5 Things I Learned From A Megachurch
Last week I had the privilege of visiting Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, a church in South Florida. Sitting on 76 acres of land it hosts almost 20,000 weekly attenders across 10 campuses.
One of our Assistant Pastor’s here at Calvary was formerly a Pastor at Calvary FTL. My wife attended the Oceans Edge School of Worship, an on site school launched by Calvary FTL. Even though I feel pretty connected with this Church it had been 10 years since my last visit.
At the beginning of this year I started making plans to take our Tech Director and spend a few days with the Calvary FTL team. I was hoping to learn a little about how they did ministry and handled the technical issues that plague a growing church.
Most sources state that the majority of Churches in the USA have less than 100 people. The Megachurch is the rare exception. It can be easy for us “small” churches to criticize these larger churches and imagine that their life is so easy. They’ve got all the resources they could want. It must be so nice up there.
The truth is all churches, no matter the size, have challenges. Strengths and weaknesses. Here are a few of my take aways from my visit to Calvary FTL.
They’ve Got Heart
Behind the massive buildings and beautiful graphics there are people. People mowing the lawn. People laboring for foster children. People feeding the poor. People setting up Planning Center. People just like you and I who love the Lord and want to see His Kingdom come. This is not a big machine. This is a group of called souls doing work.
They Have A Budget
Larger Churches may have a larger dollar amount of gifts coming in but they also have a larger amount of expenses going out. Much larger. They experience just as many financial strains on the budget as smaller churches, just in different ways.
They’re Still Learning
During my visit I was able to sit in on a leadership team meeting. One of the things covered was an update by the communications director from his trip to Life.Church. An even larger multi-site church from Oklahoma. He shared about what they could learn from them. We never “arrive”.
They're Open Handed
I was blown away by the gracious hospitality of the entire team at Calvary FTL. Not a single staff member declined a meeting with me even on short notice. They’ve learned a lot, have a lot to share and don’t mind sharing it! I experienced the same thing when I visited Harvest, Pastor Greg Laurie’s church in Southern California. These churches can be a wonderful resource!
They’re Not Immune To Failure
A common theme in my conversations was failure. “We tried this and it didn’t work”. No matter the scale we can’t be afraid to fail. We have to be willing to take steps of faith.
No matter the size of the Church you serve in we all need the power of Holy Spirit or it’s just busy work. I pray the Lord impacts your community through your Church in incredible ways!