Its Easy To Be Cynical about Hillsong and MegaChurches

After reading Mega Church Watch I have come to the conclusion (or maybe I did years ago) that it’s alot easier to form cynical attitudes to things that grow than applaud someone or something thats doing better than you are.

I love the fact that things grow, I don’t sit around being resentful that the tree outside my window is growing do I?

I’m growing too, just differently to the tree. I don’t get hurt and resentful because I’m not growing as fast as the sapling outside – it just grows differently to me.

When something is growing and baring fruit in the form of local and international mission, fostering the growth of individuals in the workplace, then at best give it praise, at worst leave it alone.

The tall poppy syndrome is alive and well in Australia.

As Christians, shouldn’t we know better?

Or is the syncretistic appropriation of secular values ok?

9 thoughts on “Its Easy To Be Cynical about Hillsong and MegaChurches

  1. Katrina Bray

    It totally is the tall poppy syndrome…but also the fact that for some reason it has become acceptable among christians to dishonour others and to discredit them so quickly…. I think people walk on scary ground when they start slandering things that God is doing and judging Gods anointed servants…

    Judgement of motives is a place for God alone. We are only allowed to judge fruit..and when you look at the fruit of these ministries – its all good…

    The response should be celebration of what Gods doing.Things may not be our personal preference but thats because we’re all different but that doesn’t give the right to slander or judge. Instead its just diversity…God is a diverse God and because He works through people there will always be an element of the human in everything…. But if God thinks thats ok and can still accomplish what He intended through it, who are we to judge?

    John Bevere’s teaching on Honors Reward should be a good kick in the butt for all on this topic..

  2. Mel

    There is a movement in the US that is critical of mega-church theology and ‘methodology’. They tend to believe that the essentials of the gospel are compromised by ‘worldly’ presentation eg rock music, light shows etc. However my first ‘mega-church’ experience in Australia was not one of luke warm compromise, but of a powerful, simple presentation of the gospel that renewed my walk with Christ. That was Hillsong in 1996 at Castle Hill. I walked in there cynical, but left refreshed. I was in tears out the front there and was born again again.

  3. Dustin Gray

    I hear it so often, and yes the focus is Christ and the word. Its almost like the judgment is upon technology itself.

    How much technology and media can you use before people think you are putting it before the importance of the Gospel.

    Strange to think that anyone would?

    Where Overhead Projectors ever judged when they were first used in church services?

    What about the use of spotlights and God Forbid… colored gels?

    Todays technology in church is only the natural progression of what has been accepted as the norm for so many years now.

    But it gets judged as light shows and hoo haa.

    Im sure someone had something to say when street evangelists used harmonicas in the 40s.

    Ye, if its all show and no Word and no fruit, then the problem is with no Word and no fruit… nothing to do with anything else and that should be addressed.

    I dont hear anyone of the present generation complaining about technology in mega churches.

    Seems to be ma and pa.

    Todays smoke machines and strobing lights are yesterdays harmonicas and overhead projectors.

    Walk around the mountain for another 40 years if you cant deal with it!

  4. Drew

    Hi all,

    The issue is not technology, the issue is the message. I would happily applaud a church that is growing – and I’m not averse to using technology to preach the gospel – just not at the expense of solid teaching of the Word of God! But what I’m finding is the megachurches do that, and place great emphasis on experience rather than the truth. Sadly it sells.

    And the limited truth that is preached/sung is sugar coated and stretched. I don’t doubt countless people have been influenced to Christ through these churches but the majority of growth is TRANSFER growth and not conversions. And what many fail to realise is that being church goers doesn’t bring them to Christ – and that goes for ANY church – if anyone believes that they are deluded and sadly may not even be saved.

    A good exercise would be to see what Bill Hybels has discovered about seeker methods and the lack of foundations such churchgoers have. I won’t spoil it, check it out for yourself online.

    Please understand that there are extremists on both sides of this argument however people ask questions because they are concerned at what such teaching and methods is doing to the broader church. I love the people of these churches, I just pray that the church leadership themselves will embrace truth again and we’ll really see revival, not just transfer growth and the local church dying off. Peace


  5. Drew

    One more thing (I’ve just read Katrina’s comments) – John Bevere is right to a point but it’s not an excuse to allow false teaching or allow a leader to do whatever they want to. Would you allow a tyrant like Hitler or Stalin or Pol Pot to just do whatever they want to and say “O God doesn’t want me to speak out because they’re the leader, they’re anointed…” what about justice?

    And the whole concept of “don’t touch the Lord’s anointed” is about physical violence. I’ll never harm a leader but we are allowed and in fact called to rebuke in love when there is error. David ran from Saul – where he had the chance to kill him – and rebuked him publicly, as did Paul rebuke Peter.

    We are to honour our leaders unquestionably but if they are falsely representing Christ (accident or otherwise) we are to speak in love, they are not above criticism. Peace


  6. Bernardo

    I agree with Drew, we are to rebuke our leaders if they sway from the truth just because to get enormous attendance or members. However, before criticizing in public, the first step is to pray your church leaders first, pray constantly and ask God to bring them on track. Secondly, give feedback privately or directly to your church pastor if your church have open channels for direct feedback, if not, you can feedback privately to your small group leaders and your small group leaders will feedback to the church pastors. Follow the Biblical way of giving criticism

    1. Admin

      If anyone in ministry (I know the feeling) feels a little disheartened by Bernardo’s thoughts, take a look at this article and take courage! God is with you and not against you, despite what people think about your ministry!

  7. Bernardo

    Hello Bro and Sis in Christ, me again :). I like the article that Matthew posted above. Criticism is a reality in ministry.

    I am pasting excerpt from the article, very nice
    “If you are going to have a long and fruitful ministry you can’t take criticism and attacks personally. Now if you have done something un-Christlike that is a different story, but if you are doing your best to live for Him then the attacks aimed at you are really directed towards Him”

    Just want to clear things. I am not against mega churches or ministry that are successful. God is in control of everything and all-knowing, who am I to question things :). My only point is the content. But then again, it is the Holy Spirit’s ministry to guide us to the truth. Again, I am not against it. Criticism and interpretation that will limit God’s power and bigness should be rejected.

    ’till next time.

  8. Bernardo

    …and one more thing. If anyone is hurt or disheartened about my thoughts, please forgive. I didn’t mean it that way.

    You brother in Christ-Bernardo


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