This Sunday I had the opportunity to have lunch with some folks after church who had never attended my church before. I go to the main campus of North Point Community Church and it’s big. I’ve been in churches that would fit inside the main worship center at North Point.
So in typical host fashion, I asked “What did you think?” My parents are the only “outsiders” I’ve taken to NPCC, so I don’t really get the chance to explore this question often. The answers weren’t what I expected.
The message felt like a keynote.
There wasn’t a sense of connection.
I don’t really like the whole mega-church concept.
The last one doesn’t surprise me. A church the size of North Point is not for everyone. It wasn’t for me when I first moved here two years ago which is why I started attending a smaller church. I eventually came around to the concept of a huge church and it was no longer all that different than going to a much smaller church.
I can also understand the second one. I’ve attended two different non-Sunday morning events at North Point in an attempt to connect with other people. Both attempts failed. I tried Fusion which is a singles gathering. I’m an introvert in a large, unfamiliar crowd. Forced social interaction is not for me and I have never felt more uncomfortable and overwhelmed than I did during the first night of Fusion. I survived the initial launch night and attended the first Fusion gathering a week later. I enjoyed parts of it, but didn’t feel like it was going to work out (yes, after one try), so I stopped attending that as well. I’ve also tried community groups but quit that before the first night every rolled around. “It wasn’t for me” and “I had nothing in common with those guys”. My typical excuses.
But the first response surprised me. In addition to that statement, another one was added:
There wasn’t enough Jesus in the message.
Hmm. I’ve had that same thought before, back before I attended North Point regularly. I’ve attended church my entire life and the service usually has about a 45 minute message and lots of Bible and Jesus. But the messages at North Point aren’t always like that. I’m still really challenged by the messages from Andy and the other pastors, but am I just being challenged by them like I would a really good keynote? Guess I need to pay more attention to this.
It’s clear that North Point makes a huge impact in Atlanta and around the world. No one questions that (at least not over lunch this weekend). But is there enough Jesus on Sunday mornings?