Mega-Churches: A New Ecclesiology or an Ecclesial Evangelism?
Mega-churches, or large membership congregations, have become for many an affirmation of the gospel's relevance today. Mega-churches can be significant places of witness to the reign of God facilitating transformation of individuals and the world. This article explores aspects of the emergence, character, challenges and opportunities related to mega-churches. Mega-churches, while not an ecclesiology per se, are one possible ecclesial construction in response to the gospel. The mega-church can be one way of embodying the gospel, or it can be merely a diversion that satisfies a modern desire for quantitative, objective, and even material responses to a steady, alarming, decline in North American mainline Protestantism. At its best, the mega-church offers significant opportunities for practicing evangelism, specifically an ecclesial evangelism. A faithful understanding of the church, or ecclesiology, will include aspects of an evangelistic practice in response to the invitation of the gospel to participate in the reign of God. The gathered body of Christ, an ecclesiology, at its very heart is evangelistic, encouraging individuals and congregations to live out their baptismal commissions to proclaim the gospel in its words and in its lives
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