Small Church or Megachurch, Does it Matter?

12 March 2017, Written by Nigel Maine, Posted in News & Information

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Small Church or Megachurch, Does it Matter?

I'm not sure at which point we are on the upward curve, in terms of the increase of Christianity, but I wholly believe that we are poised to witness some of the most amazing events ever seen on this earth and not all of them will be particularly pleasant.

From the beginning of the early church there being varying sizes of gatherings, from the book of Acts 2:41 "Those who believed what Peter said were baptised and added to the church that day - about 3000 in all (NLT) And still today, Christianity is on the increase around the world.

With reports that more people are coming to faith than ever before in history, to the rise and rise of the mega church, like the one in my picture, there is a genuine need for seriously large buildings to accomodate worshipers.

The main image above is Lakewood church in Houston, Texas, USA and has a regular attendance of 43,500 every week. The building used to be the Compaq basketball stadium.  Lakewood is the largest church in the USA by about 13,500 people.

Yoido Full Gospel Church

However, Lakewood is eclipsed by the Yoido Full Gospel Church in South Korea which has a congregation of 830,000!!! yes, nearly million and not a typo!. They have seven services a day starting at 4:30 AM. On Sundays each service has approximately 200,000 in attendance at multiple campus buildings plus hundreds of thousands watching online every day.

N.B. These church numbers are not to be confused with a revival meeting or a concert.  The attendees belong to the church.  By stark contrast some churches in the UK have less than twenty people in their congregations.

yoido

If you are new to Christianity or an 'old hand', there are congregations worldwide that are simply breathtaking in terms of the size of their congregations and also in terms of the project management required to organise so many people.

But to give you an idea about the rest of the world, here are some more staistics.

Top 10 Church Congregations in the World

Position

Size

Name

Country

Denomination

#1

830,000

Yoido Full Gospel Church

S. Korea

Assemblies of God

#2

75,000

Deeper Christian Life Ministry

Nigeria

Non-denominational charismatic

#3

75,000

Elim Central Church

El Salvador 

Pentecostal 

#4

70,000

New Life Church 

India 

 

#5

65,000

Onnuri Comm' Church

S. Korea 

Presbyterian 

#6

60,000

Jesus Celebration Center

Kenya 

 

#7

60,000

Pyungkang Cheil Church 

S. Korea 

Presbyterian  

#8

55,000

Victory Metro Manila 

Philippines 

Non-denominational 

#9

50,000

Ministere du Combat Spirituel 

Congo 

charismatic 

#10

50,000

Living Faith Church 

Nigeria 

Non-denominational charismatic 

So where does the UK figure in this?

The largest church in the UK is ithe Anglican Cathedral n Liverpool, but what really counts is the number of worshipers.

liverpool anglican cathedral

The largest congregations belong to the evangelical churches as follows:

Top Five Congregations in UK

Position

Size

Name

Location

Denomination

#137

5000

KICC

Kent

Charismatic

#138

5000

Hillsong Church

London

Pentecostal

#139

5000

Kensington Temple

London

Elim Pentecostal Church

#140

5000

New Wine Church

London

Charismatic

Some people are not fans of the 'megachurch', but I can't see a way around the fact that if through effective communication by a single church, it achieves its objective and attracts more people, the only option is to provide suitable accommodation to house the congregation.

When it comes to financing, well, that's up to God. He wants to see his people properly taken care of and living and worshiping together. He doesn't have an overdraft or any outstanding loans, so as far as I am concerned, the bigger the better and more of them too.

A Word of Caution

There is obviously a significant role for large churches to play in our society and in many cases they are extremely successful however it is easy to hide or to get missed. So it's important to make yourself known to the stewards or welcome teams wherever you end up going.

Typically large churches also come with pretty good worship bands. However, whilst listening to great worship is all well and good, and bless all the worship teams, the point of church is more than just listening to and singing a few nice songs. And yes, I know we are made to worship God and with our whole being, but I want to emphasise that we also need to study and live a life that is Christ-like.

I am also aware that many people attend church because their parents do or used to. And also all too often the preacher rushes to finish the sermon within the allotted time so as not to inconvenience the congregation.

But we go to church to get fed spiritually by the word of God. To receive instruction and to use this information in our daily lives. The choice is yours whether the talk is taking too long! For me, I can't get enough. Whether it is live at church on TV on YouTube or a website.

I can see though how year after year we have been browbeaten by the media and in turn they have created an environment that thwarts effective teaching through restlessness.

We have been conditioned to want our 'fix' as soon as possible, we don't want to wait and if it takes too long to work it out or process it, (i.e. the point of the sermon) it is dismissed.

This is not new for the UK or anywhere else in the world for that matter, but what's happening is that certain churches are growing, and growing fast. There is a demand for large churches with creche facilities, restaurants, offices and so on.

If you're new to Christianity in the UK or anywhere else for that matter, make sure you're going to church to worship God and to learn something, and not to simply hang out in the building/environment or just listen to the worship band!

About the Author

Nigel Maine

Nigel Maine

Path to Salvation

Because Jesus died on the cross and rose again, he paved a way for you so that you can be forgiven of all the things you have done wrong, and that you find the true meaning of life. Since you have lied, stolen, used God’s name in vain, etc., you have violated God’s law, which will result in punishment. But the good news is that God loves you and that He doesn’t want you to be condemned to hell, therefore He sent His son Jesus to take your punishment.

If you turn away from your transgressions and accept this forgiveness through baptism under water you will then receive the Holy Spirit with the sign of speaking in tongues. This means that sin, which separates you from God, will disappear and you will, by the Holy Spirit, experience a living relationship with God, as we read in the Bible.

A supernatural relationship starts here and continues in heaven. The only way to heaven is through Jesus, which you can accept today.

 

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