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Monday, April 10, 2006

Animated Discussion of the Church Growth Movement

Sometimes the world sees our faults more clearly than we do, and sometimes they're just catching on. In last night's episode of King of the Hill, the Hills are put out because they have to sit in a different pew for the first time in 12 years. They have a hard decision to make:
Peggy: Maybe we should try the new megachurch.

Hank: I don’t want to change churches. Besides, that place is too big. What’s it got, 5000-some-odd members?

Peggy: And it pampers all of them! They have their very own coffee shop, florist, mini-mart, bank, and a dry cleaner that accepts all competitors’ coupons.

Hank: If I wanted to go that route, I could just walk around the mall and think about Jesus!

Despite Hank's protestations, they end up at the megachurch (replete with Java-lujah coffeeshop) anyway. The Hills are initially enthusiastic, but they begin to grow weary of endless satisfaction surveys, hyper-spirituality, and 8-day-per-week church activities. They finally end up back at their old Methodist church (pastored by a woman, of course), and, through some sleight of hand, get their old pew back.

The real reproach here is that the satire may not go far enough. At least this fictional megachurch met together in one sanctuary rather than in separate venues where everyone gets the worship he or she wants. I'm not sure what music this fictional megachurch does sing, but in their church hunt, the Hills started to walk into a typical evangelical church, but they heard the insipid worship music and never made it through the door. As much as the world wants to satirize us, it does not know us well enough to see the the depth of our vacuity.

Category: Theoblogia


  • While I don't think the church should become secular, it should be user friendly and make sure it is welcoming, and uses terms that non church goers can understand.

    I mean for a non Christian, hearing words like, "washed by the blood" or in some churches the sit down, stand up, sit down routine, or even by singing happy birthday to someone can cause embarressment and they wont come back.

    I do think too that we all can get possesive of our church and the way we do things and get uncomfortable when someone suggests change.

    Its like the baptist pastor who got kicked out for moving the piano to the other side of the stage from the middle. 12 months later he returns for a visit to find it where he put it. When he asked his replacement how he got it there with out causing a roit, he replied. I moved it one inch each week.

    Blessings craig b

    By Blogger craig, at 3:11 PM  

  • Hmm... this raises some interesting questions. Is the church supposed to be an outreach or a place for the communion and equipping of the saints? Is it the responsibility of the church to make sure that it's language is digestable, or is it's responsibility to properly educate people in sound doctrine? Wouldn't it be better to provide an explanation of what "washed in the blood" means, rather than remove it from the lexicon and thus further blunting the terminology of salvation?

    Obviously those are loaded questions. See I think the philosophy of ministry employed by most churches is seriously flawed in the first place.

    By Blogger Garet Pahl, at 9:40 AM  

  • G'day Garet.

    I think both. I think often us Christians get religious in our language that is really off putting towards those who listen.

    Look at the NT, I don't see Paul using the "Washed in the Blood" terminology, though he certainly does speak its truths.

    I would say the church is supposed to be a place of outreach, which includes a place of ministering to each other.

    Blessings craig b

    By Blogger craig, at 8:43 PM  

  • I think that the episode demonstrates something more. While we may discuss the sanity of such things as "Christian football leagues" and such, the reason the Hills left the church is because they did not want involvement in their spiritual lives. Many Reformed churches meet 2, sometimes 3 times a Sunday, with bible studies and such many times a week. That isn't what the Hills wanted, they wanted "spectator religion", which they could keep out of their lives except once on Sunday. This is how many Americans view their faith: as something to pull out once on Sunday (and at political rallies). At least that's my take on the episode.

    By Blogger Gavin, at 7:28 PM  

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