Houston, Texas (trekearth.com)
With a PhD in Theology and Philosophy of Religion from Wales academia is not my only option for potential employment using my four academic degrees earned over the years. Lately I have been considering church work as it has been suggested to me. I reason I have been led to be a Theologian, Biblical Scholar, and in later years a Philosopher of Religion and the eventual work as an Assistant or Associate Professor was just assumed by myself and many others. Of the three figures of CVs I have sent out they have not all been in academia, but have also included publishing and media. I never reasoned I was specifically led to be a professor, necessarily. Now I realize churches probably are not looking for Philosophers of Religion but Theologians and Biblical Scholars, yes. So 2/3 is not bad...
So, what about megachurches?
Hartford Institute for Religion Research
According to the Hartford Institute for Religion Research
The term megachurch generally refers to any Protestant congregation... with a sustained average weekly attendance of 2000 persons or more in its worship services.
Most discussions of megachurches focus on very large Protestant Christian congregations in the United States - of which there are over 1200.
Likewise, there are significant numbers of megachurches throughout the world, especially in Korea, Brazil, and several African countries, although no exact count exists for this worldwide phenomenon. The largest megachurch in America averages 35,000 in attendance; however, several churches in Korea claim over 250,000 attenders.
Although very large congregations have existed throughout Christian history, there has been a rapid proliferation of churches with massive attendance since the decade of the 1970's. As such, some researchers suggest that this church form is a unique collective response to distinctive cultural shifts and changes in societal patterns throughout the industrialized, urban and suburban areas of the world.
While size is the most immediately apparent characteristic of these congregations, the Protestant megachurches in the United States generally share many other traits. Virtually all these megachurches have a conservative theology, even those within mainline denominations. A large number are nondenominational but the majority are affiliated with a denomination. The groups in the table below account for 80% of all megachurches.'
'The majority of megachurches (over sixty percent) are located in the southern Sunbelt of the United States - with California, Texas, Georgia and Florida having the highest concentrations.'
Largest Five Churches in USA from Two Sources
1. Lakewood Church, Houston, Texas: Pastor Joel Osteen-Attendance 43, 500
2. Second Baptist Church, Houston, Texas: Pastor Ed Young-Attendance 22, 659
3. North Point Community Church, Alpharetta, Georgia: Pastor Andy Stanley-Attendance 22, 557
4. Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, Illinois: Pastor Bill Hybels-Attendance 22, 500
5. LifeChurch.tv, Edmond, Oklahoma: Pastor Craig Groeschel-Attendance 20, 823
1. Lakewood Church, Houston Texas, Pastor Joel Osteen, Attendance 43, 500, Annual Budget $70 Million
2. Second Baptist Church of Houston, Pastor Edwin Young, Attendance 24, 000, Annual Budget $53 Million
3. North Point Community Church, Pastor Andy Stanley, Attendance 23, 000, Annual Budget $38. 5 Million
4. Willow Creek Community Church, Pastor Bill Hybels, Attendance 22, 500, Annual Budget $36. 2 Million
5. LifeChurch.tv, Pastor Craig Groeschel, Attendance 21, 000, Annual Budget $32 Million
Houston, Texas (trekearth.com)
Caddo Lake, Texas (Google Images)
Alex Fraser Bridge, Richmond/New Westminster, BC (trekearth.com)
Conwy Castle, Wales 2001
A former professor/mentor of mine suggested I look at potential employment via megachurches with obviously more possible work being available being in the United States than much smaller and less Christianized, Canada. Pastor Joel Osteen's theological inadequacies have been well-documented by those such as Dr. Albert Mohler and I am sure throughout the blogosphere, but that is just one let us state, questionable, example of a megachurch. Perhaps some churches with over 2000 (or somewhat less) attendees will have a need for Biblical Studies and Theology programs at a BA level and someone of my credentials could be considered a very useful potential employee.
Of course there are many issues to discuss potentially in comments in regard to a megachurch possibly not meeting the needs of attenders and members when a large church becomes too large and corporate. And there are also many things a larger church can accomplish with more revenue in comparison to a smaller church.
Lego megachurch (Google Images)
Cartoons from Google Images.
Thanks to my friend Mark for a post on Facebook...
Of course Benny has been on this blog previously. Here is a reprise below.