Gene Scarborough wrote:I think we usually walk a line between worship and entertainment.
Jesus found this at the Temple where visitors had to use the moneychangers to have "temple money" and the descriptions of incense / trumpets / other things to raise goosebumps kept people from noticing how they were being used to keep the Pharisees in high style.
I see this in many mega churches today. I visited FBC Orlando as a classic example: rounded building / no windows / complete control of sound and lighting / monster big. It was a weekday so I was able to see the construction and other support systems without people present. To me it was nothing different than any theater I might attend.
The difference is how the facility is used and what kind of Christian fellowship and ministry take place when people are there. My personal experience is "the bigger the church / the more you have to organize for ministry." Smaller churches seem to know one another / be there when people are hurting / pass the word to friends and neighbors rather than rely on billboards and TV to get people to come.
Think what a multi-million dollare facility costs as is sits mostly empty and devoid of activity during the week.
Would such big money be better spent on ministry in hard economic times?????
Is it an ego thing to be the "biggest church in town???"
Ed: Gene again you use that editorial "we" much to liberally You may walk a line between worship and entertainment but I have attended scores of Baptist Churches, ABC and SBC, and since we are on the CBF board here at BL.C, a couple dozen CBF churches that do a very good job of creating a worship experience.
What did Jesus find at the Temple? Entertainment? You jest. Yes he did find and condemn unscrupulous money changers. But he did not condemn the idea of "Temple Money" In reality, Temple coinage. And what about the description of of incense or trumpets ? Are you advocating that Baptist should eschew musical instruments ? What is any empty sanctuary but a theater. There are theaters of various types. Have you ever been in a surgical theater? Or an autopsy theater. Did you never as a pastor promote a a Spiritual Concert? I am not sure what you real problem is with the Megas but I am sure God can handle them better than you can. I will not argue the value of small church vs Mega neither is my ideal.
I have not been in FBC Orlando since they moved to their "new" campus but their old buildings down town also comprised a mega complex. The only time I was there was for a Wednesday evening dinner with a few hundred people. Normally they would have had a multiple of meetings on that evening, teacher training , choir practice Divorce recovery etc, but it so happened they where in their first week of the annual Christmas pageant and some one came up with a ticket for me. It was absolutely as the fine as any worship service I have ever attended and was also entertaining to boot. Of course the City of Orlando thrives on entertainment.
You may recall that their former pastor Jim Henry garnered the vote vote of man CBFer's when he ran for the SBC presidency with his pledge to "broaden the tent". And many of my pastor friends, some in CBF feel that he did his best to honor that pledge and he took a lot of heat for it from the new SBC power structure.
I would suggest you visit their ministries web pages http://www.firstorlando.com/Ministries.aspx
If I where a betting man I would entertain a wager on which church has the most idle space per member, per hour per week, FBC Orlando or where ever it is that you attend. I would take the latter, if I where a betting man.
With that said, if I where to live in Orlando I might well attend College Park Baptist, a solid CBF church where BTSR grads would be welcome.