As American mega-churches continue to grow in both number and congregation size, more and more people want to know what all the commotion is about. Here, MacNair shows the emergence of the modern mega-church as not only a disturbing break from tradition, but as a distortion of the Christian tradition of worship – morphing the Church into something more like a business than a place of worship or a place where the presence of Jesus is preserved for future generations. This book answers several questions in an effort to help readers better understand this trend: What is the impact of the emergence of the mega-church, what does this mean to modern Christianity and to the future of Christianity? What does this tell us about the practice of religion today and about faith in God, in any God, in any religion, in the face of the encroachment of mega organizational thinking and money-making upon traditional belief systems? An inside observer, social scientist and faith leader, MacNair offers an insightful critique of mega-churches and their proliferation throughout the country. Reporting from within the halls of Christian history and the Christian intellectual tradition, he offers a new perspective on a growing trend in American Christianity.
Taking readers on a tour of a typical mega-church, MacNair reveals the inner workings of this growing organizational approach to American Christianity. He looks at the physical meeting place, the music, the sermon, the groups and services available to congregants, the messages and values it promotes, and the future of the mega-church in America. He argues that the main goal of the mega-church is growth and expansion, and that such an approach distorts the essence of Christianity and sends the wrong message to followers. With more than 1200 mega-churches in the U.S., and hundreds of thousands of congregants, this controversial work will pique the interest of anyone who wishes to know more about the movement as well as the critiques it engenders.