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Why Is NewSpring So Big? Uncovering the Truth About “Megachurches”

By: john weirick

“The church is too big.”

“It feels impersonal.”

“Megachurches aren’t church; they’re rock concerts.”

“How can you be in a church where you don’t know everyone’s name?”

We’ve all made assumptions about churches based on a friend’s one-time experience or out-of-context scrutiny on social media. However, if we’re not careful, we rely too much on opinions, criticism, and controversy spun by people who may or may not be involved in the church at all.

Instead of making assumptions, spreading rumors, and throwing around the C-word—cult— let’s dispel a few myths about the church and God’s intent for it.

3 Myths About Big Churches and What You Can Do About It

Myth #1: The bigger a church grows, the less it teaches people about Jesus.

Reaching more people and helping them grow a deeper relationship with Jesus are not mutually exclusive. If everyone plays a role in the mission of the church, everyone is cared for and God gets the credit for building His Church (1 Corinthians 14:26, Ephesians 3:21).

Reaching more people and helping them grow a deeper relationship with Jesus are not mutually exclusive.

Being a big church means we have a variety of opportunities for helping people follow Jesus, for instance, through serving, caring for each other, being connected in community, giving generously like Jesus, and more.

We all have a part to play.

Is God leading you to be a part of something bigger than yourself? Do you want to see more people learn how to follow Jesus with their whole lives? Instead of criticizing or complaining, we can make a difference by taking ownership of what God has called us to do and build the Church in the ways He’s equipped us to (Ephesians 4:11-13).

Myth #2: The bigger a church grows, the fewer opportunities you have to be connected in community.

Do some only attend church services or dart out early to avoid conversations? Unfortunately, yes. We’d love for them to stick around and connect with others, meet Jesus and take next steps with Him.

Community cannot be forced, but we can each contribute to the connectedness of the church. Real community grows by conversations, welcoming unfamiliar faces, inviting someone over for coffee or dinner, plugging into a Group, reading the Bible, and enjoying life with each other (Acts 2:42-47). That’s the essence of discipleship: learning to take next steps following Jesus together.

It would be a sad testimony for us to be convinced that it’s OK for the church to stay small and keep to ourselves when God has called us to something far bigger.

Myth #3: God doesn’t want churches to be “mega.”

The Bible gives exactly zero negative statements about a church because of its size—but it offers plenty of evidence God is excited about growing a huge Church.

The Church started with a comfortable 12 disciples with Jesus (Matthew 10:2). Soon, Jesus sent 72 of His followers to share the His message (Luke 10:1-17). Before long, they grew to 120—a crowd, but still manageable (Acts 1:15). But when Peter preached the Gospel, invited people to repent of their sins and follow Jesus, about 3,000 people responded (Acts 2:14-41). The early Church rapidly became a megachurch that eventually spread beyond the region and all around the world.

God’s goal for the Church was never to keep it manageable and comfortable, but to start something that would radically change more and more lives—reaching those across the street and across the globe (Acts 1:8). Like the early Church, NewSpring is all about the numbers—the number of people meeting Jesus and being changed by Him.

If you want a perpetually small church, you might reconsider if you have the same intent for church that Jesus has for His Church.

If you want a perpetually small church, you might reconsider if you have the same intent for church that Jesus has for His Church.

Can A Big Church Grow Smaller?

If you think NewSpring is too big, you can do something about it.

When you get involved, you help a big church feel small. When you serve, you’ll be able to connect with people like you, week after week, who love the church and want to help more people. When you build a community of relationships with people you enjoy spending time with, you’re building the church.

Maybe your next step is to get involved in another way. We launched eight NewSpring House Campuses around South Carolina. We’re going small to reach more people.

You can help the church fulfill its God-given vision (Matthew 28:19-20). We’ve got work to do. Will you join us?

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