Here’s a thought provoking blog post from Neil Cole…
I have seen a report of research to determine what it would take financially to reach the US. The report is broken down by cities listing the financial costs to reach particular cities for Christ using the traditional attractional model of church. The results are alarming. Just to reach one city alone would be astronomical and cost more than all Christian non-profit ministries receive in a single year combined.
For instance, The study shows that to reach Atlanta would cost over $63 billion. To reach New York City alone would cost more $418 Billion. Where would we expect such money to come from?
Giving USA, a non-profit foundation that studies philanthropy in the United States, in its 2008 report found $103.32 billion went to houses of worship and denominational organizations in 2007. That entire amount could only reach the greater Washington DC area and would leave the rest of our country without any ministry at all. But of course, all our current churches and ministries would have to go out of business. This says nothing of missions to the rest of the world.
While a mega church can be missional it may not be the most wise use of resources to pursue the mission. If you want to compare the attractional mega church model against the micro model of church I think the cost alone makes it clear which is a more reasonable approach. I know that this type of content does not make my message very popular. I have tried to be fair and balanced but also share the unpopular truth. Unfortunately the ministries that end up costing the most often end up producing the least.
This is just not a good way to reach a city for Christ, let alone the world. There are better ways. We could reach the cities faster and for a fraction of the cost with a simpler approach to church. One of the sayings in our movement is: “It doesn’t cost a dime to make a disciple, it only costs your life.”