Mega Church, Mega Business, Mega Fraud?

What??? Did we just write that? Okay calm down, we are not bashing Mega Churches or large Churches, in fact most of our team are part of some of the largest Churches in the country. 

The point of this post is to dialog some discussion on what is really happening behind closed doors at some of the largest churches in the World. 

As we know the Christian Industry is a multimillion dollar business. From books, sermon notes, and music, there are many products for sale. But what we wanted to focus on is what happens when you bring that business focus into the walls of the church? 

Does selling your material to other churches really benefit the kingdom of God?

What about when someone works on staff for the Church and uses his or her private business to operate the functionality of the church?  Double Dipping?

Even free content, many don’t know but free content is not really free at all. We do live in a world where products and delivery are not really free. Content has to be delivered and the church has to pay for it, but the real question is who owns the delivery networks where data is transfered? 

A lot of times the answers to theses questions do not lie on the surface. I think it is important to seek the truth of how your church operates. Things always look good on the surface but I think what is important is the hidden leadership we don’t always see. 

The point of this is, what would happen if we took the Mega Church Business, and made it a Mega Giving Business? Would children get feed, would lives get saved?

We’ll leave this question open for discussion.

Team IML

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5 responses to “Mega Church, Mega Business, Mega Fraud?

  1. Let me give an analogy. Let’s say you invited the family over for a meal. You might ask your sister (who is well-known for her awful cooking) to bring a watermelon and your brother to bake some of his famous yeast bread and your mom to bring her delicious potato salad. You would certainly not charge them a per-plate fee, though it’s possible you might all chip in to buy some expensive treat.

    Now let’s say you have a sister whose husband just left her and she’s got a couple of kids to support on a job at the local convenience store. Would you tell her she can’t come unless she brings a contribution to the meal and helps to fund the prime rib? More likely, you’d offer to pay for her gasoline so she could make it, or go and pick her and the kids up and insist they stay the night and send most of the leftovers home with her, wouldn’t you?

    That’s a family. The church is supposed to be a family, not a bunch of people who barely know one another buying and selling stuff to each other when they get together.

    “Hey, wait ’til you hear the sizzling hot revelation God just gave me last month. I’ve got a double set of CDs here, only $19.95 for both, and I’ll throw in my great new witnessing booklet for free if you buy two sets. We want to get the word out!”

    If I said that to you, you’d walk away shaking your head. What is it about being a preacher or a musician that makes this okay? It might be acceptable to defray your expenses. Beyond that, I have to wonder. The kingdom of God is not a business opportunity. It’s not something to “break into” so you can have a superstar career as an orator or a bard.

    We’re supposed to build one another up. For free. Paul did that, took the beatings and the torture and the imprisonment and supported himself by making tents. Plus, though he insisted he had the right, as did all the apostolic workers, to maintenance from the church, he never accepted money from a church in whose city he was currently ministering.

    I realize that not everyone is a “Paul”, but where are the “Pauls” of today? They’re not in the USA, where they could conceivably afford such a lifestyle. No, they’re in China and Vietnam and other places where the church is actively and brutally persecuted. That’s where we find the itinerant preachers who travel (usually on foot) from village to village building churches (the people–not the architecture).

    Sorry–I got a little passionate there. I’ve just been to the Voice of the Martyrs website and I’m feeling a little discouraged with the “business” of Christianity. Do we have to wait until thugs start beating us with clubs and burning down our homes and church buildings before we can learn to take the Kingdom of God seriously?

    How about this? Let’s spend less time depending on superstars and more time seeking God. Our turn is indubitably coming.

    God bless,

    Cindy

  2. Cindy Great Insight, Feel free to share more.

  3. I agree with Cindy. 100%

  4. Plain and simple- if you are a musician and writing/selling music to make a living, you should get paid.

    But if you are a pastor, and what you create (whether it’s a sermon, some graphics, whatever) and you’ve already been paid by your community to create it- selling it online is just shameful.

    It’s one thing to sell a series of your messages in a book- people are paying for the hard coy and the artwork, etc

    But to sell downloads of your sermon manuscript for $10 a pop?!?

    If you are a worship pastor who writes songs on the clock and for your community, great. You are getting paid to be free to do that. Sell CD’s- fine. There are recording costs, packaging, distribution, etc. But you better be publishing those songs with a creative commons copyright and putting the lyrics/chords out there for free.

    Your church already paid you to make that sermon slide, that sermon, whatever. *Give it away.*
    God gave it freely to you. Give it to others.

  5. Like money-changers in the temple, I’m afraid that our Savior would be appalled by what we do in His name.

    To be clear: The Bride of Christ is NOT a business!

    Like Cindy alluded to, the church should do things that would make a CEO cringe. Instead of schmoozing with the rich and powerful, we should be schmoozing the unlovable, the dregs of society.

    Jesus didn’t say that the world would know we are His because of our Powerpoint or Mediashout presentations, but rather our love.

    Churches should work at developing preachers who go out and preach the Word. Seminaries are fine for some, but not all. Some would rather sit at the kitchen table and study and read and teach then sit in a classroom.

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