The Bigger The Church The Fewer its Members that do anything for God, Duke University Study Finds

LISTEN NOW! WATCH FULL PROGRAM! In our present culture, the belief that something is bigger means its better be true. But, is it true in the case of The Church? If having a larger crowd was always the answer, we have to be honest with ourselves. If this is true does that mean that Jesus missed it? Does that mean that Jesus was wrong? A report was recently released by Duke University  and the findings may be surprising to some. For this study, a “Mega Church” was those gatherings who have 500 or more attending.

 

For starters, the study revealed that, “a negative relationship between size and the probability of attendance for Conservative, Mainline, and black Protestants and for Catholics in parishes larger than 500 attenders.” What does that mean? The more people that are in attendance, the less of a relationship that someone is to have with the human being next to them. This is so important and revealing for us to understand. When we look at the life of Jesus, we see a stark difference compared to how The Church is seen today. Mark 3 details an interesting event during the ministry of Jesus. Mark 3:20 begins, “Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat.” Jesus was proclaiming the Gospel in someone’s house, surrounded by his disciples, and his biological family was outside, wanting someone to tell Jesus to come outside. When the message got to Jesus, Mark 3: 33-35 continues his response, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” We’ve put so much emphasis on the building that we have lost sight of who exactly The Church IS.

 

Continuing to share what the study revealed highlights how large numbers gathered together impacts those involved. “…that the rapid increase in the number of really big churches might actually tie into what many have observed — the declining importance of religion and religious involvement in the US…”The more people are gathered, the less they are to be involved, to be rightly related, and serve. It is easy to hide in a crowd. In fact, the study continues to share how Mega Churches “they provide places where people can go less frequently, whose comings and goings may not be noticed and where more staff means that they don’t need to take on as major a volunteer role as they would in a smaller church.”

 

If these revealing findings are not enough, the study also shares 3 factors that continue to highlight this trend of decreased involvement as crowds’ increase, “…megachurches having an inherent appeal for those who do not want to regularly attend church, megachurch attendees struggling to form social connections, and megachurch attendees having more members with high incomes than smaller congregations.” Are we too busy to build God’s Kingdom because we have a full schedule building our own kingdom?

 

We have made what God designed to be simple, to be much more complicated than it needs to be. When Jesus walked the Earth, the religious leaders of the day thought Jesus was crazy because Jesus did not take part in the events happening inside of the temple. Just because others may say a certain action is acceptable or not, we must remind ourselves of the words of Jesus as He declared in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Hear the full report and its findings about the size of gatherings, how it impacts those in the crowd, and so much more. Also shared in this segment: evangelism, worship teams, bearing fruit, family, relationship, and Charles Simpson. Greg and John shared in this segment.
courtesy of zamzarina abdullah/shutterstock.com



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