Mega-Churches vs. Personal Touch
Last week my nephew was in a motorcycle accident that left him brain-dead. My brother and his family had been attending a mega-church known for large, inspiring worship services, great music and anonymity for attendees. The family contacted the church to ask a pastor to come and plan a funeral with them. The church office replied that they did not do weddings and funerals. So my brother contacted the local United Methodist church they had attended for about 15 years before they went to the new mega-church that was averaging 24,000 people a week. Their church sent over two pastors and assisted them in the planning of the funeral. I attended the service and was deeply blessed by the church's outpouring of compassion, love and concern. I believe that a church is at its best when we are walking alongside one another in times of pain, loss, questions and doubt. Inspiring worship and great music is good but it cannot take the place of personal contacts, having a relationship with a pastor and having fellow disciples to learn from and be held up by their prayers and presence.
At the end of last week, as I reflected on the response of these two churches, I found myself very glad to be a part of a faith community that seeks to know, care for, lift up, and teach one another as the body of Christ. Next time you are tempted to give up your local church and go get lost in one of the mega-churches, remember that one day you will need a personal touch. Stick with your local church and work alongside your fellow believers to make it a place of faith, love, and Christ-like actions for those in your area hungry for hope and healing in this broken world.