It is fascinating how the secular and the spiritual parallel sometimes. The mega church is similar to Wal-Mart in America and the little business is not unlike the small church. You may be aware that there is an ever-increasing storm building in America against Wal-Mart. Have you read the stories or watched the TV specials about the bad guys from Bentonville? I often wonder what Sam Walton would think of how his little 5 and 10 cent store has evolved?

They say Wal-Mart effects every area of your life even if you don’t shop there. Did you know we spend $35 million an hour at Wal-Mart 24-7? If it is true that this worldwide entity is affecting our very thinking then we must ask has it tinkered with the modern day church? I believe that Wal-Mart is very similar to what is happening with many churches. The big ones are getting bigger and little ones are at best holding their own. My how the church has changed. Change is good isn’t it?

It is reported that Wal-Mart has put 21 grocery store chains out of business? Is that big church down the street pulling people out of the little one? Truth is, Wal-Mart has not run the little business out and the Mega church has not put the little church out. If this is happening, and if it is a problem, then, that would be our fault. We build the store we want and the church we want. In the market place we vote with our dollars and in the church we vote with our attendance. Bigger is better, has more to offer, is easier on me, cheaper and well, you get the idea.

With all of history in the past, modern American evangelicals are often tempted to be overly preoccupied with what is simply the newest and the biggest rather than what is essentially important. Often, church folks are distracted by the roar of the Mega churches or the latest novelty while failing to keep the BASICS of faith in the right place. Where is the foundation? Here is the predominate message today, “Out with the old and in with the new.” Our grandkids are going to ask, “What is a hymnal?” We have coffee shops in the church foyers, fast food messages that eschew doctrine and all the while we strut about with our most recent technological worship aids – all to the glory of God, of course.

The question is, Are things really better and will we regret our decisions? The obsession with the recent and the big rather than the important has many church leaders thinking strategically and planning carefully concerning what people want to experience when they come to church. How can we “bring them in”? As Wal-Mart crushes the competition with “Always low prices – always,” does the big church do the same? Let me ask again, bigger is better isn’t it? Let’s ask another question, “What will the people who come to church this Sunday take home with them?” Now that is really the challenge. Truth is often lost in the happenings at any given service. One fear is church is more entertainment than real worship. Is success in the church measured by size?

If we make our focus on the Bible but fail to reach and make appropriate contact with the world, what have we done? If we focus on the world, but remain disconnected from the Bible what have we done? Therefore, it is essential that the church work hard to be both biblically grounded and culturally relevant.

So why is it that all of a sudden we are asking if the Mega store is really a good thing and will we regret we made the “mom and pop stores” so yesterday. Is the mega church a really good thing and is the small church just a part of history? The jury is still out.

I do know this that there is an inherent danger of imitating the world in anything. All churches regardless of size need to remember that the truth of the Word is the only thing that really changes lives. Remember! Always the Bible – Always.

The Waynedale News Staff

Pastor Greg Patton-Skyline Community Church

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