVE Conference Call!

1) Call 515-604-9266

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Praying in the Spirit

GROWING YOUR PROPHETIC GIFT

In every area of life, feedback from others is fundamentally needed to help us grow and develop our gifts and skills. There is a saying that goes, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions!” This is also true concerning our spiritual gifts of prophecy and discernment. At the end of the day, if we don’t know how to improve and sharpen our spiritual gifts — and the manner in which we use them — we will not reach our truest potential. It’s not that we are the source of these gifts, but it is that we’re the stewards of these gifts that we seek to grow them.

It’s not that we are the source of these gifts, but it is that we’re the stewards of these gifts that we seek to grow them.

Feedback is important because when we recognize and acknowledge our blind spots, we are able to address them. We can never identify our own blind spots. Moreover, we also learn from the wisdom of others who are already ahead of us on the journey. Our ability to communicate clearly to others what God has spoken to us is sharpened when we receive feedback from elder prophets. Moreover, Godly feedback provides confirmation of our prophetic insight, which benefits us and those to whom we are ministering.

Through feedback, we can assess the degree to which the ministry is helpful. You can also ensure that there is no gap — or misunderstanding — between what you have heard from God (regarding His heart and purposes for a person or for a situation), and what the person has actually received and understood through your prophetic word.

Ministry feedback can come from the following people:

  • A person you share a prophetic insight with;
  • A leader, pastor, or spiritual overseer in the situation you are ministering in;
  • A mentor or fellow team member.

What are the benefits of ministry feedback you’ve personally experienced and how did it help you grow?

Do you have fears or anxieties with regards to receiving feedback or constructive criticism from prophetic leaders, senior pastors, or fellow prophets? What are they?

 

Your weekly dose of prophetic wisdom and anointing awaits you. Join our LIVE Conference Call!

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Cling to the Lord

cling“His master said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Matthew 25:23

God looks for our faithfulness more than our functions or our giftings. He desires faithful men to serve Him. We will not be rewarded based on what we were given; that is all God’s grace, so how could He judge us by that? No, we will be judged according to what we have done with what we have been given; according to our faithfulness. The faithful usher will be rewarded more than the unfaithful pastor. The law of God’s house is faithfulness.

Think of the story of Naomi, Ruth and Orpah. When Naomi’s husband and sons had died, and she had decided to return to Israel, how did her sons’ wives respond? Orpah kissed Naomi and left, while Ruth clung to her mother-in-law.  In this hour God is calling for cleavers. He is calling for those who will be faithful and who will be committed even in time of testing. We are to be as Ruth, one who clings and cleaves to that which the Lord has called us to.

Do you cling to what the Lord has to say? Do you feel like you need to start trusting God more? You can receive your free written prophecy and start learning more about God and how He has created you and the things He has in store for you. Let the prophet reveal your prophetic destiny. Click here for your free prophecy.

What’s Your Future?

Bishop JordanHow different do you think our life could be if we only knew what lies ahead for our future? As the observer seems to have the biggest role, the prophet encompasses a huge variety of roles. A prophet literally means one who speaks for another, especially for a deity. A prophet communicates the divine will. A prophet is an intermediary, a spokesperson, one sent by God to act and speak on behalf of God.

Prophets are not fortune-tellers as they are more concerned with God’s message for us today and encourage people to respond to Him. The prophet teaches the person as he or she is able to know what is in God’s mind and heart. The prophet encourages everyone to draw closer to God (Ephesians 3:16-19, NIV). Based on the scriptures, prophets truly have a divine purpose here on earth. When you speak to a prophet, many things will be revealed to you and about you.

You might just be surprised at how little you know about yourself. God knows you from the inside out. Let the prophet reveal the truths about you and God’s plans for your life. Get your prophetic reading today.

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What Do You Love?

i love money“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

Our world is very material-oriented. You are judged by what you wear, what you eat, where you live and how much money you get from your job. Everything revolves around money. But the Bible says that you should love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. It doesn’t say anything about money or riches. It focuses on your love for God.

Are you loving God with everything you have? Or is it divided? When you receive your personal prophecy, you will realize how much God loves YOU and the things that he has planned for your life. There are so many things He has in store for you.

Speak to a prophet today on how you can give your undivided attention to God and how you can serve Him to your full capacity. Receive your prophetic reading and discover God’s prophetic destiny for your life. By knowing your purpose and destiny, you will realize that these material things don’t even matter anymore. It will help you love God with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength. Receive your free written prophecy by clicking here.

Saved by Grace

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9

We humans are in need of saving. We need to be saved from the darkness of this world and the world of sin that we were born into. This is why Jesus came down on earth to become the perfect example, to teach and guide those who are lost. We all know how the story goes from there, He becomes crucified and dies to save us from sin. The work of Jesus has been done.

Religious organizations still feel however, that we still need to do so many things to go to heaven. They make up traditions and rituals to make them feel like they’re doing good and that they are finding favor in God’s eyes. What they don’t know is that they cannot attain grace on their own. The Master Prophet and his school of prophets declare this message to the world and help those who are in need of prophetic guidance.

Prophecy will teach you that God has given you the gift of grace and what you can do in order to make the most out of this gift. Not only will you be able to deepen your relationship with God, but HE will also show you your undiscovered talents and skills that you can utilize in order to have a prosperous life!

Are you ready to truly know more about the Kingdom of God? Stop whatever you are doing and get your free written prophecy today. Learn more about grace and how you can receive abundant blessings in your life.

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The Art of Being a Non-Conformist

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” Romans 12:2

Do not be fooled! The world can offer so many things to you. It can offer you money, riches, a fancy car and house, a life that is full of parties. But there’s one thing it cannot offer you, finding your true purpose. God’s Word declared that we should not conform to this world and its standards, because it will do us no good. Instead we should focus on having a new perspective in life, knowing that there’s so much more than just material things. Do you know what God’s will is? Or are you still lost in the confines of this world?

The power of prophecy will show you a whole new world. A world that isn’t focused just on wealth, but the inner being. You might be focusing on the wrong things at the moment, but knowing your written prophecy will help guide you in the right direction, the direction of self-fulfillment and enlightenment. When you rid yourself of these worldly things, your eyes will be opened to more valuable and important things, such as God’s perfect plan for your life. Who wouldn’t want to know that?

Get your free written prophecy and see how God speaks to you today. Let go of all your inhibitions and just listen to what The Prophet has to say about your life.