Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Egoism of Numbers

I just saw a little ad advertising new ways to grow and be more influential -- and just imagine, you could have a congregation of over 3000+, or at least the social equivalent.

I would hate that. Let me explain why.

My Junior Year at OU, I was highly involved socially. I lived in the dorms and was active there - I was in two departments, I ran a student organization. I estimate that I knew by name around 10% of the population - right around 2000 people.

Or I should say I knew them superficially. I could nod when they walked by on the south oval - I could do the small talk and all that. But did I actually *know* them, for all my involvement? Not overly well. But it's cool to say you know that people, to say that you are that important - to be accounted among the big men on campus.

3000 people. In a Church. Let's say I as a pastor dedicate 12 minutes a year, one minute a month, to each member. That's 36000 minutes... or 600 hours. Think about that - that is giving a pittance of time... for 10 weeks of 60 hours a week work. How would I know them, how would I interact.

Of course, I think the appeal of the mega-congregation is the dissassociated egoism -- if you have a massive congregation you can talk about all the things that "we" do, even if you aren't involved with it. We have this awesome program, we do X, we do Y. Really, how do you help with X or Y -- oh, I don't, but we do...

We can be part of something popular, big, and active -- and we don't have to do a thing. We don't even have to know anyone who does it -- but look at all the good works that I do. We can go about forming our holy clique and be content.


Of course, what this post really explains is why I should never look at the "church" ads at 4:45 in the morning when up with my newborn son. =o)

1 comment:

aletheist said...

A shepherd with 99 sheep will notice when one is missing (Matthew 18:12-14). Can the same be said of a shepherd with 3,000 sheep?