Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hate to diss someone's church, but...

this article about a new mega-church in the Atlanta area had some disheartening things to say about the state of Christianity in the US. (Kerri, I'm expecting to hear from you on this one...)

The new church includes "facilities for children, from birth through college..." What is wrong with that sentence?

Of course, most churches anymore have "children's church" or Sunday School during the church service because kids aren't expected to be able to sit through a church service. Though our church doesn't separate kids, I remember a few occasions when they were younger that the sermon content was something I'd rather they weren't exposed to just then. Still, it bothers me that
"...congregants are encouraged not to bring children into the worship experience center..." because "We don't want a 2-year-old to disrupt anyone's experience." I don't know if kids are allowed in the cafe, either.

The facility cost $30 million. Movie-making equipment and staff are probably pretty expensive! I guess that's money well-spent if it really gets people in the doors, hearing the Gospel so they can truly become part of the body of Christ, ready to go out and minister to others. My brief experience with an almost-mega-church makes me a little cynical, though. My guess is people will hear "nice words spoken" (not a quote from the article but something a nonbeliever who attended a Christian church once said to me; she also complained about the icky focus on the Crucifixion on the Sunday before Easter) and go on with their lives. I hope I am wrong about that.


DADvocate said...

Didn't bother to read the article, BUT college students aren't children (with a few exceptions).

The not bringing children into the "worship experience center" (How'd they come up with that term?) reminds me of the old story of a woman carrying her laundry to the river. On her way a sheet hanging out brushes a meditating monk. The monk exclaims, "Can't you see I'm mediatating?!" The woman replies, "If you'd been as intent on meditating as I in doing the laundry, you wouldn't have noticed." A parent can always take a child out temporarily if he/she becomes too disruptive.

These large churches strike me as being as much about money as religion.

Marbel said...

Dadvocate, thanks for the comment. You won't find so much action here as on Dr. Helen's site. The story of the meditating monk is very appropriate.