Sunday, July 24, 2011

Interview with Charles Simpson on Mega churches

I was really interested to find a very recent video of a short interview with Charles Simpson on the question of why mega churches don't affect communities - but disciples do. This question has come to me every now and then - because I guess I've always held a rather naive view that mega churches surely would affect the community.

We don't have very many mega churches in the United Kingdom. Probably the closest is Church of Christ the King in Brighton (tiny comparably at over a 1000 members!) but I was shocked when many of my friends in the gay community in Brighton had absolutely no idea of CCK's existence or the values it stands for (other than being fully aware that "CCK doesn't like gays"). That is another question for another day coming soon. But it's the biggest Newfrontiers church in the UK and the community of Brighton isn't really affected!

Charles Simpson and the whole Shepherding Movement came under heavy fire for the abuses and excesses that characterized some of it. For example the majority of commenters on "SGM Survivors" hate the Shepherding Movement (and this blog for promoting and honouring Ern Baxter's ministry) and blame it for C J Mahaney and their polity. While I hate the excesses of authoritarian church leadership with a passion - I still remain persuaded by the principles of discipleship under a spiritual real father/mother that Ern Baxter particularly taught so well and so gently. I know the loneliness of being in a church and knowing that you are essentially a stranger.

Here's the video:

I would hesitantly suggest (if I can disagree with Charles Simpson) that I still think there is a place for mega churches but churches that integrate the principles of loving discipleship and cell groups and so on. For example - Paul Yongi Cho and his church in South Korea seem to take this approach extremely successfully - and there is a church that affects not just the community but the country and the world!

So here's to hoping for more mega churches under loving Ephesians 4 Ministries and father/pastors who know what it is to love and care for each member as an essential part of the living Bride of Christ!


David Rolles said...

Hi Dan, there are quite a number of churches in the UK that are a fair bit larger than CCK in Brighton, eg KICC and Jesus House in London, Trinity Cheltenham, St Thomas Philadelphia Sheffield, Hillsong London, All Souls London, Kensington Temple London, etc.

dave bish said...

Depends on the megachurch definition but the Church of England I think has more than ten churches over 1000, and then there are the African/Pentecostal churches, and the Catford Newfrontiers church is over 1000 too.

Dan Bowen said...

Thanks chaps, good to learn about other mega churches about!