Hi, I’m Karl and I’m NOT a Megachurch Basher

Stop sign 200cI like megachurches. I wish there were more of them.

I like Small Churches even more. I wish there were a lot more of them.

The ministry of New Small Church is less than two months old, but I’m already noticing a disturbing mini-trend that I want to opt out of. It’s the tendency in some people, when they hear that I’m for Small Churches, to start talking trash about megachurches.

“Megachurches are so shallow,” “they don’t really care as much as Small Churches,” and “their time has come” are just a few of the comments I’ve heard so far.

So, today I have a short, friendly word of caution for my Small Church friends.


Let’s not fall into the trap of bashing someone else to try and feel better about ourselves. It’s not right. And it doesn’t even work.

Bashing others is not a way to find common ground. And if it was, the ground wouldn’t be very stable.

Loving Small Churches doesn’t mean hating megachurches.

We should be cooperating, not competing. There’s room – and a need – for everyone. A lot of people are blessed by the ministry of megachurches. That’s where they get the “mega” from, right?

You may have had a bad experience in a megachurch. And I’m truly sorry any time someone gets hurt in a church. But I can line up people from here to Corinth that have had bad experiences in Small Churches, too.

Each experience should stand on its own without bashing an entire group.

So, from now on, when you hear me say “Hi I’m Karl, and I’m a Small Church Pastor,” please know it does NOT mean “Hi I’m Karl, and I’m a Megachurch Basher.”

Count me out. I hope I can count you out, too.


So what do you think? Can we all just get along?

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(Stop Being Lame photo from kvanhorn • Flickr • Creative Commons license)

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17 thoughts on “Hi, I’m Karl and I’m NOT a Megachurch Basher”

  1. More amazing insight Brother!
    Love it! No bashing, shoot, I answered the alter call in a Mega Church and then went back some 30 years later for a leadership conference and thanked the pastor for his 35+ years of ministry!
    We are all HIS church and when we are in the very presence of GOD it wont matter one lick where you sat on Sunday’s!

  2. Absolutely right on…never have understood why Christians want to bash each other. We need all kinds of churches to reach our world for Jesus.
    Terry Reed
    Small Church Tools

    1. You got that right, Terry. And welcome to my site. Look forward to working together to help Small Churches.

      If anyone reading this is moving from a large church to a small one, his recent post about that on SmallChurchTools.com has some very practical help.

  3. Once we detach ourselves from the jealousy that has accompanied the “small church mentality” of the past and embrace our Small Church Identity, perhaps we can stop feeling as though we’re engaged in some kind of competition. There’s plenty of need, and there’s plenty of room.

  4. Acts 2:47, Acts 11:15 and 1 Cor. 2:4 – It’s very evident that the Church has lost it’s way in thinking that it’s by man’s “how to books” and there own wisdom on how to grow a church that will cause growth to their church. It’s only by the power of the Holy Spirit and not doing anything unless He says to. It’s His church. Many are not walking in their calling, that’s why the provision is not there, and many that have numbers do not have His anointing upon them to set the captives free. They have the spirit of the world in their churches. His Name is not in that congregation. Repentance needs to come to the House of God beginning with the Pastors and leadership on down!

  5. Well ,in some cases is truth ,they apply to that “list” but in others cases isn’t ,i have been in a small church,where may ear are never tickle ,where I am been told ,to live my life in holiness and tru,where pastor do the walk with the talk,my church is small ,and the reason my be ,that pastor teaches holiness ,purity holiness ext,most people don’t one to listen to that,they want to be motivated ,by whats there for mi in Christianity and how “I ” benefit from off,big is not I sing of Gods prosperity ,nether is small a sing of not been bless,let’s see ,John ostins church ,all I hear this man say ,is things like ,when”you”‘for you,because of you,,you this you that,,then I listen to my small church pastor ,jesus say ,because of jesus ,for jesus ,,,get the picture,,,,jesus dint like multitudes, he always went away from it,is a matter fact when he feed them and the multitudes follow him he was so descourage ,and told them “you follow mi because you got feed,not because you love mi ,He told Gideon that he dint need it all this man to fight and left it out of 300’God needs small churches because Gods people in small churches need the warmth ,small churches people since to be closer then in bigger churches,God gives us what we need,like mi I am spirit fell christian,never own a house,a bout,a new car ,iam a poor immigrant ,then I see a brother who is rich ,so has God not bless mi just because I am poor ,God forbids ,He give us according to His well giving mercies ,to say that I just not ambitious ,or hard worker is lurecres ,because I am not like,but simple god knows what I need,,,we should be carefully not to judge any ones church ,god knows what we need and how much to give,some are poof up with crowds thinking their done them self,and they may be rite,,,,

  6. Karl,
    I stumbled on your site today. Thank the Lord for you taking the time to set this up. I’ve only read a couple of articles, but this will be one of my regular stops on the net.

