MegaThoughts

The first part of my week I am spending at Harvest Bible Chapel. It’s a little odd every time I hang out with folks who work with big churches because their mindset is completely different from my mindset. In the end, we do very similar things. We both invest in, disciple, and dream about world changing stuff. We just happen to do it at two completely different scales. I work with 15-20 students and they have several hundred. Major scale difference! Likewise, the problems that we encounter are completely different. So it’s cool. I have great respect for the people whom I have interacted with here. They love the Lord, are great at what they do, and I’m happy to receive their wisdom.

Speaking of big churches, yesterday we visited a church that makes “Megachurch” seem like the wrong word. It wasn’t a big enough word. My friend Jason Raitz was kind enough to show us around his church, Willow Creek Community Church. Size-wise it’s hard to describe how big Willow is. Some numbers that stick out as we walked for two hours, dragging our jaws through half of it after seeing their amazing new worship center. 24,000 people attend a service on the weekend. 1900 of them make it to a middle school small group. The new worship center seats 7800. I think Jason told me he oversees 250 volunteers. There are about 500 employees at Willow. (4-5 times our churches size!) Those are things I remember. It was so nice of Jason to give up all that time to show us around. It was awesome.

Both Harvest and Willow are great churches. And I don’t mean they are great because they are large. They are great because they do big, bold, and great things in the name of Jesus.  It’s all about God, His Word, and proclaiming Jesus for these churches.

It’s funny because there are people in our church who will read this and think, “Great. The pastors want Romeo to be a megachurch.” Nah. We’re so far from “mega” that we’re only thinking “We want to be a great church.” Size doesn’t make something great.

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in Ahwahnee, California.

2 comments

  1. Adam you’re right. Size doesn’t make something great.

    I attended Willow on Thursday nights while in college. That place is freakishly huge. I loved my times there though. It was so awesome being able to seek God with so many other people. Honestly though I’m a smaller church kind of guy I think.

  2. I went to the new Willow Creek in downtown Chicago the morning it opened – definitely an experience I value. They seemed to be reaching a different demographic than the one I fit into, but I think that they are exactly the right sort of church to reach a significant portion of our population that has become disenchanted with the way church has traditionally worked.

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