A megachurch, by definition, is a Christian congregation with an average weekly attendance of 2,000 persons or more in its worship services, counting all adults and children at all its worship locations.
A minichurch has 100 people or fewer. It is fast growing in the United States. This size is typical of brethren churches in Malaysia and India in the villages, towns and smaller cities.
A microchurch has 5 to 35 people. They do not meet in a church building, but in a home or a neutral place. Some call it a church without walls. This microchurch idea overlaps with similar ideas like simple church, organic church, house church, hybrid church, and missional church.
Is there a historical precedence of megachurch, minichurch and microchurch in the New Testament era?
“And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts” (Act 2:46)
At Pentecost, after the preaching of the Apostle Peter, about 3,000 believed in the Lord Jesus Christ (Act 2:41). On another occasion, after Peter healed a lame man lame at the Temple gate, he preached the gospel and 5,000 believed (Act 4:4).
The first megachurch in Jerusalem was persecuted soon after Stephen was martyred. The members, except the apostles, were later scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria (Act 8:1).
During persecution, past or present, churches have to go micro, hiding like rabbits in their holes. During peace time, churches can attract large crowds in huge cathedrals, theatres and stadiums.
During the Covid-19 pandemic when large onsite crowds are discouraged or banned, many churches opt to conduct online worship services in addition to limited on-site services, where possible.
As Christ’s disciples, let us press on to know God during these uncertain and unstable times. Be faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ:
1) in our workplaces – be salt of the earth and light of the world for Jesus;
2) in our homes – conduct our lives in a godly manner for our family members to emulate; and
3) in any place of worship – let us meet faithfully:
• to exhort and to encourage one another (Heb 3:13; 10:24-25).
• to remember the Lord’s death, resurrection and millennium reign on earth.
• to worship, pray and study the Bible together.
• to bear witness to the unsaved through good works and sharing of the Gospel.
Christ is coming soon! Maranatha!
Elder Yoong Yuen Soo