Most people frown upon mega-churches due to strange doctrines so I don’t have to get into that. That’s obvious to most. But I think there may be something else we’re missing, another reason why mega-churches may not be Biblical. What does the Bible say about a good shepherd?
A good shepherd knows his sheep.
John 10:14 14I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
He knows them by name.
John 10:3 3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
The shepherd should see to the needs of the sheep. He should also feed the sheep.
John 21:15-17 15So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
16He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
17He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. KJV
The shepherd should provide rest for his sheep and not be a slave-driver, or a bully, or scare you into giving up your life savings, or prey upon old ladies for money. Green pastures are a soft bed of grass – a place for rest.
Psalm 23:2 2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures
The shepherd is to lead his sheep, not drive them.
Psalm 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Again, the shepherd is to care for his sheep, not just feed them. They should not do it out of compulsion but voluntarily. They should not do it for money, but willingly. They should not be lords over the sheep but lead by being examples to the flock and the result is a crown of glory.
1 Peter 5:1-4 1To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; 3not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
The shepherd leads by still water.
Sheep will drown in moving water. Their wool is like a sponge that will absorb the water causing them to drown. The shepherd is to lead them to still water so they can drink without fear of drowning.
Psalm 23:2 “…He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He is supposed to restore your soul. (he encourages them, he instructs them, he corrects them and gently leads them back, he protects them and does not scatter them in the wilderness).
Psalm 23:3 3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
He is willing to go after his sheep if they are lost – even if there’s one lost. Then he brings it back upon his shoulders rejoicing.
Luke 15:3-7 And he spake this parable unto them, saying,
4What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
5And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
7I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.KJV
The shepherd should stay with his sheep to protect them, rather than leave them for the wolves.
John 10:12-13 12But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
13The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.KJV
The problems I see with mega-churches (in addition to the false teachings in some cases) is that the personal relationship is lost. Do you think their pastors (shepherds) know all 5000 of their congregants by name? Would they know them at all? If you had a charge against your brother/sister, can you go to your pastor? Maybe, if it’s just you and the other person. How about if 1000 congregants had a problem? Where’s the close, personal relationship? Does it even exist? If you need something, like money, do you think your mega-church pastor will provide? Probably not. If you had questions, do you actually think you can push your way through the thousands of people at the end of the service, wait for everyone else to get finished speaking with him, and then ask your question? Some of these services are televised. Do you think these pastors are there for each and every congregant? Or do they go back to ‘makeup’? Can the congregants form lasting relationships with thousands and ever have true fellowship and friendship with each other? Impossible! I think the flock is cheating themselves by attending these mega-churches because rarely are they truly getting fed and they are not getting the personal attention as taught in Scripture. What they are getting is no protection, they are left to the wolves, being fed milk – if that, are strangers to everyone, and nowadays being led down the wrong path or moving water so they can drown.