A few weeks ago I blogged about The Big Church in town. Well, it has pushed itself into my consciousness again. It seems they're starting a satalite church about 4 blocks from my church - Cambridge Drive Community Church.
I have to say that I have really mixed feelings.
I know all of the arguments that the only significant growth takes place in new churches... I have also seen the stats that show that the vast majority of folk who attend these mega-churches are just transfers from other churches. I know that folk who would be attracted there would never come to my congregation and that folk who attend my church are very unlikely to find that place attractive. At the same time, I do see them siphoning off our teens to be a part of their youth group - it is the biggest one around - and as often as not, their parents follow them even though they say they find the church and its theology distasteful. I also know there are lots and lots of people in Goleta who are unchurched and that one more congregation brings another opportunity for them to encounter the Living God. And you know my thoughts on the kind of experience they offer so I wonder whether in the end it really impedes an experience of the Holy rather than bringing people into the Kindom of God. And there is no question that I feel turf issues.
What do you think? Should I be upset? Worried? Concerned? Rejoicing?