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The Church Growth Movement. “They are of the world. There-fore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:5-6).

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slide1

The Church Growth Movement

“They are of the world. There-fore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:5-6).

obedience to the truth makes men free not something less than the truth
Obedience To The Truth Makes Men Free--Not Something Less Than The Truth.
  • “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth … having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever” (1 Peter 1:22-23)
  • "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32)
the message of repentance purity of life has been left out of modern pulpits
The Message of Repentance & Purity of Life Has Been Left Out of Modern Pulpits.
  • John preached, “Repent For The Kingdom Of Heaven Is At Hand” (Matt. 3:2)
  • Jesus preached, “Repent For The Kingdom Of Heaven Is At Hand” (Matt. 4:17)
  • Peter Preached, “Repent & Be Baptized For The Remission Of Sins” (Acts 2:38)
  • Paul Preached, "Truly, These Times Of Ignorance God Overlooked, But Now Commands All Men Everywhere To Repent” (Acts 17:30)

This Is Not A Popular Message &

Will Not Attract Large Crowds Matt. 11:20-24; Jn. 6:66

slide4
The Mega-Churches Have Sprung Up In Almost Every Area of the Country & Many Are Growing Exceedingly Fast.
  • Factors Which Have Led To Their Formation & Growth
    • Members & Leaders Are Baby-Boomers Who Were Influenced By The Radicals Of The Sixties
    • Decline In Membership Among Traditional Mainstream Denominations
      • “At Last! A new church for those who’ve given up on traditional church services” (Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church, p. 41).
slide5
Factors Which Have Led To Their Formation & Growth (cont.)
    • The Downward Moral Spiral Of Mainstream Denominational Churches
      • One suggestion made by a committee of the Presbyterian Church was to “re-evaluate its definition of sin to reflect the changing mores of society.” They also went on to say that the church should sound “a call for widening the circle of the faithful—not with children, but with non-reproductive gays, lesbians, and heterosexual singles who practice ‘safe sex.’ We feel that marriage is not what legitimates sexual gratification” (“Roll Over John Calvin,” Time Magazine, May 6, 1991, p. 59).

Methodist Condone—Abortion, Gambling, Homosexuality, Adultery, Drinking

Catholics Promote—Gambling & Drinking at their Church Bazaars

Episcopalians Ordain Practicing Homosexual Priests

characteristics of a mega church
Characteristics Of A Mega-Church

Protestant Denominations

Martin Luther

Lutheran Church

John Calvin

Presbyterian Church

Charles Wesley

Methodist Church

Joseph Smith

Mormon Church

Charles T. Russell

Jehovah Witnesses

Mary Baker Eddy

Church Of Christ Scientists

  • A Strong Dynamic Leader
  • Adopt A Neutral, Non-Denominational Name
  • “Attraction Evangelism”
    • Rick Warren referred to Luke 14 “where Jesus compared the kingdom of God to a great banquet, the Master’s servants are to go out and invite the hungry to come in and eat, ‘so that my house may be full’” (The Purpose Driven Church, p. 235).

Mega-Churches

Rick Warren

Saddleback Church

Bill Hybels

Willow Creek Church

Bob Russell

Southeast Christian

characteristics of a mega church1
Characteristics of A Mega-Church
  • “Seeker Sensitive” Services
    • They emphasize “large outreach events…contemporary Christian concerts, creative presentations that utilize drama, multimedia, and the arts…men’s breakfasts, women’s luncheons, leader’s dinners” and so on to introduce the church to unbelievers (Bill Hybels, Becoming A Contagious Christian, pp. 207-208).
characteristics of a mega church2
Characteristics of A Mega-Church
  • Services Are As Non-Threatening As Possible For The Unchurched
    • “Don’t hit them over the head with everything they’re doing wrong. A lot of their sins will be dealt with after they come to Christ” (Rick Warren, A Purpose Driven Church, p. 216).
characteristics of a mega church3
Characteristics of A Mega-Church
  • Non- Guilt Evangelism – “Amnesty”
    • “No matter what you’ve done or why you left, you can come back, no questions asked” (Bill Hybels, Becoming A Contagious Christian, p. 49).
    • “Christians favor love over law-keeping, truth over trivialities, and faith over frenetic religious activity” (Bill Hybels, Becoming A Contagious Christian, p. 168).
characteristics of a mega church4
Characteristics of A Mega-Church
  • No Point Of Doctrine Worth Contending For
    • Some churches have “no real vision for reaching the lost ... because they are too busy debating internal policies and dealing with all kinds of in-house strife” (Bill Hybels, Becoming A Contagious Christian, p. 200).
    • Rick Warren warns about legalists that “erect theological walls to defend personal preferences.” (Purpose Driven Church, p. 236)
slide11

