Those of you that attended a home meeting on the Bold Love Initiative may remember the statement Pastor Marty made, “The Mega Church is Dead”. The majority of church attenders across America don’t know whether or not they attend a mega church or even what that means (churches with over 2000 in attendance). If you are an attender at Northstar, you are a part of that group of Christians who have found a place within these large congregations. Mega Churches are attended by 10% of church goers, but only make up .5% of the churches. However, with the vast majority of people are still attending churches 200 and smaller even after 30 years of the mega church movement… it is pretty clear that big doesn’t always equal better.
As you can see in the graphic posted, mega church growth has slowed to a halt. However there is a relatively young movement that has been skyrocketing called Multi-site, which as of August 2012 is now 5000+ churches strong! These are churches exporting their unique God-given DNA to other communities by leveraging technology, gifted communicators, media resources, and pastoral care systems. The mega church hasn’t died in the sense people are leaving them, but I wouldn’t expect it to grow at the pace it once enjoyed.
So what does that mean for churches joining the Multi-site revolution? They are experiencing a 90% success rate every time a new campus is started. Compare those results to church plants having a 80% failure rate within the first year and you begin to really see why it is growing so fast. They have numerous advantages like freeing campus staff to focus more on building church community than preaching a message every week. They are allowing relevant churches to reach into communities that would have otherwise never been possible. They are really are reaching people (3 salvations at our East Bay campus this past Sunday!) that would have never been reached.
These changes in church culture are really a reflection of what has been taking place for centuries. It’s not that the mega church is evil or even ineffective, but it is very difficult to reach areas outside of large cities because they can’t support the huge buildings required. We could continue and grow comfortable with what God has built through this congregation, but instead we know it is time to ask what is the boldest possible way to love a the billions of people that don’t know Christ. The answer is simple…the hope of the world is the local church. And for the foreseeable future the best way, if I can be so bold to say it, is to build the local church is leveraging the Multi-site revolution.