Tuesday, July 29, 2008

When Megachurches Do the Right Thing

In the past few days I've read encouraging things about three different megachurches. I know little about these churches, so am not endorsing everything they do, but it's great to hear when churches do the right thing.

WORLD Magazine reports that Christ the King Community Church near Seattle, Washington, has been aggressively planting new churches. These are in the state of Washington, but also in such places as Minnesota and South Carolina and India and Israel. Reportedly, their movement planted nearly a thousand Bible study groups in Africa last year.

WORLD also reports that Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California, is planning to build a new worship center and decided to build an outdoor amphitheater instead of a full building. This will save them half the cost. Their church's goal is to give away half of the money they take in. I notice that on their church's website, the pastoral staff members are listed in alphabetical order. To me, this says volumes about the teaching pastor's humility.

Elevation, a church in Charlotte, North Carolina, began a capital fundraising campaign last October with a "Bless Back" Sunday. They took no offering that Sunday. Instead, they passed out envelopes that in total contained $40,000, which was about equal to their weekly offering. Different envelopes had different amounts of money in them. They instructed the people to take the money inside and use it to bless someone beyond their church. Members posted their stories of what they did with the money.


C. Marie Byars said...

It's good to see this. We don't do the megachurch thing (Obviously! In fact, with the move, we're signing up for social services until we get over the first wave.) But sometimes people outside the megachurches really dislike them: some of it is the seeming triviality & lack of commitment in them. But sometimes I think there's some plain old jealousy that comes up in seeing a church grow that much. So it's good to see you point out how they can (and sometimes do!) use their great influence well.

Jim Swindle said...

Yes, there's jealousy. In fact, the pastor of Elevation mentioned that in one of his blog posts. I'm paraphrasing from memory, but he said some people who were happy to be with him when he was an unknown pastor of a small church now want nothing to do with him now that the church has grown.

I'm glad to hear that you and your family are settled in your new place. May the Lord bless you all in your new ministry. It would be good to see your church grow so rapidly that the growth would be a problem. If that never happens, may you all be faithful and receive the reward of faithful stewards.