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kottke.org posts about Joseph Clarke

Megachurches and corporations are alike

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 26, 2009

From Joseph Clarke in Triple Canopy, a comparison of the histories of the American megachurch and corporation.

Lakewood and America’s twelve hundred other megachurches — congregations that draw between two thousand and fifty thousand people per weekend — are not simply vast machines for passive spectatorship. Sunday services are convergences of worshipers who spend their weeknights at prayer groups, Bible studies, ministries, and missionary training sessions. Successful megachurches are like well-run companies, with intricate corporate structures devised to keep each member personally engaged; their pastors are like chief executives, maximizing the productivity of laborers in the evangelism enterprise. Jumbotron notwithstanding, the architectural and organizational tropes of the megachurch are best compared to those of the modern white-collar workplace.

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