Too Many Cooks Make a Megachurch

There’s been very little said in the Evangelical press about the election of a committed Christian, Lee Myung-bak, as President of the Republic of Korea.  Given our current woes with our own "Evangelical," this may be understandable.

His position has caused some consternation with non-Christians in Korea (which make up 70% of the population.)  But that not only didn’t stop him from being elected President, but before that being head of the Hyundai conglomerate.  (I’m not aware that an Evangelical has ever been at the head of an American corporation that large.)

But that’s not all that’s different from the U.S.  In the article, Sunny Lee notes the following:

The Somang Presbyterian Church where Lee and his wife, Kim Yoon-ok, a deaconess, attend has 70,000 registered attendants managed by 20 pastors. In addition, Lee Kyung-sook, the head of Lee’s Presidential Transition Committee, other church members are the president-elect’s brother Lee Sang-deuk, who is also the vice speaker of the National Assembly; lawmaker Chung Mong-jun, who last week met with US President George W Bush in Washington as the president-elect’s envoy; Yoon Young-kwan, the ex-foreign minister; Hong In-ki, ex-head of the Korea Stock Exchange; Kim Shin-bae, chief executive officer of SK Telecom who sat next to Google chief Eric Schmidt at the recent Davos World Economic Forum in Switzerland. And the list goes on …

Twenty pastors?  What American church would have twenty pastors?  Actually, most of these pastors are associate pastors of the various "districts" that the church is divided into.  Asian megachurches are much better than their American counterparts in dividing their churches into small groups with an elaborate elder/pastor structure to hold things together, which explains why they can sustain such large churches. 

American Evangelicalism and the megachurches it has spawned is too driven by personalities, both at the senior pastoral level and in the parachurch organisations.  We’re constantly being exhorted to copy the Asians in our prayer lives, but let’s try to reduce the "ego" factor at the top.

Perhaps when we do our churches will see their members head the stock exchange and attend the Davos conference and…but that’s too Biblical.  It would require that leaders, like John the Baptist, decrease so that Jesus Christ would increase.  Perish the thought!

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