I remember when my oldest son was maybe 3 or 4. We lived in Lubbock and attended the Broadway Church and there were something like 2000+ people there on most Sunday's. It was definantly "Big Church". So big in fact that unless you were in a class, your chances of getting to know somebody or make connections was pretty slim. My boy Ryan wasn't particularly enamored with "Big Church". He would have much rather stayed in his class with his buddies. Sitting wasn't someting that he really wanted to do and Broadway had issues with the seats anyway. I don't know the story of how they ever decided to install movie theater style seating in a church building but they did. The selection comittee obviously had not taken the time to try out the seating with a 4 year old. When in Big Church, Ryan loved to sit and then sort of dive out of the seat so that it would flop back up and make tons of noise....then repeat. I remember one Sunday in Big Church when Ryan insisted in the up/down/make noise thing to the point that I told him that if he did it again, I was going to take him out and beat him. Well, I really wasn't going to beat him but, when he jumped off the chair just as a man was starting a prayer, I picked him up and started to the back of the building (who knows why we would sit 3 rows from the front) and Ryan screamed into the silence - the whole trip - DON'T BEAT ME DADDY, PLEASE DON'T BEAT ME. Needless to say, nobody listened to the prayer and lots of folks were laughing. I was laughing so hard when we got outside that there was not much way to even do much of a swat.
This really was not my thought when I started this blog on Big Church. I really wanted to share some of my thoughts or maybe just speculation on what seems to be happening in parts of the USA. It seems that a number of churches have decided that UpSizing is a great thing. I am not talking about growing in numbers - I am pretty sure that that is pretty Biblical. No, I am just pondering the 'bigness' of some of the places that some choose to call "houses of worship". All this thinking started last December when I heard about a Dallas church that has decided to build a new campus and they made a big announcement about the fact that it is going to be a $125 million place - complete with a 4 story cross in the lobby - of course set in a waterfall. My first thought was that I would not want to be the church leader that had to stand in front of the Master and try to explain how this was a good idea. My second thought was a bit more selfish - because I calculated that the same $125,000,000 would enable us to build something like 87,000 block houses. Now, 87 thousand houses that would average 6 per house would put a pretty big dent in the housing needs of the people here in this poor country that I call home.
Once I put all of these thoughts to the side, I really just started thinking about what "Big Church"should really be about and it was a pretty simple conclusion. When the church started at the end of Acts 2 - the people met together daily, they ate - together, they prayed - together, and when somebody had a need - they provided - even if it meant that somebody else sold something of value. Hummmm. When is the last time you went to "Big Church"and somebody encouraged you to sell something so that another brother's needs could be met? I don't remember ever hearing this sermon.
So, it is my pleasure to encourage you to take a look at what Acts says about how we might want to do church and if needed, sell a few things and help some of your brothers.