Archive for the Megachurch Category

The Axehead Falls

Posted in Christian Music, Christianity, Church, Discipleship, Evangelism, God, Jesus, Megachurch, Religion on December 2, 2008 by Scott

What better way for the Axe to fall than to say goodbye with our friends from Audio Adrenaline.

No tears. It’s simply time to shut-up and start making a difference somewhere. But we’re not disappearing completely.  You can find us on Twitter and Facebook

In the words of Forest Gump, “That’s all I’ve got to say about that.”

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The Church of Starbucks

Posted in Christianity, Church, God, Megachurch, Religion on November 20, 2008 by Scott

A couple of years ago many churches were looking to emulate the Starbucks culture and retail atmosphere.

Turning the tables, Beyond Relevance shared this great video that shows what might happen if Starbucks decided to emulate a church.

I loved the locked doors, the greeters standing around talking to each other, and the first time visitors.  And what about the lesson on giving? Classic.

Coffee is good – all the time…and all the time – coffee is good!

This would be funnier if there wasn’t some truth to it.

Most Influential Men?

Posted in Christianity, Church, God, Jesus, Megachurch, Religion on October 21, 2008 by Scott

Over 200,000 people cast their vote at AskMen.com for the 49 most influential men in 2008.

Barack Obama was voted the most influential in the poll that asked men to decide who most impacted the way they behave, buy and think.

Here’s the entire top ten:

  1. Barack Obama
  2. Steve Jobs
  3. Michael Phelps
  4. Robert Downey, Jr.
  5. Stephen Colbert
  6. Gordon Ramsay
  7. Christian Bale
  8. Rob Kay
  9. Cristiano Ronaldo
  10. John McCain

And now we know why we’re in trouble.

Obama, McCain, Job and Phelps we can see. But the rest of the list includes the guy who created Rock Band, an actor whose mother and sister accused him of physical abuse, a cursing chef, and a guy who has had more problems than all of us put together (although Iron Man was great).

No religious figures made the list… No Osteen, Warren or any other megachurch Pastor.

So we thought we’d start our own list.  Its called Floating Axhead’s 13 Most Influential Men Ever; Jesus, Peter, James, John, etc… You know the rest.

Professional Worshipers

Posted in Christianity, Church, Culture, Evangelism, Faith, God, Megachurch, Religion on October 14, 2008 by Scott

The Wall Street Journal writes about a former Pastor who is now a professional mystery worshipper

Churches enlist Thomas Harrison, a former pastor from Tulsa, Okla., and a professional mystery worshiper. He poses as a first-time churchgoer and covertly evaluates everything from the cleanliness of the bathrooms to the strength of the sermon.

…mystery worshipers like Mr. Harrison offer insight into how newcomers judge churches — a critical measure at a time when mainline denominations continue to shed members and nearly half of American adults switch religious affiliations. In an increasingly diverse and fluid religious landscape, churches competing for souls are turning to corporate marketing strategies…

Churches eager to adopt cutting-edge business practices have emerged as the latest market willing to pay for blunt advice. The cost can range from around $150 for a one-time visit to between $1,500 and $2,500 for multiple visits and a detailed report.

Church leaders say they’re seeking new ways to assess their services and evaluate everything from the style of music to how comfortable the pews are as they court fickle churchgoers.

Some theologians warn that mystery-worshipper services will drive “spiritual consumerism.” Evaluating churches as if they were restaurants or hotels might encourage people to choose their church not according to its theology, but based on which one has the best lattes or day care, says Paul Metzger, professor of theology at Multnomah Biblical Seminary in Portland, Ore. “There’s a pressure for the church to be something that the church is not.”

“My competition is Cracker Barrel restaurant down the street,” says Pete Wilson, pastor of CrossPoint Church in Nashville, Tenn., who regularly enlists a secret shopper to evaluate his 2,000-person congregation. “If they go in there and are treated more like family than when they come to CrossPoint Church, then it’s lights out for me.”

We’ll make this offer again…if you want to know what’s wrong with your church, just ask us.  No charge.  We like telling people what they are doing wrong.  You could say it’s our gift.

Here’s one for free.  If you hire a consultant to come in and tell what is wrong with your church instead of speaking to the people sitting in the pews, the problem isn’t the people sitting in the pews, its the leadership. 

Second Tip (also for free)…. open up the manual (that’s the Bible for our slower readers) and see if you’re doing things right.  In particular, try Acts 2:42-47.

MegaGroups with a MicroVision

Posted in Christianity, Church, God, Megachurch, Religion on October 13, 2008 by Scott

Brett Eastman, former small groups pastor at Willow Creek and Saddleback Church – and now CEO of Lifetogether says, “…a thriving small group ministry may be one of the best ways to fulfill the biblical purposes of the church—and solve many of the issues of evangelism and stewardship…”

The church we attend – a “microchurch with a mega vision” – defines small groups as “people who meet regularly in order to make a difference in the community, develop friendships with each other, and challenge each other to be more like Christ.”

Friendship? Absolutely.  More like Christ? Maybe.  Making a difference in the community? Not so much.

We’ve been part of small groups in several churches across the country and in each example they have become megagroups with a microvision.  The more groups (with more people), the better. But instead of a outward vision its has a microvision focused on the individuals in the group.

Is this what the church in Acts was all about? They gave to anyone as he had need, met daily in the temple courts, and enjoyed the favor of all people… and God added to their numbers daily.

They were IN the community.

In a church with thousands its difficult to get to know people on an intimate level.  Small groups make it easier to make those connections.  But make a difference in the community?  That isn’t happening. 

Now, if we REALLY want to small groups to make a difference in their communities, we’re going to have to be intentional about it.

Maybe we should sell our own small group cirriculum.  The first series might be titled something like “Get off your….”

Real Preachers of Genius – Megachurch Style

Posted in Christianity, Church, God, Jesus, Megachurch, Religion on September 30, 2008 by Scott

This might be funny to some, but I can’t relate at all since I go to a church that is a self-described micro-church with a mega vision.

  • You laughed and implemented every gimmick known to man…
  • Who says tight jeans and silk shirts don’t work on middle-aged guys like you?
  • Cool, happening, relative, fun, needs centered – all new words heard in church just because of you.

Okay…maybe I can relate a little.

I’m Too Sexy for My Church

Posted in Christianity, Church, Culture, God, Jesus, Megachurch, Religion on September 25, 2008 by Scott

We know how it typically goes when we post something about Rob Bell.

Some of you will write and tell us how he caused you to rethink your faith and now you are closer to God than ever before. Others will write that he is a heretic, a false prophet and that at best his teachings are misguided and uninformed.

To all parties we say – GET OVER IT.  Relax and have a good laugh.

Stick with the video and you’ll get the song about two minutes in.

  • Sexy is sanctified
  • Sexy God has changed the way we do church
  • Emerged…come out of the closet so to speak

“The freedom of being cool and hip in a very uncool religion.  How do we do it?  We just mix in a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and a little bit of crazy, a little bit of fool, and a little bit of wisdom.”

That last one just might be a little too close to reality, but that is some funny, funny stuff.