Megachurches
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19-07-2017, 07:24 AM
RE: Megachurches
(18-07-2017 02:31 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Watch Joel Osteen on Sunday, it's McChurch served up in convenient Happy Meal size.

Everything about it is processed for mass consumption.
Lol -- I initially read that as "mass corruption". Freudian mistake.
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19-07-2017, 07:37 AM
RE: Megachurches
I'd be tempted to have a look at these mega churches, I presume they are more moderen than the more "traditional" church designs?

Whilst I'm an atheist I do love see the architecture in these things, [Churches. Cathedrals especially]

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19-07-2017, 08:21 AM
RE: Megachurches
(18-07-2017 12:13 PM)TSG Wrote:  I was curious if any of you had ever been to a megachurch, either when you were religious or out of morbid curiosity after your deconversion.

I live nowhere near any megachurches and I'm curious what exactly they're like -- how many people go there, what the preachers focus on, whether it's true if there are actually McDonald'ses there, and whether the people there have ever even heard about Jesus's tantrum in the temple because of impious commercialism.

If any of you have any stories, or just descriptions, of megachurches, I would greatly appreciate hearing about them.

Oh, and as for the two people who actually remember me from before I dropped off the face of the earth...
The on-campus McDonald's (or in one case I recall, I think in Buffalo NY, a KFC) is probably in the minority, in a handful of the bleeding-edge implementations.

I once attended an urban Assembly of God which was at least a low-level megachurch, probably a couple thousand people in each of three Sunday mornings and beginning to use professional help to direct traffic in and out of there. Also, a more typical non-denominational aspiring megachurch, with a single 2,000 person service and aspirations to expand it's "campus" (they invariably call it that) to include a Christian assisted living complex. Another path to diversification, I guess, aside from the inclusion of a fast-food franchise. Clearly a bid for a steadier income source than the collection plate.

I've also attended small fledgling urban churches and permanently small rural churches of maybe 50 or 75 members.

There isn't all that much difference beyond the additional practiced slickness, the professionalism of the music, the well-oiled fundraising machine which is perhaps more proactive than reactive, and the better on-platform "talent". It's mostly summed up by the difference of the service music being provided by a volunteer on a slightly out of tune upright piano, vs a paid musician on an expensive digital theater pipe organ replica, or, more commonly, a volunteer orchestra conducted by a paid maestro.

There's also a tendency to use the more happy-clappy service style, even if the congregation isn't charismatic / pentecostal, and to be less fire-and-brimstone, more conciliatory and welcoming and tolerant in tone (if not always in substance).

The other differences are pretty natural to larger congregations. To avoid people losing a sense of connection amidst the throng, the church is divided (more or less geographically) into "cell groups" that meet in homes. Typically run by an elder or trained lay person, the notion is to promote more bonding between members, more "committed relationships" and better "mutual accountability". They consist of Bible study and "sharing" of some kind. This is in addition to Sunday service obligations, sometimes in lieu of the more traditional Sunday evening service or Wednesday night "prayer meeting".

The largest mega churches often have a pastor who is a published author, or they put their services on TV (local public access or, maybe, on CBN nationally if they're lucky), or they achieve some differentiation by embracing some edgy and slightly dangerous doctrinal stance relative to other similar churches. Joel Osteen for example de-emphasizes hell and judgment to the point that he seems at times almost to preach universal reconciliation. That's bombshell stuff to evangelicals.

The largest mega churches also often try to approach a cradle-to-grave lifestyle, with their own medical facilities, universities, retirement homes, cemeteries and the like, with preferential pricing for members in good standing (= regular donors). It is corporate marketing and strategic relationships and CRM, basically.
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19-07-2017, 09:40 AM
RE: Megachurches
(18-07-2017 03:40 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  Osteen's mega church goers got suckered into giving him this mega house.
It boggles the mind... first that Osteen would have the gall to own such a house and think his parishioners wouldn't see right through what's going on... and second, that he was absolutely right that they wouldn't. Facepalm

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19-07-2017, 09:45 AM
RE: Megachurches
My only experience with a megachurch was flying over one while landing and thinking it was mall because it was so a building and parking lot. Tongue

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19-07-2017, 09:57 AM (This post was last modified: 19-07-2017 10:06 AM by Anjele.)
RE: Megachurches
A (not so much any more) friend of mine from grade and high school makes his living traveling around to mega churches (and wannabe mega churches) speaking to them about security. How to make sure their grounds are safe and vetting those who work with kids.

He sees this as part of gawd's great plan for his life since leaving Catholicism and becoming evangelical in a big way. Of course he makes BIG bucks off of keeping these places safe since apparently gawd can't be bothered to do so.

I have to wonder though why he sent his sons to Catholic schools and he still donates a LOT to the high school we graduated from. Methinks a part of the evangelism is an act that helps him get and maintain certain churches as clients. Dodgy

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19-07-2017, 10:03 AM
RE: Megachurches
(19-07-2017 09:57 AM)Anjele Wrote:  A (not so much any more) friend of mine from grade and high school makes his living traveling around to mega churches (and wannabe mega churches) speaking to them about security. How to make sure their grounds are safe and vetting those who work with kids.

He sees this as part of gawd's great plan for his life since leaving Catholicism and become evangelical in a big way. Of course he makes BIG bucks off of keeping these places safe since apparently gawd can't be bothered to do so.

I have to wonder though why he sent his sons to Catholic schools and he still donates a LOT to the high school we graduated from. Methinks a part of the evangelism is an act that helps him get and maintain certain churches as clients. Dodgy

That was laugh out loud funny! Good point, Anjele! But at least they're taking tangible steps to keep their members (and innocent children) safe.
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19-07-2017, 10:09 AM
RE: Megachurches
(18-07-2017 05:46 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  For those who remember when Jim Bakker and Tammy Fay had their televangelist show and the subsequent scandal.....

[Image: 2ef6827ee73ea2134d58b2c36951a9cb1fc2faf1.jpeg]

(You might need to enlarge it to read the last cell) It's STILL funny even after all these years. Laugh out load

I met that crazy dipshit once during my ministry school. Uuuuuugh. The "forgiveness" preaching is strong with that one. Rolleyes
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19-07-2017, 10:10 AM
RE: Megachurches
The tribal group-think in regular churches scares me enough, I would never intentionally go to a megachurch.

I did once as a teen, t'was my aunt's church, the auditorium alone was about as big as a large school gym. I was in the middle of my deconversion, and boy was it weird.

At least the coffee was nice.

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19-07-2017, 10:57 AM
RE: Megachurches
(19-07-2017 09:40 AM)Impulse Wrote:  
(18-07-2017 03:40 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  Osteen's mega church goers got suckered into giving him this mega house.
It boggles the mind... first that Osteen would have the gall to own such a house and think his parishioners wouldn't see right through what's going on... and second, that he was absolutely right that they wouldn't. Facepalm

Yup. There's a regular everyday sucker born every minute but I think there's a religious sucker born every 15 seconds.

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