Culture At Large

Church as a Spectator Sport

Chris Salzman

Having attended megachurches for the past few years, I can testify with perfect clarity that it's fascinatingly easy to slip in and out of them avoiding all human interaction.

Allow me to add that an attendee's invisibility in church life is primarily their fault; however, ringing in as a very culpable secondary reason is the immense size of these institutions.

Let's turn our attention to this post on Bring the Books:

As I was watching this documentary with my wife (which only addressed the issue of suburban sprawl, not the other things I just mentioned above), I turned to her and said, "if these communities are all supposed to be perfect and ideal, what kind of churches are being built for them to go to?
The answer is, instead of building small churches for these subdivisions of houses, what has happened is, each suburb has a gigantic mega-church within driving distance...it would seem, prima facie that the maximum opportunity for people to interact is being provided on Sundays at these mega churches. However, the opposite is happening. After all, one of my simultaneously favorite and also least-favorite things about mega churches is the anonymity they provide.

I'll admit that I've regularly enjoyed that anonymity from time to time. He continues:

When i lived in Phoenix, I went to mega churches occasionally before I found a PCA church to attend. One of the loneliest and most ironic experiences is entering a gigantic church where communion with one another as well as with God is supposed to happen and actually finding a more anonymous experience than entering a darkened theater to watch the latest blockbuster.

Have you found this to be true as well? Any other thoughts?

[HT: [lab]oratory, Tangentially, [lab]oratory ranks up there as one of my favorite blog titles.]

Topics: Culture At Large, Theology & The Church, News & Politics, Media