Can megachurches be missional?
Can megachurches be missional? Well, it depends on who you ask.
I've had this conversation many times – it seems that many think that you are a mindless automaton if you attend a megachurch – a mindless consumer, unengaged in mission.
People think this was because, well, it is true at times. I do have some concerns about some megachurches-- when it is all about the preacher and all about the weekend, I am concerned. You should be too.
Yet, I also think that there are megachurches that are indeed seeking to be missional. I have written about it in Outreach Magazine and had a video debate about it with David Fitch in parts 1, 2, and 3.
Will it be hard? Yes, it always is. However, the "bigness" of the megachurch makes it harder. In a megachurch, it is easy to come for the show but not connect with others and serve. Last Sunday, I preached at James River Assembly of God in Springfield, MO on this very topic-- how to move people from sitting in rows, to sitting in circles, to provoking one another to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24), to living as agents of God's mission. Yet, James River is leading its over ten thousand regular attendees to be in small community and live as agents of God's mission.
I taught the James River Life Group leaders on Saturday with a new seminar I am almost finished developing for megachurch pastors, staff, and key leaders to help engage their whole church in missions-- to move people from being passive spectators to active participants in the mission of God. It is almost done, and I will share the final product with the megachurch pastors of the Vineyard Church in a forthcoming meeting this November.