By Mark A. Taylor
One sentence stands out in Kent Fillinger’s introduction to this week’s special issue.
“If you copy someone else’s vision, who will accomplish yours?”
Kent quotes the book Church Unique to remind us that we must do the particular work God has for us in our communities, not copy the strategies working for someone else somewhere else.
So why does CHRISTIAN STANDARD devote a whole issue to megachurches every year?
• Megachurches are news, and our goal is to tell you news about Christian churches and churches of Christ you won’t find anywhere else.
• Megachurches are worth examining. While no church grows best through imitation (and, by the way, megachurches aren’t the only churches some churches copy), we’re wise to see what megachurches are doing—and why.
• Megachurches are examples. This year’s issue is full of reflective thoughts about ministry in any setting. The megachurch ministers interviewed here are concerned about discipleship and spiritual growth—not their status as “mega.” Every church leader can learn from these leaders.
Please remember several unique factors this year:
This is a double issue. Notice two dates on the cover. We’ve put together enough material to last you for two weeks. (As announced earlier, this is the first of four special double issues we’re planning this year.) Your next copy of CHRISTIAN STANDARD, dated May 3, will be coming your way soon.
There’s more than this issue. Our Internet site, this week and next, features several Web-only extras. And the 2008 Deluxe Edition offers a wealth of analysis, special features, and ministry helps. It’s available in two downloadable versions. Many will want the multiple-copy option.
Notice also that we’re planning a special follow-up this year for Medium Sized Churches. If your church is the first of 100 to write us, we’ll include you in a special issue, also chock-full of analysis and ministry helps, slated for September 13.
Our Web site also contains a fun first for us. You and other readers will prove The Value of a Brand by voting for your favorite brand among 16 posted there.
This ongoing contest will see the field narrowed to the Elite Eight, the Final Four, and finally the 2009 brand champion. Vote today and again in the following weeks. We’ll announce the winner on our Web site and in a future issue.
Our vision is to inform and encourage and even entertain you as never before with all this megachurch material. We know this is an issue many will file and keep and refer to again and again.