Over at Parish Life George Grant, has an excellent post entitled, The Need for Parish. Citing an article from USA Today the mega-church movement appears to be losing steam.
I love the subtitle of this blog, "Gargantuanism and the care of souls cannot coexist." It comes from Thomas Chalmers, a man whom, I must admit, I know very little. The statement proves the obvious -- the bigger your church is the easier it is for people to hide and/or fall through the cracks.
As I've been preaching through II Corinthians what comes through loud and clear is the way the Apostle Paul cared for souls. He was a shepherd first, and foremost. This is lost as churches get larger: the pastor takes on the role of CEO and elders become VPs. I once read (in seminary) a book that advocated discarding the shepherding model of smaller churches and advocated 'ranching' as the preferred model to grow churches. Do you see the difference? In shepherding the shepherd knows the sheep. In ranching the goal is guide the nameless, faceless mob to its destination.