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Mega-church downsizes, cuts non-essential members
LarkNews ^

Posted on 08/29/2013 11:06:02 AM PDT by Gamecock

WINSTON-SALEM — Julie and Bob Clark were stunned to receive a letter from their church in July asking them to “participate in the life of the church” — or worship elsewhere.

“They basically called us freeloaders,” says Julie.

“We were freeloaders,” says Bob.

In a trend that may signal rough times for wallflower Christians, bellwether mega-church Faith Community of Winston-Salem has asked “non-participating members” to stop attending.

“No more Mr. Nice Church,” says the executive pastor, newly hired from Cingular Wireless. “Bigger is not always better. Providing free services indefinitely to complacent Christians is not our mission.”

“Freeloading” Christians were straining the church’s nursery and facility resources and harming the church’s ability to reach the lost, says the pastor.

“When your bottom line is saving souls, you get impatient with people who interfere with that goal,” he says.

Faith Community sent polite but firm letters to families who attend church services and “freebie events” but never volunteer, never tithe and do not belong to a small group or other ministry. The church estimates that of its 8,000 regular attendees, only half have volunteered in the past 3 years, and a third have never given to the church.

“Before now, we made people feel comfortable and welcome, and tried to coax them to give a little something in return,” says a staff member. “That’s changed. We’re done being the community nanny.”

Surprisingly, the move to dis-invite people has drawn positive response from men in the community who like the idea of an in-your-face church.

“I thought, ‘A church that doesn’t allow wussies — that rocks,’” says Bob Clark, who admires the church more since they told him to get lost.

He and Julie are now tithing and volunteering. “We’ve taken our place in church life,” he says.


TOPICS: Humor
KEYWORDS: cheaptrick; humor; joke; megachurch
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1 posted on 08/29/2013 11:06:02 AM PDT by Gamecock
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To: Alex Murphy; metmom; HarleyD
And now for something completely different!
2 posted on 08/29/2013 11:06:59 AM PDT by Gamecock (Many Atheists take the stand: "There is no God AND I hate Him.")
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To: Gamecock

Funny.


3 posted on 08/29/2013 11:07:18 AM PDT by mbarker12474
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To: Gamecock

Modern church discipline is a form letter. Who knew?


4 posted on 08/29/2013 11:07:23 AM PDT by AD from SpringBay (http://jonah2eight.blogspot.com/)
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To: Gamecock

It’s all about $$$. Why? Because it always is...


5 posted on 08/29/2013 11:10:58 AM PDT by donozark (I'd rather go fishing with Putin than golfing with Obama...)
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To: Gamecock

James 2:14-26

New King James Version (NKJV)
Faith Without Works Is Dead

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your[a] works, and I will show you my faith by my[b] works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?[c] 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”[d] And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.


6 posted on 08/29/2013 11:11:04 AM PDT by Red Badger (It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong. .....Voltaire)
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To: Gamecock

I’m sorry, but is there actually something about Christianity with either side?

It seems like your average Mosque is more Christian these days than these worship warehouses.


7 posted on 08/29/2013 11:11:25 AM PDT by VanDeKoik
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To: Gamecock

Interesting. Have to think about this one a bit.


8 posted on 08/29/2013 11:13:50 AM PDT by DManA
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To: VanDeKoik

“It seems like your average Mosque is more Christian these days than these worship warehouses.”

As little as I think of Islam these days, at least they have some standards. Most “Christian” establishments have an unwritten sign outside stating, “No matter what you want, we can do it.”


9 posted on 08/29/2013 11:14:58 AM PDT by Da Coyote
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To: Gamecock
Afraid of breaking news to pastors, family now attends six churches
Missions trip defectors stun churches
Shutdown Season: Willow Creek Community Church Will Close its Doors for the Summer

10 posted on 08/29/2013 11:15:49 AM PDT by Alex Murphy (Just a common, ordinary, simple savior of America's destiny.)
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To: Gamecock

So, if you tossed a few bucks into the basket without signing your name then you’re donation wasn’t needed.


11 posted on 08/29/2013 11:18:56 AM PDT by bgill (This reply was mined before it was posted.)
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To: donozark

“Lark” is like a Christian “Onion”. This is satire.


12 posted on 08/29/2013 11:19:33 AM PDT by lastchance ("Nisi credideritis, non intelligetis" St. Augustine)
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To: donozark

did you read the article?
it also includes volunteering
which can be harder to find that money

A church of that size with that many activities needs People to staff the events

and people who do it for free


13 posted on 08/29/2013 11:23:27 AM PDT by RWGinger
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To: Gamecock
Yeah, it may be about not generating enough donation revenue. It may also be about requiring some minimum level of commitment to continue to partake of the freebies.

I'm not going to judge beyond saying that there is a surplus of nearly empty churches who ask little or nothing from their parishoners and a shortage of crowded churches which do ask something.

