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24 January, 2003 4:45 PM

A book review that I wrote on 'Multiplying Churches' by Stephen Timmis has just been posted here on Phuture
Since posting this book review I've had a number of emails requesting more information/blogging on the topic. At this point I don't have alot of time to write much more but would invite your comments on it either here or in the comments section after the article as some of you have already done. A couple of quotes from other pages that might stimulate your thinking are as follows (these are taken completely out of context - but have a look at them to get their full drift)

Eric Stanford writes"A not-so-big church isn't focused on growing bigger and bigger and offering more and more programs. A not-so-big church is concerned about the pagans in their community being subverted by God, onceborns into twiceborns. Beyond that, there's not a whole lot that not-so-big churches have in common with each other. They're tailor-made (Spirit-made?) for their place. They're gloriously individual. ... "

Stephen Lim shares: "On nearly all relevant quality factors, larger churches compare disfavorably with smaller ones."1 Christian Schwarz came to this startling conclusion after the most comprehensive study of church growth ever conducted, covering over 1,000 churches on 6 continents. The research and observations of others, along with my experience, confirm its validity.
In spite of fewer people, staff, facilities, resources, and programs, the average small church produces:
- better fellowship.
- better pastoral care.
- better discipleship.
- more involvement in ministry.
- more persons called into Christian service.
- more spiritual harvest.



I think the leadership leads their members to believe that they are doing so well. The only thing they appear to me to be doing is serving themselves and not others! All I want to know is where all of that money is going, they have the members to think the money is going to the new building and they end up mortgaging the building, Where is the money going?... I'll tell where its going to their BIG FAT salaries and their BIG FAT expense accounts, traveling and dining at the member's expense. Seldom do the poor and the needy or missions get any of it. Oh maybe they'll make that yearly $500 donation after they've collected $5 million from their congregations! Crooks strait from the pits of hell!!!!

Marcey » 6 August, 2003 1:19 AM

Thatn is the saddest comentary about finances. Sorry this individual feels so bitter. I wonder how much Marcey gives of her salary to the poor? Small minded people do small things.

Steven Haaland » 21 May, 2004 1:01 PM

I don't think Marcey is really bitter, Perhaps she is just outraged at the delusion that has come over the church, not just when it comes to how these mega churches are spending the money but towards other things that it is just sometimes hard to discribe. When you believe you know the heart of God, who is so concerned with those who are poor and hurting and broken, and you read about Churches that are building "rock climbing walls" on their facilities for "entertainment" or "evangelism" or for what ever, somehow it just does not seem to fit. Why is it that we would rather spend the congragation's money for gymnasiums, rock climbing walls, golf carts for the pastor to travel around his mega facility, while Florida needs billions of dollars to be restored, while christian drug recovery houses are known to be 85% sucessful compared to perhaps a 15% sucess rate in secular rehabs, while there are plenty of American kids going to bed hungry. What kind of a bubble are we living in that we have to be catered to like these mega churches are doing. Why can't we go without? What if we could take the cost of half of their sound systems and send it to "feed the children." or whatever. Somewhere down the line, I believe the Church in America is going to be in for a rude awakening. But the shaking will come to bring us to our sences so we can get our priorities right. Jesus said "go into all the world and preach the Gospel." Instead christians are being hearded into huge mega churches to hear a charasmatic preacher, a great message, hear great music, and leave feeling wonderful. I know that many of the "Christians" I know who are comfortable in their open sin prefer these churches. I wonder why. Try to get them to come to our samll church gathering and it's like pulling teeth. But they love to tell you how great a preacher "so and so is and how great the worship is" while I know they are living in sin and refuse to change their situation. Somehow they rationalize that God doesn't mind and they enjoy the big church to our small one. Guess who they call though when they need help? Why is that? Could it be that many many people going to these huge churches are not realy meeting people or are not really "fitted in", submitted to, or accountable to anything or anyone and they are undected. Yet they think they are ok because they have attended "the church of...". I know great lengths are probably taken to get people into cell meetings but what are the real figures on how many of the thousand attendees are really attending additional weekly meetings. This figure should not be hard to come up with for such high tech churches. If we only attend church on Sundays, not counting rock climbing mid-week, and do not attend other bible studies,where we can interact "spiritually" with other Christians, our growth is seriously stunted. Bottom line is that everything that looks good and sounds good is not always good. Time will tell. ps I read an article recently that appeared in a news paper and internet. It told how a very well know T.V. ministry brought in 98 million dollars in 2003. Of that 98 million they tithed 10% which is 9.8 million dollars, leaving the ministry 88 million,200thousand dollars. $88,200,000 to spend. This was a prosperity preacher. Why couldn't they have followed their teaching and given more than the tenth "which is where you begin" according to their teaching. When you bring in that much money from God's people don't you think there is a responcibility to give more than that to "missions." Needless to say there were $100,000 mercedes bentzs,2-$45,000 Lexus, 5 houses for $4million dollars, $10 million dollar airplane and 2 full time salaried pilots, and on and on and on but only %10 percent tithed. Most Christians who tithe purpose in their hearts to give above a tenth, but I guess it just didn't fit into the huge budget. I mean, after all, T.V and Radio is expensive. And after all aren't those people being blessed by the ministry? So why should they give more to missions? I'm being facitious. It's all just hard to swallow when so many people are really suffering. Karen

k graves » 21 September, 2004 2:46 AM

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