Thursday, December 08, 2005

1865 The Mega-Church

Here's a description of a mega church in Minnesota from one of my husband's architectural publications. I suppose it is intended for architects who need to be prepared that it's not your father's church.

A typical megachurch features:

- No pews. Instead, there are comfortable movie-theater-style cushioned seats. Stadium seating ensures good views of the stage.

- No Bibles or hymnals. Parishioners sing hymns by following the words on a large screen.

- Non-churchy architecture, without steeples. They look like high schools, malls, or convention centers.

- Few symbols of religion. Stained-glass windows and even crosses are far less prominent.

- A dizzying array of specialized services, with specialists in geriatrics, teens, addiction, and early childhood.

- No asking for money during a service - a turnoff for newcomers. There never is "passing the plate."

- High-energy music, with an in-house rock-style band on a stage ablaze with theatrical lighting.

- No pulpits. The pastor speaks informally from a simple stand on the stage.

- A fundamentalist and charismatic worship style, with a politically conservative viewpoint. Archi-tech

I suppose our church doesn't qualify because we have 3 campuses and 10 services, and our buildings have stained glass and traditional religious symbols. Although one sort of looks like a theater (unfinished) until you see the altar and window. And we pass the plate and the peace, and have no political viewpoint at all. No issue sermons, ever. Lots of rock-the-house music, though. It drives me out of the building because it hurts my ears and sets my atrial fibrillation in motion. That music does appeal to the young people though, who are mostly deaf or on their way. More at my other, other blog.

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