The megachurch form of worship is not for me. But they do a lot of people a lot of good. Our voting precinct is at a megachurch. Don't care for the style of worship, but they are nice people. They've always got an information table near the exit and invite departing voters to partake of muffins, cookies and/or coffee when they depart.

Once in a blue moon, I'll even attend a service and leave a couple of bucks in the collection basket out of appreciation for their niceness.

14 posted on 08/29/2013 11:27:26 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Gamecock

Just another business, none of this, “You received free, give free”, stuff.


15 posted on 08/29/2013 11:36:14 AM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: RWGinger

Lark is a fake Church news web site meant to poke fun at Christian Churches.


16 posted on 08/29/2013 11:36:43 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: lastchance

I had to read two or three articles to be sure, but I finally figured it out. Good satire. Really had me fooled for a minute.


17 posted on 08/29/2013 11:36:59 AM PDT by HeadOn (Be ready at a minute's notice to saddle up.)
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To: VanDeKoik

Reeeeeeally?


18 posted on 08/29/2013 11:37:55 AM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: HeadOn

What gave it away? The Fast Pass for the Nursery School or the Horoscopes?


19 posted on 08/29/2013 11:38:29 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: DManA

give them a call and get more information


20 posted on 08/29/2013 11:39:50 AM PDT by campaignPete R-CT (we're the Beatniks now)
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To: thackney

Cingular Wireless...


21 posted on 08/29/2013 11:41:25 AM PDT by Wyatt's Torch
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To: thackney

oh man
I believed it

I am so stupid
thanks for the truth


22 posted on 08/29/2013 11:41:47 AM PDT by RWGinger
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To: bgill

Satire aside, I never give traceable funds, always cash or items. The Word says give without expecting return nor boasting. I don’t claim charity on taxes either.


23 posted on 08/29/2013 11:42:02 AM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: Gamecock; Elsie; Colofornian

At first I thought their Bishops weren’t going to let them attend their temple unless they proved they were tithing 10%.

Then I realized this was a joke. No one in their right mind would give a bishop the power to deny a church member access to their church’s most holy place. That is between the believer and God.


24 posted on 08/29/2013 11:42:59 AM PDT by freedomlover
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To: Gamecock

I LOVE it!!!!!!!


25 posted on 08/29/2013 11:44:59 AM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: Gamecock
Mega-churches are way to impersonal for me. It does seem like it is all about money (donations) to them. There are many Christian families struggling right now that could use some assistance. What do the mega-churches do? My experience is they steer you to some government organization. I have yet to see a mega church help any of its members who are not able to make full tithing donations. It just seems like there is an inner clique to these churches that seem quite elitist that seem to look down upon the neediest of Christian families.

I'm not saying all mega churches are bad, just my experience with the ones I've attended left me feeling like an outsider, very impersonal behavior from supposed Christians.

26 posted on 08/29/2013 11:45:06 AM PDT by jeffc (The U.S. media are our enemy)
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To: thackney

The horoscope link was hilarious. I thought, “What kind of church would promote horoscopes?”... funny stuff.


27 posted on 08/29/2013 11:46:48 AM PDT by HeadOn (Be ready at a minute's notice to saddle up.)
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To: Gamecock
BTW... satire?

More like lampooning the whole mega church phenomena.

28 posted on 08/29/2013 11:47:10 AM PDT by jeffc (The U.S. media are our enemy)
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To: metmom

*sigh* Great satire.

I should have know it was too good to be true.

And yet I wonder if someone really tried that, if they wouldn’t actually get that result.


29 posted on 08/29/2013 11:47:18 AM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: thackney
Lark is a fake Church news web site meant to poke fun at Christian Churches.

Sometimes Christian Churches need to be poked a bit.

30 posted on 08/29/2013 11:52:48 AM PDT by Gamecock (Many Atheists take the stand: "There is no God AND I hate Him.")
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To: Gamecock
Very interesting. A lot of the mega churches grew big by asking non-believers what they wanted and giving it to them. Willow Creek, one of the biggies in the mega church category, actually went out and surveyed their community in designing their church. They let non-believers set the program: Make church more comfortable and “seeker sensitive”, even for people who are not actually seeking. Non-believers don’t want to hear about Hell. So don’t talk about it. They don’t want to hear about giving to God’s work, so don’t talk about it. Get rid of the crosses, hymns, etc. Don’t talk about doctrine, because that is boring. Just talk about whatever is deemed “relevant” by non-believers. Seems to me the church in question created their own problem. The message that these churches give is that you don't have to be involved. You don't have to support the ministries. You can go and be entertained without any actual commitment.
31 posted on 08/29/2013 11:52:57 AM PDT by rusty schucklefurd
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To: Red Badger
Amen!

Or, in common place vernacular, "Put your money where your mouth is!"

