The megachurch movement that began about thirty years ago is bearing unappetizing fruit. Clearly, we cannot inhabit the planet the way we have been for the last 50 years. We also cannot allow multinational corporations to shape our lives with their marketing and gadgets. It’s sad to say, but when the church began adopting practices of corporations and reduced the gospel to its most marketable size, we lost our mystery, our wonder, and our imagination.
Younger people are turning to faiths like Buddhism that are more mystical and inspiring, or they are turning to agnosticism. Younger Christians are not so different. We are looking for something that captures our imagination, something that is worth living for. We’re not content with a magical afterlife. We want to embody the kingdom of God now.
Mennonite theology affirms that we can experience and share the kingdom here and now. The life of the Spirit invites us again into the story of wonder and mystery. We don’t have to live as lonely Christians going to a building to listen to music and preaching. We can live together as we were created, in the image of the God who is three and one, the divine community. We can embody heaven on earth as we work at reconciling deep racial and economic injustices. Indeed, we can take the Sermon on the Mount seriously and join the story that God has been telling from the beginning.
Seth McCoy, “Widening the Circle: Experiments in Christian Discipleship.” 179-180. Edited by Joanna Shenk.
What are the implications when churches adopt corporate practices? What is gained or lost? In what ways does Mennonite theology affirm the ‘here and now’ experience? Can a Mennonite church be a megachurch?