Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Mega- Church

My daughter Elizabeth is very interested in the Jesus Movement and she asked me when Mega Churches started. What follows is my reply.

How did mega-Churches start?

My thoughts are that during the Jesus Movement and Charismatic Movement large conferences and festivals somehow contributed to the idea that bigger was better. We enjoyed praying together and worshiping in the Spirit with like-minded people. Some of the mega churches grew as the people that organized these events discovered that perhaps it would be feasible to come together as a congregation.

The first mega church in America was probably started by evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson back in the 1930's. She had a huge following due to the new phenomenon of radio. Her church was a result of her public appearances.

Mega churches have been huge in other countries before gaining popularity in the USA. South Korea and the Philippines in particular have churches drawing in excess of 10,000 members a week.

The first mega church that started during the Jesus Movement was Calvary Chapel. A small group of people were all that was left of a church and they held a prayer meeting to decide their fate. They felt that God was speaking to them and He told them that Chuck Smith would become their pastor, their church would be overcrowded and they would have a radio ministry. That was in 1968.

Within a year all of those things came true. Today Calvary Chapel has many different congregations and a college. If you remember going to see The Second Chapter of Acts when you were young, those folks were members of Calvary Chapel from back in the day.

The Vineyard is another example. It was originally a Charismatic based church, but over the years it's message has become sort of a middle ground that will appeal to all Christians.

From the Charismatic viewpoint, The University Of Notre Dame in Indiana became a huge congregation and drew folks of all denominations from all over the world. In Cincinnati we had St. Bernard's that was led by Father Rick Roher. Some of our friends moved to the St. Bernard area to live close to each other.

 Rock Church in Virginia was another mega church that started in the late 1960's.

Christians were faced with the dilemma of the lowered moral values of many Americans, particularly in the public schools. They sought out alternative schools, shops and entertainment. Hence there are some mega churches that have their own shops within them.

Top 10 Reasons To Go To A Mega Church

There is a mega church north of Cincinnati that has a huge statue of Jesus in their front yard. It's just south of Middletown. They draw in members from as far north as Michigan that drive there on Sundays. I think baby boomers, the offspring of the folks that founded the suburban cheese box home had everything to do with founding mega churches. Most parents of baby boomers faced the Depression and WWll and wanted better lives for their children. So I think baby boomer feel entitled to bigger, better and a quest for knowledge.

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