Mega-Church Myths

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Before I started attending Granger Community Church, I was very skeptical about it.
I had spent my whole life in a smaller church. It still used contemporary praise music, which I enjoyed very much…and it was very casual as far as dress. As much as I loved wearing dresses {and still do} there was no rule that said I had to, so I along with the other ladies in the church felt free to wear jeans to our Sunday morning services. Communion was served regularly, I went to Sunday school as a child AND as an adult, I was in youth group through jr. high and high school, and my entire family was very actively involved with our small group. The sermons were very well done and always left me with something to think about for the upcoming week.

My church experience was very…NORMAL.

I'm grateful to have grown up in the church. But it was very difficult trying to leave the church I called my home. I had a hard time finding one I liked in college. I began to just count on coming home on weekends as often as I could, and staying as involved in my church there as often as possible. But after finishing college and then starting to live on my own, I knew I had to find somewhere new to go. It was tough. I just didn't think any other place would compare to the church I loved and missed so much. For months, while living by myself, I didn't go anywhere at all. I had too much anxiety about just walking through the door on my own. And I didn't have any desire to try to find somewhere new to “fit into”. And what if I never found it? But because of this lack of community and fellowship {among other things}, my life was very empty.

Finally, after recognizing how lonely I was, a dear friend of mine invited me to GCC. Like I said before, I was skeptical. In my mind it was the furthest thing from a traditional or “normal” church. I just wasn't sure I would like it.

“It's definitely not for everybody. If you don't like it, my feelings will not be at all hurt.”

It was encouraging to hear my friend say that. And I was very relieved that I would not be going alone.

After attending a couple of times, all of the things I'd heard or believed about mega churches went right out the window. For about a year before I met John-David I continued to go, and ever since he and I met we have gone together {turned out that he had been attending already and we never knew!}.

Now that I've experienced a mega church, and understand what it's all about, I don't think I could ever go back. I wish I had attended first and THEN drawn my own conclusion, before believing the rather subjective opinions I'd heard from other people.

Before I continue, I just want to say this…To each, their own.
Just as my good friend said to me, I will say to you, mega churches are not for everybody.
I am not trying to sway you in one way or another. I am not trying to get you to leave the church you call home and join a mega church. My main objective here is to provide some insight for why anyone would CHOOSE to join a mega church. So the next time you hear someone say, “Oh yeah, my church is a mega church,” you can start thinking of the positives rather than the negatives.  We live in a world where someone always has something to say about what another person does. We are always quick to criticize what others do, then completely lose it if someone tries to critique OUR choices.

Well, I'm hear to share with you a few myths that have been debunked about mega churches, and that I've definitely debunked since my time attending one.

Myth one: The music in the worship service is all about “entertainment”, and it's all for show.

I can easily agree that the music is incredibly entertaining, and can make the worshiping through music experience a whole lot more fun. But the people up on that stage are not doing what they do for SHOW. They are striving for excellence. Scripture tells us “whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart.” And in Proverbs 31, a virtuous woman is described as someone who is skilled in all kinds of arts and activities. She is praised because she creates beautiful things with a great attitude and work ethic, while glorifying the Lord to those around her. God has given her talents to use productively, to further the Kingdom of God. God is pleased with her. And the women AND men I see up on that stage every weekend are all Kingdom Seekers, worshipping and magnifying the name of God. They work very hard at what they do, and their level of professionalism is top notch, but they are not just up there to entertain.

Myth two: Mega churches are too big, and it's impossible to have a sense of community.
It's true that you probably will never know every single person in the congregations. Even people on staff don't know everyone. But there are so many options for ways to get involved and build the community you're looking for. Volunteers are always needed in so many departments. There are needs everywhere that you've probably never even thought of. And my  church, like most others, has an abundance of small groups to sign up for! There's pretty much no way you couldn't find at least one that would fit your schedule to join!

Myth three: Mega churches don't focus on spiritual growth, or theological depth.
This doesn't take much explanation. All I will say is that I've never heard so many incredibly deep, meaningful, thought-provoking sermons in one place, from multiple pastors and speakers who are all so completely different.

Myth four: Mega churches are not diverse.
Yeah... I thought that was the case too before I started attending one. People from all ethnic AND economic backgrounds attend.

Myth five: Mega churches are “in their own little world” and don't focus on outreach.
I don't even think I could count on two hands the ways GCC {and so many other mega churches} reaches out to help and have an impact on the surrounding communities! Our church partners with an incredible community center right in the center of a very low income, inner city area. There, lives are being renewed and transformed all the time! They offer programs for youth and adults alike, and truly display the definition of “love thy neighbor.” And this community center is only ONE of the many ways that the church branches outsides of its doors to share the love of the Lord with the community and the world!


I totally and completely get it if you walk through the door of our church, or any other mega church you may try out, and say, “This just isn't my cup of tea.” It's typically the music that gets people. The music can be hard to identify with for some people. For me personally, it's super important that I love the music because that's how I best connect with God. But if that's not for you, it's not my job to persuade you to stay! That's not my goal here. But next time you jump to a conclusion about what a mega church is really like, let it be an informed conclusion that you've come to yourself. Don't just assume, or believe all the things you may have heard, and create your own version of what is true.

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