32 posted on 08/29/2013 11:55:26 AM PDT by zerosix (Native Sunflower)
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To: rusty schucklefurd

Willow Creek also surveyed it’s membership to see what they wanted more of. A large number said they wanted more doctrine.

Willow Creek’s answer was they needed to teach them to be “self-feeders.”

So much for the instruction to feed the sheep.


33 posted on 08/29/2013 11:58:05 AM PDT by Gamecock (Many Atheists take the stand: "There is no God AND I hate Him.")
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To: Gamecock

I prefer how my pastor handled this issue, by teaching!

http://www.legacychurchnm.com/index.cfm/pageid/2532/index.html#la=loaded&h=860&w=1040


34 posted on 08/29/2013 11:59:48 AM PDT by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
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To: VanDeKoik

I have yet to hear of any Catholic sect demanding its flock PROVE its members are “contributing”. I have heard some strong sermons about it, but that’s as far as it gets, because the genuinely faithful just need an occasional reminder of their duty.

Must be a proddy/baptist/lutheran/reformed/whatever thing...


35 posted on 08/29/2013 12:01:51 PM PDT by Don W (Know what you WANT. Know what you NEED. Know the DIFFERENCE!)
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To: Don W

Dang, I got sucked in by a satire.

It doesn’t happen often, but I went hook, line, and sinker.

Good post!


36 posted on 08/29/2013 12:06:56 PM PDT by Don W (Know what you WANT. Know what you NEED. Know the DIFFERENCE!)
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To: Don W
Must be a proddy/baptist/lutheran/reformed/whatever thing...
(Lark News == satire)
37 posted on 08/29/2013 12:10:14 PM PDT by Lee N. Field ("And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise" Gal 3:29)
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To: Gamecock
If the church leadership and teachers are teaching doctrine in the first place, then the members can learn to feed themselves. That is part of the intent behind the instruction in the Bible to “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman who needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15”.

But if the church is not teaching doctrine, what in the world is it teaching, and why? If it is not teaching the Word of God, then it really needs to get into some other business because it is not fulfilling the mission of the church.

38 posted on 08/29/2013 12:13:30 PM PDT by rusty schucklefurd
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To: Gamecock
Interesting. I'm not a church person, but Jesus asked quite a bit of his followers.

I need to think about this one for a while to figure out what spirit this is done with before I could have an opinion to go with my initial reaction.

In the families I grew up in, you were to contribute, not be a burden. Not pulling your own way was definitely a sin in those family situations, as was waiting to be told to do something you saw needed to be done.

39 posted on 08/29/2013 12:13:56 PM PDT by GBA (Our obamanation: Romans 1:18-32)
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To: zerosix

OR:

Take your money from where your heart is................


40 posted on 08/29/2013 12:16:11 PM PDT by Red Badger (It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong. .....Voltaire)
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To: Lee N. Field
Okay, done in the spirit of satire. Got me.

Everything and anything seems believable nowadays, even this.

41 posted on 08/29/2013 12:16:22 PM PDT by GBA (Our obamanation: Romans 1:18-32)
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To: Resolute Conservative

Let not your left hand know what your right hand is doing..........Matthew 6:3..........


42 posted on 08/29/2013 12:17:56 PM PDT by Red Badger (It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong. .....Voltaire)
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To: Gamecock

I realize that this is satire. But there is an element of truth. For example, no local synagogue will let you be a member unless you tithe. There are reductions for single parents, etc., but no freeloaders.


43 posted on 08/29/2013 12:30:35 PM PDT by peyton randolph (Tagline copyright in violation of Directive 10-289)
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To: Gamecock

Good Satire.


44 posted on 08/29/2013 12:42:30 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Kill Obamacare not wound it.)
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To: Gamecock

Kick out the old, poor and the lame. that is not a good deed.


45 posted on 08/29/2013 12:46:55 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Kill Obamacare not wound it.)
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To: Gamecock

To avoid wasting your fellow freeper’s time, please put (satire) or (humor) in the headline. It’s really not very nice to do this.


46 posted on 08/29/2013 12:49:27 PM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: Mamzelle

it’s not nice to fool Mother Mamzelle ...


47 posted on 08/29/2013 12:52:58 PM PDT by campaignPete R-CT (we're the Beatniks now)
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To: campaignPete R-CT

No, it us not. I think this is a cheap trick and you’re about as funny as Jon Stewart.


48 posted on 08/29/2013 12:57:59 PM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: HeadOn

The only thing that fooled you was a manipulative and dishonest headline. Any punk can ring a doorbell and run away—no cleverness to that at all.


49 posted on 08/29/2013 1:00:27 PM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: Lee N. Field

See my #36...


50 posted on 08/29/2013 1:40:55 PM PDT by Don W (Know what you WANT. Know what you NEED. Know the DIFFERENCE!)
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