Characteristics of A Mega-Church

  • Myriad Of Ministries
    • Ministries For Any & Everything

Potty

Training

High Touch

Ministry

Hula Dance

Ministry

“When it comes to using felt needs as an open door for evangelism, the possibilities are limitless. Saddleback has over seventy targeted ministries to the crowd and community, each built around a specific need” (Rick Warren, A Purpose Driven Church, p. 222)

Peacemakers

(Cops)

Life Lines

(Troubled Teens)

Empty Arms

Ministry

slide12

Characteristics of A Mega-Church

  • Worship Takes A Backseat To Entertainment
    • “Even going to church and worshiping God—important as these are—sometimes leave us feeling that something is missing. After all, we’ll worship God for eternity in heaven; we don’t have to be here to do that.” (Bill Hybels, Becoming A Contagious Christian, p. 23).
slide13

Characteristics of A Mega-Church

  • Storytelling Over Bible Instruction
    • Criticizes “pastors” who say “We are not here to entertain.” (Rick Warren, A Purpose Driven Church, P. 232).
    • “I believe it is a sin to bore people with the Bible.” (Rick Warren, A Purpose Driven Church, P. 231).
slide14

Characteristics of A Mega-Church

  • Storytelling Over Bible Instruction
    • “Stories stir our emotions. They impact us in ways that precepts and propositions never do. If you want to change lives, you must craft your message for impact, not information” (Rick Warren, A Purpose Driven Church, p. 232).
characteristics of mega churches
Characteristics of Mega-Churches
  • Dynamic Leader
  • New Neutral Name
  • Attraction Evangelism
  • Seeker-Sensitive Services
    • Non-Threatening Services
    • Non-Guilt Evangelism
  • No Contending For The Faith
  • Many Ministries For Felt Needs
  • Entertainment Over Worship
  • Storytelling Over Bible Instruction
how do mega churches affect us
How Do Mega-Churches Affect Us?
  • Vacation Bible schools geared toward fun instead of Bible instruction:
    • Secular activities planned after every VBS service—zoo trips, outings to the park, trips to pizza parlors, etc.
    • Emphasis placed on fun during the educational portion of the school.
    • Plays worked on and acted out for audiences.
    • Limbo in the auditorium.
    • Tents and basketball goals in the parking lot.
how do mega churches affect us1
How Do Mega-Churches Affect Us?
  • Changes in preaching:
    • Non-controversial message: don’t call names; don’t offend.
    • Not make hearers feel guilty.
    • Positive Projection from the Pulpit: cover controversial and negative issues in classes.
    • Less Scripture and almost no application.
    • Over-emphasis on personal stories, humor.
    • No plan of salvation given when offering the invitation.
    • Seminars with no prayers, no Bible allowed, no reference to God by name.
    • More emphasis on presentation than content; feelings than truth.
slide18

How Do Mega-Churches Affect Us?

  • Drama videos played during youth lectures.
  • Youth lecture advertisements that advertise the secular with spiritual.
  • Churches changing their name to non-offending names.
  • Change services to accommodate secular activities—Super Bowl, basketball games, & high school events, etc.
  • Willingness to fellowship false teachers, especially if they are popular and attract a crowd.
  • Refusal to publicly discuss current issues and questions among us.
what saith the scriptures
What Saith The Scriptures?
  • The Bible Is A Complete Guide – 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Psa. 119:105
  • Man Has Always Rejected The Perfect For The Imperfect – 2 Sam. 8:5; 1 Kgs. 12:8-14
  • The Light Is In God’s Word – Isa. 8:20
there is always a demand for soft preaching preachers who will satisfy the demand
There Is Always A Demand For Soft Preaching & Preachers Who Will Satisfy the Demand
  • That this is a rebellious people, Lying children, Children who will not hear the law of the LORD; Who say to the seers, "Do not see," And to the prophets, "Do not prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits. (Isaiah 30:9-10)
  • "An astonishing and horrible thing Has been committed in the land: The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule by their own power; And My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end? (Jeremiah 5:30-31)

Jeremiah 6:13-16

preacher s responsibility

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Romans 1:16).

Preacher’s Responsibility
  • Preach the Word (2 Tim. 4:2)
  • Preach To Please God (1 Thess. 2:4)
  • Preach The Whole Counsel (Acts 20:27)
  • Preach The Truth In Love (Eph. 4:15)
slide22

Obedience To The Truth

  • Believe Gospel – Mk. 16:16
  • Confess Faith – Acts 8:37
  • Repent of Sins – Acts 17:30
  • Be Baptized – Acts 2:38