John Alan Turner

Speaker, Author, Mentor, Coach, Facilitator

Missional Conversation (Part 2)

With apologies to JamesBrett I'm linking here to the second part of this conversation between Dave Fitch and Ed Stetzer. Their topic of conversation this time is a doozy: Can Megachurches be Missional? Missional Conversation (Part 2)

Some quick thoughts from me:

Ed was preaching at First Baptist Church of Hendersonville, TN, at the time. He says he was the interim pastor for them -- a megachurch of just over 9,000 people -- 94% of whom were involved in small groups. That's remarkable and commendable.

Ed also accurately diagnoses one very big reason why Christians are often attracted to megachurches: they feel the need to hide and heal. This is important and can be healthy. However, Christians are not meant to hide and heal forever. Perhaps it's appropriate for a season, but who is in a position to tell these people, "It's time to get back in the game"?

I also think Ed gets it right when he says that asking if "megachurches" are good or bad is the wrong question. The better question is, "Are there good megachurches and bad megachurches?" The answer to that is, obviously, yes.

I love Dave's statement that the goal many people have of turning their church into a megachurch -- or, worse, believing that mega is the only way to be effective -- is misguided. Ed's response is classic Ed: "I want those pastors to have a multiplying vision, not a mega vision."

For JamesBrett (who has a hard time downloading and watching video because of the cost of bandwidth where he is in Tanzania), here are some links to articles written by Ed and Dave:

"Missional Churches and MegaChurches" by Ed Stetzer

"Can A Megachurch be Missional?" by Dave Fitch -- If you read this article, please read Dave's last paragraph -- the part where he says, "I believe the work of the mega-churches is valid and has its place in the Kingdom: the ministry to the dormant unchurched of Christendom." If we're going to have this conversation, let's please be charitable toward those with whom we disagree, okay?

BTW, if you haven't figured it out yet, I'm firmly in Ed's camp (though I completely agree with everything Dave says about the dangers of video church). Ed has actually written about this as well in an article challenging many of the assumptions of multi-site churches.

Okay, there's a lot of thought-provoking material in there for us all. Thoughts? Comments? Observations?