preacher vs. people
most megachurches (if not all) are led by a senior pastor who has high visibility and preaches the majority of the time at weekly services [one notable exception is Newsong, where lead pastor + spiritual entrepreneur Dave preaches about just 20% of the time].. this is to say, one main ingredient (among many) is that a gifted preacher attracts a large crowd.. but with with an average American church size of 89, that means for every megachurch of 2000, there’s 100 regular-sized church averaging 70 in weekly attendance..
so for the 100 normal sized churches [which Barna labels as small churches], what keeps them there is probably not the gifted preacher, but more likely the people.. for most people in most churches [statistically], selecting a church is less about the preacher and value-added services + products, and more about the social connections in a church where people have their friends and family, be comfortable [less aggression], and maybe have a pastor who takes care of them (bless + match + marry + bury them).. [and theology or being missional doesn’t matter anyways, regardless of church size]..
extrapolate this dichotomy of the priority draw to churches: megachurch with its preacher, and normal-sized church with its people, what does this say about the emerging churches? most of the prominent voices of emerging churches are seemingly the gifted preacher variety and do a majority of the preaching/teaching, and most of them are normal sized.. definitely a different breed, and I wonder if there’ll be more emerging churches sprouting up soon that don’t have the gifted preacher/leader and just gifted people being missional with a normal/average leader.. (cf. microchurching, most churches don’t answer the phone, CT article on pastor’s self-perception as leader or shepherd, Supersize Church?)