by Haley Williamson
I use to attend a church that had two Saturday night services, three Sunday morning services and a Sunday night service. Each service could hold over 700 people and the overflow room was frequently used. That church falls under the definition of a megachurch.
Many times when I tell people those statistics, I get replies that usually go along the lines of “you attended a concert, not a church.” That is all people see, but megachurches are much more. If people just took the time to get involved and did not judge it from the outside appearance or from one attendance, then they would realize that.
By no means am I saying that a megachurch is better then a smaller church, my point is that too many people judge the megachurch and don’t take time to see the impact and good the church is doing. There are two important aspects a megachurch can offer that many people overlook: a community and opportunities.
An argument that I have become tired of hearing is that mega churches do not have community. Yes, small churches offer a great community, everyone knows your name and everything about you, and that is great, however a megachurch offers that too. People don’t stay long enough to get involved and don’t get connected. The leaders and pastors of the church can only do so much to reach out to the people in their congregation; you have to put in some effort, too.
Small groups are offered at almost any megachurch and allow you to form a group of 10 to 15 people that foster tighter, more intimate connections throughout the church.
People need to stop using the argument that mega-churches don’t have any community. It may not be a type of community that appeals to you or that you thrive in and that is fine, but it does have a sense of community that people love being part of.
Opportunities offered within a megachurch are vast and diverse. With a large congregation, there are many doors open for people to get involved.
Such opportunities can include mission work. A large church can send out many teams overseas to serve on the mission field. With so many teams, more people are able to take part and serve God and his people in ways they may never get the chance to do again.
Other opportunities include jobs. Many larger churches have cafes and coffee shops that are not only run by volunteers but also paid staff members. This is true for media, maintenance and ministries, all areas that have many volunteers taking part but are also providing people with well-paying jobs.
There are also many opportunities the church offers to simply help people in their own congregation and in the community. Megachurches can bring together people with specific skills or passions and use them to renovate houses for the elderly, tutor at-risk youth or provide a place for rehab for someone who is struggling to change their life.
The positive aspects of a megachurch don’t stop there. The worship is done by volunteers, or paid staff, who are talented musicians and recognized that God has blessed them with the gift of music. At some churches, the pastors are not only recognized by the congregation and community, but are recognized worldwide because they preach in areas that don’t get to hear the Gospel. They have the ability to do that because a larger church with a large supportive congregation is able provide the resources necessary.
If you love going to a small church and that is where you grow and are challenged with your faith, then that is great, and you shouldn’t stop going. But if all you know is a small church environment and think that is the only way church should be done, give a megachurch a chance. In the end, all that matters is that you are growing in your faith. A megachurch changed my life. I challenge you to give it the chance to change yours.
Williamson is a freshman majoring in journalism and mass communication. Comments can be sent to email@example.com.