A 'mega-church' is defined as a church with over 2000 people attending each weekend. The number of mega-churches around the world has continued to escalate exponentially despite a variety of criticisms.

Foundationally, we need to acknowledge that the church in Jerusalemin the first century was a mega-church with 3,000 people joining the 120 disciples on the very first day (Acts 2:41). Fairly soon there were 5,000 men in this church (Acts 4:4), meaning that if you included women and children, this church was most likely over 10,000 people in number. That’s a mega-church!

Amazingly, despite it’s size, this first century church had a high quality of community and discipleship, due to their regular gathering in homes in addition to their large gatherings (see Acts 2:42-47). We don’t have a lot of information about the ‘programs’ of the early church, but they did have both large and small gatherings of believers, a model followed by Old Testament Israel, as well as by Jesus himself.

Ultimately, the mark of maturity for any church is not its size (bigger is not necessarily better), the architecture of it’s building (the first century church owned no buildings) or even its spiritual giftings (the church at Corinth was very gifted but still immature). THE mark of a mature church is the evidence of genuine LOVE – amongst its members and towards outsiders. This is what Jesus declared would be our greatest testimony to the watching world (John 13:35) and it was what Paul was always looking for in the churches he oversaw (1 Thess.1:2-3. 2 Thess.1:3. Col.1:3-8). As our churches becoming communities where authentic love abounds, God will be pleased and people will be reached. After all, the best church growth flows out of church health.

For more information about mega-churches, here are some helpful resources that you might want to check out:

4 thoughts on “Mega-Churches

  1. Hi Mark,
    I grew up in a ‘family’ church of about 200 regulars which in time grew to about 800. Going by the ‘mega-church’ definition, CityLife is our second mega-church we’ve been privileged to be a part of. But I must confess deep down I still have my lingering doubts with the large church reaching the many individuals that step across its doors. All too common that people are not adequately discipled despite the wealth of giftings and skills in the big church. Practical love and deeper relationships a necessary bridge and understandably I’m all for encouraging Life Groups. Here’s a link to an interesting piece my brother sent me a while back with some food for thought:
    Praying and believing for better things at CityLife!

  2. totally agree with the love thing
    for your info it’s been hard finding even basic acceptance within the Young Adults program. I know a few people who feel this way. It’s as if you can’t be accepted if starting attendance at Wav after turning 18.

  3. Hi Mark. Yes, discipleship is a challenge in a church of any size – large or small. It’s easy to be a beleiver in Christ but much harder to be a follower of Christ. May we continue to work together raise up more genuine ‘followers’! Mark Conner

  4. Dear Sir
    I take this opportunity to introduce about our self to you. God has called my wife Dr. Archana and I for His glory. We have started a ministry Called “ Good News Proclamation Services” in Agra Uttar Pradesh India
    . We plant the churches and train the men & women for the proclaiming of the gospel. We also run free education school, New life Children’s home, Medical Care Center for poor and lessprivlaged people.
    I wish to build a bridge of relationship and prayer between us in Agra India, so that we can stand together and win many lives
    Vision /Goal
    God has given us vision to reach to save the lost soul those who are dying without hearing the gospel. Though this is a great and difficult task but not impossible, because we serve a God where nothing is impossible. G.N.P.S is working with a specific Motto and Vision for North India and Stand for Glorification of God, Peace on Earth and Welfare of all. Our Aim is not only the Spiritual Freedom of all People but also the Freedom from the Mental, Physical and Social evils.

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