Friday, May 27, 2011

Financing Megachurches

The news came out today that Robert Schuller's Crystal Cathedral ministry is so far in debt that they are selling the campus to an investment group.  That group will then lease the main buildings back to them for 15 years under the terms of their bankruptcy settlement.

I don't think that I'm inherently anti-megachurch.  We attended Willow Creek for awhile back in the 90s and have very good friends who are part of the local megachurch.  I don't dispute that such ministries have done a lot of good in the world.  I wonder, though, what the future is for these massive campuses?  Will it be like going to Europe and seeing the huge cathedrals that sit empty except for the tour groups?  I doubt if the government will subsidize them as historical monuments here like they do there.

I hope everyone admits that there is at least an uneasy relationship between capitalism and the church.  It may be the best option we have, but I'm still uneasy about it.  I'll leave it at that for today.


Nick Burton said...

Hi Dr. Stump. Happy to have found your blog! I hope you and your family are all doing well.
Here are some interesting thoughts on the topic of Empty Cathedrals:

J. B. Stump said...

Thanks Nick. I like Fr. Barron's words a lot. I too think bearing witness is the central task of the church today.