    I, too have gone through much by way of a large church (can’t say mega church because the attendance is only about 800 or so). Was an associate pastor of this church and didn’t work out–and from my perspective I say, “Praise the Lord.” There was much compromising with sin on the staff, some blasphemy from the pulpit from the lead pastor (and even after my wife and I both went to him, he still defended it), rumors, etc. and I was let go-or should I say, by God’s mercy (like Lot!), the Lord pushed us out .

    Because of that bad experience, I had a bad taste in my mouth for “seeker sensitive” churches–which is, and please correct me if I’m wrong, what most megachurches are–and that prompted me to learn what God had to say about a seeker from His word. The fact is, according to Scripture, God is the one who does the seeking, not man. Ergo, if the church has a seeker sensitive foundation, it’s based on the wrong foundation. I do understand about the desire to “get people in the door”, hoping that the “seeker” will become a “believer”. I was there. I bought into the whole mindset. But it stems from, in my opinion, an incorrect view of what “making disciples” is all about. In the church I’m referring to, not once did the salvation message include repentance from sin. In fact, the lead pastor’s understanding was “repentance from sin is works salvation.” It was all about just asking Jesus into one’s heart. That was it. The church also appealed much to the flesh. Secular music was played the vast majority of the time to fit the theme of the day. For example, if the subject of heaven was the topic, then “Stairway to Heaven” was played. I will say, though, the music was, and continues to be, excellently played. But does it glorify God?

    Finally, I will say that I’m sure there are a number of megachurches which are God honoring, such as Grace Community Church. Though I’ve never been there, John McArthur, in my opinion, does a fantastic job of teaching the word. And if the Lord were to bless me with a large congregation “I want to be like him when I grow up!” With all that said, I think there is room for honest evaluation of the fruit of many megachurches. Though I don’t bash our previous church, I do make judgments. The Lord told us to do so (make righteous judgments–i.e., in accord with the Truth of Scripture, and don’t make hypocritical, self righteous ones [the plank and speck come to mind]). Because the true gospel is not preached at the church of which I’m referring (repentance and faith in Christ, meaning a whole-hearted commitment to Jesus and not a little “sprinkling of Jesus over one’s life), and it’s my understanding that it hasn’t since the first day of its existence, I have told people to leave it. The church is to preach the true gospel; if it doesn’t, and insists on not doing so, then one can assume that “Icabod” has been written across the door, and all true disciples of Jesus need to come out of it.

    1. Hi Glenn (or is this Kitty?). I’m glad you found us.

      I’m sorry to hear you had such a bad experience in your previous church. It sounds like what you went through had more to do with bad theology and leadership than size. Like I said in this post, I can line up a frightening string of churches of all sizes with many of the problems you experienced. Although there do seem to be peculiar temptations for churches of different sizes. I wrote about that in a recent post. Here’s a link if you’re interested.


      Keep preaching Jesus and leave the results in God’s hands. That’s what I try to do every day. I hope this site can keep being an encouragement to you.

      1. Karl,
        Is it ever! I spent several hours today reading (and re-reading some) of your articles! I even bought your book and am devouring it. It’s like a cold drink of water when one is parched. I’m already thinking about tweaking some of the things–even thinking about stopping taking attendance (I’m part of a denomination that emphasizes church growth–and when I went to their “church planter boot camp” I was told that I needed to sacrifice sermon prep time to “be with the people”, for the purpose of growing). I’m sort of required to report average attendance numbers annually. And especially baptisms.

        I wholeheartedly agree with your comment about my bad experience being more of bad theology than church size. I’ve had one paradigm shift after another in this regard. One might say I’ve become very radical in my thinking about what a disciple is (think David Platt and Paul Washer). I have to be careful, though, that my theological pendulum doesn’t swing too far and it begins to smack of a works theology in the vein of the Pharisaic.

        Again, thanks Karl. I don’t think my stumbling onto your site was by accident.

  7. Pingback: Here's an Idea, What If We Left "Church Growth" to God?

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